The Android version of the Code of Professional Conduct app that was previewed in last months issue of VNJ is now live. It can be downloaded from and enables you to have the Code and all 27 chapters of supporting guidance in your pocket, even when you are offline (it’s updated each time you go back online).

The supporting guidance is shared with the vet Code, and includes plenty of topics relevant to VNs, such as ‘Communication between professional colleagues’, ‘Practice information and fees’, ‘Client confidentiality’ and ‘Delegation to veterinary nurses’.

We hope there will be an iPhone version in due course.

Retirements from VN Council

At the May meeting of VN Council, we said goodbye to four members who had each made valuable contributions to the governance of the profession.

Tony Birbeck has been a lay member of VN Council since 2005; Richard Hooker has been an appointed veterinary member since 2005; and, Louise Glysen has served as an elected member since 2009.

VNC also said goodbye to Jill Nute, who has served on the RCVS Council for 20 years, including as its president in 2008-9, and has spent several stints not only on VN Council, but also the VN Committee that preceded it. Jill retires from RCVS Council as well as VN Council, but will remain chairman of the RCVS Trust Board.

Meanwhile new VN, vet and lay members will join the VNC at RCVS Day in July – watch out for news in the August issue.

Review supports reform

The RCVS Annual Report falls into two parts, and the first, RCVS Review, is posted to all registered and listed veterinary nurses in June. In it, you will find support for the statutory regulation of VNs from Claire Bloor, VN lecturer at Myerscough College, who also discusses the benefits of the online Professional Development Record.

We also find support from Katy Islip, writer for Your Horse magazine, who attended our first open day last year, and Richard Drummond, head of division at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who led the recent legislative reform order project, also touches on the College’s push for statutory recognition of the title.

If you haven’t received a copy, it can be downloaded from

This year, for the first time, we have also produced videos to accompany the Review, which we hope will be a useful companion to the hard copy for those who don’t have time to sit down and read it all. The videos will be available to view on, where you can also find CEO Nick Stace’s first post-Council round up.

Meanwhile, part two of the report, RCVS Facts, contains facts and figures about the veterinary nursing and veterinary professions, including training statistics, registration figures and information about new the complaints and disciplinary system for registered veterinary nurses. This is not sent in hard copy to all nurses, although it is available in hard copy on request and can be downloaded alongside the Review.

Examiner standardisation

Our VN Department has run four practical examiner standardisation events so far this year (pictured below), covering 83 examiners. Each examiner nominates a set of practical skills that they wish to examine and, as a group, they review the marking criteria, examiner notes and equipment lists to ensure that they continue to demonstrate best practice.

In total, 30 OSCE stations have had their marking schemes amended. In most cases, we find that the alterations are minor and reflect what nurses are doing already.

The final two events will be held later in the summer, and cover diagnostic imaging and a few new OSCE stations that are currently being trialled.

All changes will be published online at least four weeks prior to the examination.


Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 28 • July 2013 •