RCVS Knowledge is inviting educators and learners to join practitioners in entering the awards that recognise the use of continuous quality improvement (QI) principles.

The Knowledge Awards, now in their third year, celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams who are championing the use of QI methodology in their area of work.

The awards are open to anyone who works within the veterinary industry. This includes all those working in a practice setting, encompassing the administration team, veterinary nurses, practice managers or surgeons at all levels.

New this year, educators and learners from under- and post-graduate education are also encouraged to apply or nominate others for their inspiring work to enhance the awareness and development of QI skills in the veterinary and veterinary nursing professions.

Pam Mosedale, Chair of the RCVS Knowledge Quality Improvement Advisory Board, explained: “We have introduced a new category to the Knowledge Awards this year. As well as inviting applications from those who are using QI methodology in a practice setting, we are including a new category that acknowledges the crucial contribution those in education make to embedding QI in the professions.

“Eligible applications to this new category could take the form of students using QI methodology as part of their education, such as clinical audits, drawing up clinical guidelines, or other techniques. Educators should demonstrate how they are teaching QI methodology to better equip students for practice. We encourage anyone undertaking high-quality activity in this area to enter.”

The Knowledge Awards aim to recognise individuals and teams who are focusing on driving continuous improvements for better outcomes for patients, better service provision to clients, an improved business or environmental case, or better working conditions for the team. Applicants will be assessed on their passion for QI, and for encouraging and championing QI.

Winners will be crowned ‘Knowledge Champions’ or ‘Champion Practices’. Winners will receive a £250 reward, tickets to the awards ceremony and the opportunity to work with RCVS Knowledge to further promote their Quality Improvement work.

Applications can be made as an individual or as part of a team. Colleagues can nominate others for the award. The deadline for nominating colleagues is 16th October 2020, and the deadline for applications (whether you have applied directly or have been nominated) is 30th November 2020. Winners will be announced in early 2021.

The winners of the 2020 Knowledge Awards were recognised for a variety of QI activity, including an audit and updated guidelines that reduced post-operative complications by half; creation and use of a surgical safety checklist that reduced serious surgical errors; a whole-team approach to QI initiatives that led to effective audits, guidelines and checklists; and national auditing of pain relief guidelines, cruciate surgery outcomes and incident reporting.

Chris Gush, Executive Director of RCVS Knowledge, said: “We set up the Knowledge Awards not only to reward those behind the committed and innovative QI work going on across the professions, but also as a means to share effective approaches widely in order to support the advancement of the quality of care provided to patients.

“We are looking forward to learning more about excellent QI work taking place and giving this the acknowledgement it deserves.”

Find out more about the Knowledge Awards and how to apply here.