In November 2011, RCVS Council agreed to the closure of the RCVS Awarding Body (RCVS Awards). In making this decision, Council was mindful of the very important need to provide continued support for students registered for RCVS qualifications, and to assure a suitable, robust and sustainable provision of VN vocational qualifications in the future.

Council stipulated criteria for the selection of a suitable awarding organisation, which would be in a position (and with a desire) to develop a successor qualification to the RCVS Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing. During the autumn of 2011, discussions took place with City & Guilds. The organisation had long expressed an interest in veterinary nursing qualifications and was in a position to meet the criteria sef by the Council.

An outline agreement, concerning the transfer of intellectual property associated with the Level 3 Diploma qualification, was established with City & Guilds in December 2011. Ofqual was informed that the RCVS intended to surrender its recognition as an awarding organisation, but not until arrangements were in place to protect the interests of students already in training.

The RCVS will support the development by City & Guilds of a successor diploma qualification in veterinary nursing at Level 3, which articulates very closely with the current RCVS qualification and its assessment structures. Once the College is satisfied that a suitable new qualification is available, the RCVS will make a formal application to Ofqual to surrender its recognition as an awarding organisation, and will enter a phase of managed withdrawal.

We will continue to award NVQs and VRQs (now in their run-out phase) until the final certification end-date in July 2013. City & Guilds plans to have its new qualification ready for delivery in the autumn term.

“Once the RCVS is satisfied that there is adequate alternative provision of VN vocational qualifications, we will formally notify Ofqual that we intend to relinquish our status as a regulated awarding organisation. This step is, to all intents and purposes, an irrevocable one, and we will not take it until we are certain that vocational veterinary nurse training can be sustained by other means,” says Libby Earle, head of veterinary nursing at the RCVS.

“Once we reach this stage, we will work with centres and the two alternative awarding organisations (City & Guilds and Central Qualifications) to ensure that students already in training may complete without any disadvantage,” she adds.

The RCVS will maintain a ‘roll’ of student veterinary nurses entitled to Schedule 3 dispensations, and will continue to approve and monitor professional qualifications leading to the Register. Regardless of how a veterinary nurse qualifies to enter the RCVS Register, she or he will still receive an RCVS Certificate in Veterinary Nursing and a badge. B3

Online CPD record

Hard copy CPD Record Cards were sent to all RVNs during March but, to make life easier, a new online CPD record is due to be launched shortly – the Professional Development Record (PDR) – which will sit alongside the Nursing Progress Log.

The main screen – and the only part of your CPD record that the RCVS can see without asking you personally – is similar to the paper CPD Record Card, where you fill in individual entries for each CPD activity. At the top of this screen is a progress bar, showing how many hours of CPD you have completed across a rolling three-year period, turning from red to green once the RCVS quota has been met.

For each CPD entry – you can add notes and upload other documents (which the RCVS or employer cannot access without your permission). There’s a section for users to plan future CPD, set objectives, define criteria for success and note actions for the future, as well as a diary feature.

Using the new online system will be free, but not compulsory.

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 27 • May 2012 •