The next meeting of the RCVS Veterinary Nurses Council (VN Council) will take place on 7 May and the papers will be available on the website around two weeks beforehand (

The agenda remains under preparation at the time of going to press but one item to be discussed is a review of the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for veterinary nursing.

The NOS were last reviewed in 2010 and such reviews are generally the responsibility of Lantra, the Sector Skills Council for environmental and land-based industries. However, Lantra is no longer funded to undertake routine periodic NOS reviews and so the RCVS will be undertaking a consultation exercise to see whether the standards are still fit for purpose as the competence benchmark for all VN qualifications. If the result indicates some updating is needed, this evidence will assist Lantra in seeking the necessary funding to conduct a review.

VN Council will be asked to agree to the setting up of a working party to carry out the review, and there will be an opportunity for veterinary nurses, veterinary surgeons and others involved in employing and training nurses to have their say in due course.

Also on the agenda will be a refocus for the working party looking at post-registration qualifications for veterinary nurses. This group will consider a structured pathway to the development of further knowledge and skills for qualified VNs.

Student enrolment reminder

A reminder to colleges involved in veterinary nurse training to please ensure they enrol their students with the RCVS in good time. The mandatory 94-week training period doesn’t start until a student is enrolled with the RCVS – so delaying student enrolment may also delay their eventual eligibility to register as qualified nurses, whether or not they have finished at college and passed their examinations.

Only students who are enrolled with the RCVS are allowed legally to carry out delegated procedures under Schedule 3 to the Veterinary Surgeons Act, such as medical treatment and minor surgery (not involving entry to the body cavity), under appropriate supervision.

Kathy Kissick in the chair at a recent VN Council meeting

Enrolled students receive an RCVS record of training card and number, so it is worth practices asking to see these in order to ensure that students whom they employ can be delegated tasks appropriately.

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 28 • May 2013 •