RCVS news: Proposed new framework for post-registration qualifications for veterinary nurses

19 July 2018

At the BSAVA, we are delighted that the RCVS is launching a consultation for a proposed new framework for post-registration qualifications for veterinary nurses and we want to encourage our members to take part. This consultation has been launched as a result of the VN Futures project finding a desire among VNs for a more rewarding and progressive career path with the opportunity for formal qualifications. So please do respond, have your views heard and help to shape the future of your professions.


The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) are asking for the views of veterinary nurses and veterinary surgeons regarding a new framework that has been developed for two new post-registration qualifications for veterinary nurses.

The new qualifications are a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing and a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing.

During the research stage of the VN Futures project, jointly run by the RCVS and BVNA, it became apparent that there was frustration amongst veterinary nurses regarding lack of career prospects and progression, this included a lack of opportunity to formally undertake qualifications in certain designated areas of advanced skills and knowledge.

Following the publication of the VN Futures Report and Action Plan in July 2016, a Post-Registration Development Group was formed to look at how different career and qualification paths could be opened up for veterinary nurses.

The proposed post-qualification framework is the culmination of its work so far.

To participate in the consultation, we are asking veterinary nurses and veterinary surgeons to first download and read the ‘Draft RCVS post-registration framework for veterinary nursing’, before answering a series of questions as set out in our online questionnaire.

As part of the consultation we are asking for feedback on the following aspects of the proposed courses:

  • the proposed courses’ structure
  • the candidate assessment criteria
  • accreditation standards
  • student support
  • candidate eligibility rules
  • the RCVS enrolment process
  • the procedures for certification, and
  • the prospective designations.

The date for providing feedback to the RCVS on the proposed framework is 5pm on Monday 27 August 2018.

The results of the consultation will be fed back to the Post-Registration Development Group for further consideration.