The steadily dwindling number of candidates sitting RCVS diploma examinations has prompted Royal College council to set a final deadline for enrolments to the remaining diplomas: November 1, 2012.

The steadily dwindling number of candidates sitting RCVS diploma examinations has prompted Royal College council to set a final deadline for enrolments to the remaining diplomas: November 1, 2012.
 
This decision is in line with recommendation made to council by the Education Policy and Specialisation Committee that the college should speed up the process of phasing out all of the remaining RCVS diplomas in favour of the increasingly popular European diplomas.
 
Empty exam halls prompt final phasing out of RCVS diplomas.There are now such small numbers of candidates sitting RCVS diploma exams that benchmarking and determining a consistent examination standard becomes increasingly difficult, and the examination increasingly indefensible and unsustainable.

For example, in each of the past three years, only two candidates have entered the diploma in small animal surgery (orthopaedics) exam, and there was only one candidate in 2008.

Similarly, it is now usual for only one or two candidates per year to sit diploma exams in zoo medicine, cattle health and production or ophthalmology.
 
A number of RCVS diplomas have already been phased out, with new enrolments no longer being taken in subjects such as small animal medicine, dermatology, anaesthesia, and diagnostic imaging.

Examinations will continue to be held for enrolled candidates (including candidates who enrol before the November deadline), with final exams held in each subject dependent upon when the final candidates complete the pre-examination requirements (for candidates enrolling this year, this means 2019 at the latest).
 

  • Veterinary surgeons will still have multiple routes to RCVS Recognised Specialist status – including via European diplomas (which also offer a route for those not in a standard residency position), American diplomas, the RCVS fellowship, and other such high level qualifications.
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