Veterinary surgeons, nurses, MPs and peers were among those who gathered at the House of Commons to celebrate the introduction of the new Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) royal charter.

The event, attended by more than 200 guests, took place on March 4 and was sponsored by three MPs – Neil Parish (Conservative), Angela Smith (Labour) and David Heath (Liberal Democrats).

The charter sets out the objects of the college and underpins many of its core functions such as the practice standards scheme.

However, the main focus of the event was the impact the charter has had on veterinary nursing.

At the event, Stuart Reid, RCVS president, explained the historical significance of the charter, in particular its role in formally underpinning the regulation of registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) and empowering VN council to set standards for training and continued professional development.

He added: “However, there is one more piece of this jigsaw that is missing. We would like to increase further the confidence of the public in veterinary nurses with formal statutory protection of the title veterinary nurse.

“It is simply unacceptable unqualified individuals should be able to use the same title as a well-qualified, properly regulated professional.”

He explained the college was considering a range of legislative options to achieve this aim.

Kathy Kissick, a registered veterinary nurse and chairman of VN council, commended the hard work it had taken to get a charter, adding: “I am so very proud to stand here as a registered veterinary nurse and an associate of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

“Registered veterinary nurses should wear their badges with pride.”
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