Vets and lay members set to take their places on RCVS disciplinary and preliminary investigation committees.
THE first members of the new-look disciplinary and preliminary investigation committees at the RCVS have been appointed and will take up their places next month.
Beverley Cottrell and Catherine Goldie have been appointed to the new disciplinary committee (DC), and are retiring as elected veterinary surgeons on council to take up the posts. Vets Jane Downes and Charles Gruchy, and lay members Stuart Drummond, Ian Green, Chitra Karve and Mehmuda Mian, will also join the DC.
The new preliminary investigation committee (PIC) members will include veterinary surgeons Andrew Ash and William Reilly, plus lay members Penny Howe, Sarah Pond and Elana Tessler.
These new appointments result from a legislative reform order (LRO) made to separate the RCVS disciplinary committees from the RCVS Council. It is hoped this will improve the independence of the RCVS disciplinary process and brings the college into line with regulatory best practice.
After coming into force in April, the LRO amended the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (VSA) and requires that the RCVS PIC and DC are made up of vets and lay members who are not RCVS council members, and who are appointed independently.
The LRO also brings lay people formally into the PIC and will increase the pool of people available to investigate complaints and sit on disciplinary hearings.
RCVS registrar and head of legal services Gordon Hockey said: “The LRO fundamentally improves the way the veterinary profession is regulated, and will help to ensure public confidence in our disciplinary processes. I am delighted by the constructive and collaborative working relationship we had with Defra and the BVA, which has allowed this major reform to be introduced.”
To make the appointments, a list of lay and veterinary surgeon candidates was put together by recruitment consultants, and a shortlist was referred to an independent selection committee chaired by Sir Michael Buckley and including Christopher Laurence and Joan Martin. The selection committee’s choices were ratified by RCVS council at the June 2013 meeting.
As part of a transition phase, both committees will also include some council members, but after a two-year period, members of RCVS council will become ineligible for membership of either committee.