The two statutory committees responsible for investigating and holding inquires into concerns about the professional conduct of veterinary surgeons have acquired new chairmen and members, making the committees wholly independent of the RCVS Council.
The other new members are Hazel Bentall, Nick Blayney, Austin Kirwan, Margaret Stoddart, Cerys Jones, Judith Way and Judith Webb.
The preliminary investigation committee has three new members, all of them veterinary surgeons, and is now chaired by Andrew Ash, a director of a veterinary practice group and past-president of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA), who has been a member of the committee since 2013.
The new members are David Harding, Jeremy Mantell and Adrian Ward.
The appointments took effect this month (July 2015) and followed an independent recruitment process.
The changes bring the RCVS into line with a legislative reform order (LRO) that amended the Veterinary Surgeons Act to statute the two statutory committees should be constituted separately from RCVS council.
RCVS registrar Gordon Hockey said: “We pushed forward the LRO because we wanted to make sure the college was following regulatory best practice by ensuring the independence of those who adjudicate on concerns raised about a veterinary surgeon’s professional conduct and fitness to practise.
“The LRO allowed for a two-year transitional period and so, with these new appointments, we see it come to fruition as the committee members are now wholly separate from RCVS council members, who are ineligible to sit on the disciplinary or preliminary investigation committees.
“I would like to extend a very warm welcome to the new chairmen and members of the committees. They all went through a rigorous recruitment process over a number of months this year and I am confident in their integrity, independence, judgement and abilities.”
Two new members have also been appointed to the VN preliminary investigation committee – via the same independent recruitment process. They are RVN Suzanne May and vet Susan Macaldowie.
Details of the committees can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/about-us/committees/disciplinary-committee and www.rcvs.org.uk/about-us/committees/preliminary-investigation-committee respectively.