The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has scrapped plans to remove postgraduate postnominals from the register.

The decision was made at the November council meeting last week, where members voted unanimously to keep postnominals on the register.

Education committee chairman Chris Tufnell claimed technology had moved on since the decision was made to remove all postnominals, except MRCVS/FRCVS and registrable degrees.

Five lists of postnominals were proposed for inclusion in the register, including primary veterinary qualifications, those approved for advanced practitioner and specialist status, and honorary postnominals. Qualifications relating to veterinary and biomedical sciences, agriculture and medicine were also proposed.

Speaking at November’s meeting, Mark Elliot told councillors the removal of postnominals would not only impact vets.

He said: “Concerns were raised that both vets and the public would be disadvantaged without the listing of postnominals when seeking services within those qualifications. 

“I’m glad the education committee has taken things forward as it has and I’m glad to see the hard work of our members will continue to be recognised.”

The council faced a backlash from the profession, which argued it had not been properly informed. An e-petition was launched in protest, which has attracted almost 1,700 signatures.

Now, the RCVS has said the college has learned its lesson and will aim for more clarity in future.

Freda Andrews, RCVS director of education, said: “Council’s decision demonstrated we are willing to listen to the profession and we are glad we reached a compromise position about displaying postnominals in the register.

“We’ll now be making sure there’s more clarity for both the public and profession as to what the accepted postnominals mean.”

For the full story, read the upcoming issue of Veterinary Times (VT44.47).

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