The RCVS is calling on vets and nurses to give their views on a new Royal Charter, which would see all LVNs moved onto the college’s VN register.

In November 2013, RCVS council agreed a new draft charter, updating the existing 1967 document and elaborating on the appointment of various college officers, the role of the RCVS in advancing standards, the powers of RCVS council and college investments.

However, the new charter also underlines the importance of VNs within the Royal College, as well as attempting to tighten up the regulation of qualified nurses.

RCVS councillor Stephen May led the Legislation Working Party that developed the new Charter proposals.

He said: “The proposed new charter represents an historic opportunity to affirm the role of the RCVS, and to provide a modern framework for the future regulation of the professions. I call on veterinary surgeons and nurses, together with other interested stakeholders, to read the consultation documents and support our proposals.”

In a section entitled “Associates of the College”, the new charter defines RVNs as RCVS “associates”, however, nurses would not have any new post-nominal descriptions as a result. The section also defines the power of VN council to set standards for nursing education and conduct.

Elsewhere, under the heading “Associates of the College – Registration”, the new charter moves LVNs onto the register, and means any disgraced RVNs struck off by the college will not have the list to fall back on, meaning an RVN that has been struck off the register will not be able to conduct Schedule 3 activities.

Currently, an RVN who is struck off by the VN disciplinary committee can still do Schedule 3, as they are still entitled to be LVNs. There are now 10,506 RVNs, and 1,115 remaining LVNs.

RCVS president Neil Smith added: “The present charter doesn’t explain what objects the RCVS should set out to achieve, and it is silent about veterinary nurses.

“The remit of the college should include being the regulator for the veterinary nursing profession, and we want a new charter to recognise registered veterinary nurses.”

The consultation closes on February 7, 2014. The consultation document can be downloaded from www.rcvs.org.uk/consultations and responses should be emailed to b.myring@rcvs.org.uk

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