A consultation on the proposed day one skills document for veterinary nurses has been launched by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to help ensure the skills list aligns with required day one competences.

The consultation is being run as part of a complete review of the college’s day one clinical skills for the practical training of veterinary nurses. 

The current day one skills document was developed in 2010 by RCVS Awards – the college’s awarding body – and provides a list of those skills student veterinary nurses are expected to have gained by the end of their training, and to be competent and confident in when they first go into practice.

As RCVS Awards will close by the end of this year, the college is reviewing the day one skills to bring them closer in line with the recently revised day one competences, and to reduce the number of required skills to make it more relevant to clinical practice.

Julie Dugmore, head of veterinary nursing, explained: “The current document was developed from an awarding body perspective and not that of the regulator, so it specifies a large number of non-clinical skills – for example, handling and moving equipment safely – which, while important, are somewhat out of our regulatory remit.

“Given the wide variety of veterinary practice settings to which student veterinary nurses are exposed, it is important we, as the industry regulator, define the required day one skills and ensure these align with the required day one competences.

We need to review the skills list to ensure consistency, that it reflects current practice, and that it only includes those skills deemed necessary for registration purposes. A clearer focus on safe and effective clinical skills would support our primary regulatory role – that of protecting animal welfare and the public interest.”

The consultation sets out the proposed day one skills, grouped according to the corresponding day one competences, and asks for feedback on their relevance, accuracy and completeness.

Comments would be welcomed from higher education institutions, awarding organisations, centres and training practices, as well as veterinary nurses and veterinary surgeons.

The consultation is available via the RCVS website at www.rcvs.org.uk/consultations and the deadline for responses is 5pm on July 29, 2015.
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