The RCVS has launched its new Practice Standards Scheme (PSS) at London Vet Show.

PSS screen grab
The new Practice Standards Scheme launched at London Vet Show.

According to the college, the main changes to the scheme have been based on feedback from the profession and input from the practice standards group (PSG), with the aim of making it:

  • more accessible for practices that aren’t yet PSS members
  • more rewarding for those already accredited

While retaining the existing accreditation levels across small animal, equine and farm animal practices, a new modular structure aims to make the scheme more flexible to ensure all types of practice – from ambulatory services to veterinary hospitals – can join.

The college says this structure will also recognise the contributions of the whole practice team, helping to raise standards across the board.

More rewarding

Speaking after the launch at London Vet Show, PSG chairman Jacqui Molyneux said: “The new scheme offers a pathway to improvement for practices of all shapes and sizes that want to aspire to excellence, and highlights these achievements to the animal-owning public.

RCVS-past president Jacqui Molyneux
Practice standards group chairman Jacqui Molyneux.

“More than half of all veterinary practice premises in the UK are already RCVS-accredited, which is fantastic for a voluntary scheme, but we’d really like to help more practices to get on board. I hope the improvements and new benefits we’ve developed will make the scheme even more rewarding for existing members and encourage more people to join.”

Optional awards

Once accredited, practices can apply for a range of optional awards that focus on outcomes and behaviours in specific areas, including:

  • inpatient service
  • team and professional responsibility
  • client service

Designated as either “good” or “outstanding”, the awards are designed to help clients understand where a practice excels and what skills and services are on offer.

The RCVS has also recruited and trained a new team of assessors and developed an online administration and support tool to provide document storage, a calendar and a self-assessment function, to make the accreditation and awards application processes easier to manage.

Introductory offer

The RCVS is inviting applications from practices willing to help with a final round of testing of the new scheme. Those participating will be in with a chance of winning one of 20 free assessment days, worth £350. The offer is open until 4 December and the first 20 practices drawn at random on 7 December will be allocated the free assessments.

  • For more details about the PSS, the draw and how to apply for accreditation and/or awards, visit
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