Veterinary nurses will no longer be allowed to enter undocumented continuing professional development (CPD) on their records.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ (RCVS) veterinary nursing education committee has decided to discontinue the annual allowance of five hours of ad hoc, undocumented private study for veterinary nurses.

This is in line with a decision made by the RCVS education committee in May to discontinue the equivalent allowance for veterinary surgeons of 10 hours per annum.

The changes will take effect in the new year.

It is a requirement of the RCVS Codes of Professional Conduct that veterinary surgeons record a minimum of 105 hours of CPD over a three-year period; while veterinary nurses are expected to carry out 45 hours of CPD over the same period.

RCVS head of veterinary nursing Julie Dugmore said: “As with the veterinary surgeons, this decision was made because it was felt that all CPD, including private study, should be properly documented on the CPD records of veterinary nurses.

“This change, however, is not intended to discourage private study, which we recognise extends across a range of different types of learning, including reading, and can be very valuable for personal development, but merely that it should be properly documented.”

RCVS hopes the changes will clear up uncertainty around the respective allowances for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses, as it says some were under the impression private study, even if it was documented, could be classed only within that category.

The Royal College’s education department is also reviewing the information available to veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses regarding what counts as CPD, to clarify the situation and provide more specific examples for each learning category.

Information about CPD for veterinary surgeons can be found at, while for veterinary nurses the information is available at

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