The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has begun its annual audit of continuing professional development (CPD) done by UK veterinary nurses.

It has written to more than 800 registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) asking them to submit their CPD records to monitor compliance with their professional obligations.

Under the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses, nurses have to undertake at least 45 hours of CPD over a rolling three-year period to demonstrate they are keeping their skills up to date and engaging in learning and development.

Every year since 2010, the RCVS has conducted a CPD audit to gauge compliance and see what type of CPD the profession is engaging in.

This year, the RCVS has contacted a random sample of 468 RVNs from across all postcode areas (representing about 8% of the profession) asking them to share their records. It has also written to 107 RVNs who took part in last year’s audit, but were short of meeting the requirement, 80 RVNs who failed to respond to requests to submit their records last year and 150 RVNs who confirmed they were not compliant with the CPD requirement when renewing their registration last year.

Veterinary nurses who were previously on the RCVS list and who were moved to the register when the new royal charter came into effect in February 2015 have not been asked to take part in the audit. Previously, listed veterinary nurses were not expected to undertake CPD and so the RCVS is allowing a “bedding in” period of three years (until 2018) for them to fulfil the requirement.

Veterinary nurses taking part in the audit need to submit their CPD records to the college no later than Friday, August 14. Records can be submitted by allowing the RCVS access to the online Professional Development Record ( by emailing a scanned copy of the CPD record card or posting a photocopy of the card.

Those with any queries about the audit should contact the RCVS veterinary nursing department on 020 7202 0701 or Further details on how the new charter affects former listed veterinary nurses can be found at

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