The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has launched a final consultation in its latest comprehensive review of the Practice Standards Scheme (PSS).

It is seeking feedback on the proposed detail of the revised scheme – in particular, the new system of awards for RCVS-accredited practices.

Following the college’s commitment to review the PSS every five years, this is the second such review since the voluntary practice accreditation system was launched in 2005.

After gaining extensive feedback from PSS members and the wider profession through previous consultations and focus groups, and the collaborative approach taken by members of the RCVS practice standards group, there have been a number of significant developments to the scheme, which are due to be rolled out later this year.

The revised scheme will no longer just consider facilities and equipment at a particular site, but will focus on all areas of the practice, emphasising the outcomes and behaviours that impact on the veterinary care of animals.

The existing accreditation categories of core standards, general practice and veterinary hospital will remain, but the revised scheme will provide a pathway for practices to improve and more easily demonstrate where they excel.

Practice standards group chairman Jacqui Molyneux said one of the most significant additions meant practices would be able to apply to be inspected for additional awards in specific areas.

“If successful, they would then be able to promote themselves as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ in these areas to their clients,” she said.

“The main aim of this consultation is to seek feedback on the awards and to check we have set the criteria appropriately, so I would urge members of the profession to have a look at the proposed framework and send us their views.”

The consultation also seeks feedback on the guidance provided to help practices meet the scheme requirements, along with a small number of questions about specific areas. The requirements themselves remain largely unchanged, so are not subject to review.

The modules, requirements, guidance and awards framework for small animal, equine and farm animal practices are detailed in three separate documents available to download from This page also contains further details about the consultation and instructions on how to submit feedback.

The consultation is open until 5pm on Monday, March 23.

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