How many letters? Image ©
How many letters? Image ©

The RCVS is changing the Register of Members so that only qualifications immediately relevant to your registration will show up – so anyone with extra degrees (Masters, and so on) will be listed plain old “BVMS MRCVS”.

For some reason the RCVS has taken advice on board that this simplifies the ranking of vets for the general public.

I cannot agree…

Reginald Bathwaite BVMS MRCVS is not the same in anyone’s view as Susan McDonald BSc BVMS LLM MVM PGCert(ExAP) CBiol MSB MRCVS none of which denotes “Advanced Practitioner” or “Specialist” status, but does show anyone enquiring that she has undertaken further study and reached a high level of proficiency, backed up by the awarding institution’s reputation.

RCVS CEO Nick Stace, in his response to the petition to “Keep post-graduate qualifications on the RCVS register”, states that these degrees are not an indicator of current proficiency, just that at one point in time that individual reached a particular threshold, whereas Advanced Practitioners and Specialists are revalidated every five years.

While correct, this is a devaluing of degrees and the work that goes into earning them.

This change, however, does only affect the listing in the register of members, and not what you put on business cards, brass plaques and websites.

If you intend on doing certificates, masters degrees and so on, I would urge you to voice your opinion now.

The RCVS does seem to be aware that this decision is unpopular, and their response to this is posted here, although I have to say that I will be pleasantly surprised if they change their mind – apparently the original decision made by RCVS council was unanimous.


EDITOR’S NOTE: For clarification, the RCVS Operational Board has now requested that council review its decision to remove postnominals from the register. RCVS council members will review the decision at its next meeting on June 5, 2012.

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