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Welcome to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

VN Council


Terms of Reference

VN Council meeting held in October 2012The RCVS Veterinary Nurses Council was established in 2002 and replaced the Veterinary Nurses Committee.

It has overall responsibility for all matters concerning veterinary nurse training, post-qualification awards and the registration (listing) of qualified veterinary nurses. (View full terms of reference)



The VN Council comprises veterinary nurses, veterinary surgeons and lay people - details of whom are provided below. The veterinary surgeons are drawn both from RCVS Council and appointments made by the VN Council.

Veterinary Nurses

  • Mrs Lucy Bellwood RVN

  • Mrs Elizabeth Cox RVN - Chair

  • Mrs Elizabeth Figg REVN

  • Mrs Andrea Jeffery RVN

  • Mrs Katherine Kissick RVN - Vice-Chair

  • Miss Hilary Orpet RVN

  • Miss Amber Richards RVN

  • Miss Marie Rippingale REVN


Veterinary Surgeons

  • Mrs Victoria Aspinall MRCVS (non-RCVS Council)

  • Mr Niall Connell MRCVS - Vice-Chair

  • Mr Peter Robinson MRCVS 

  • Col Neil Smith MRCVS


Lay members

  • Mrs Alison Carr

  • Mr Dominic Dyer

  • Prof Sue Proctor

  • Mrs Penelope Swindlehurst


Committee Secretary

Annette Amato (T 020 7202 0713, E


Meeting dates and papers

View the VN Council meetings page for meeting dates and links to VN Council agendas and papers.


VN Council membership of other Committees and Sub-committees

Members of VN Council also sit on a number of other RCVS Committees and Sub-committees.


The full terms of reference of the Veterinary Nurses' Council are as follows:

  1. To maintain the list of veterinary nurses referred to in Schedule 3 to the Veterinary Surgeons Act.
  2. To establish and keep under review standards of proficiency for safe and effective veterinary nursing practice, including requirements for admission to the list of veterinary nurses and the training and examinations to be undertaken.
  3. To ensure compliance with the requirements of the relevant regulatory authorities relating to vocational qualifications in veterinary nursing.
  4. To establish and keep under review standards of good character and conduct required for listed veterinary nurses and develop a voluntary system of regulation.
  5. To establish and keep under review schemes for post-qualification training and continuing professional development for veterinary nurses, and the outcomes to be achieved, with a view to recording an additional entry in the list mentioned in Schedule 3 to the Veterinary Surgeons Act.
  6. To recommend to the Operational Board a budget and levels of fees to be charged for awarding body functions, qualification, listing and post qualification diplomas.
  7. To recommend to the Council amendments to the Veterinary Nursing Bye-Laws and Advanced Veterinary Nursing Bye-Laws.
  8. To oversee the work of the Awarding Body Board.
  9. In exercising its functions, the Veterinary Nurses’ Council shall ensure that the welfare of animals and good veterinary practice are central to its work.

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