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Welcome to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Accreditation process

Introducing Stanley

StanleyStanley is the online administration and support system for the Practice Standards Scheme through which the assessment process is managed.

Offering step-by-step guidance on the Scheme's requirements, Stanley provides a document storage facility, a reminder service for appointments and expiry dates, a self-assessment tool to mark your progress and an easier way to communication with the assessors and PSS Team here at the College.


Preparing for your initial accreditation assessment

  • The modules list the requirements for each type of accreditation by species treated. Stanley will take you through the relevant requirements depending on your choice of accreditation.
  • Practices are required to upload pre-assessment documents via Stanley which will be checked by their allocated assessor before the visit is agreed. Stanley will indicate where an upload is needed with an icon.
  • Ensure routine maintenance and testing of equipment has been undertaken.


The Practice Standards Modules, Rules of the Scheme and the PSS Handbook can be found in the 'Related documents' box.


The assessment process

  • AssessorsThe PSS Team will notify the practice via Stanley (PSS IT system) with details of the proposed assessor.
  • Once an assessor has been accepted, they will contact your practice’s named PSS contact to arrange a mutually convenient date to visit, using the contact details provided via Stanley. 
  • Assessors will check the pre-assessment uploaded documentation prior to the visit.
  • During the visit the assessor will check outstanding paperwork, tour the premises, look at facilitiess and equipment, and talk to team members. The assessor may also wish to talk with your clients in the waiting room and observe consultations with permission.
  • Six to eight weeks after the visit confirmation of the outcome and findings of the assessment will be sent using Stanley. This will detail any evidence that needs to be supplied which is usually requested to be supplied within one, three or six months of the outcome being issued. Exceptional circumstances may require immediate rectification of areas for improvement.
  • Post-assessment evidence uploaded by the practice will be sent to the assessor to review and if any evidence is incorrect or has not been supplied, feedback will be provided by the assessor or the PSS Team will be in touch.
  • Once the assessor has confirmed compliance a certificate pack will be issued to the practice and Find a Vet will be updated to show that the premises are accredited.


The assessment process for existing members

Once the practice premises or group is accredited the assessment process is repeated every four years. In addition to this you may be visited randomly for a spot assessment in order to ensure consistent high standards accross the Schemes membership. Practices may also request an assessment due to moving premises or changing accreditation. 

The types of assessment for existing members are listed below:


Routine assessment

Full routine assessments on all practice premises take place every four years. 


Spot assessment

Practices in the Practice Standards Scheme are also subject to spot checks. These are shorter (generally up to two hours) and more focused than routine assessments. Documentation will generally not be needed and it should not be a problem if key team members are not available. 

Spot checks are arranged in advance but with much less warning than a routine assessment visit (24 to 48 hours notice).


Requested assessment (fees apply):


These generally fall into the following categories:

Moving premises: You must contact the PSS team as soon as you are aware that you are moving. When you have notified us of the move you will be asked to select one of the following options:

  1. Retain your accreditation at the new premises. An assessment will need to take place one month after the date of opening. After this visit, you will then have one month to provide evidence to show that any areas for improvement have been addressed or your accreditation will be suspended.
  2. Lose accreditation and await the next routine assessment. Until accredited after the next assessment, any reference to the practice premises as being accredited must cease.
  3. Lose accreditation and arrange a visit before the next routine assessment date. The practice can wait until it has settled into the new premises and then request an assessment to be arranged. As for option b) above, until accreditation from this visit is granted, any reference to the practice premises as being accredited must cease.

New premises/acquisitions: Options for assessment as for moving premises (see above). 

Accreditation changes: e.g. Core Standards to General Practice. Please contact us to discern whether a visit is required.

Alteration to premises:  Should extensive refurbishment be undertaken at a practice it is likely that functions of rooms and the way staff work will alter. The PSS Team should be contacted with details of the changes which are due to take place at the practice to review whether a visit is required.

Please contact the PSS Team for further information if you need to arrange an assessment or to notify us of planned refurbishment/building extension. Information about registering new premises can be found in the Register of Veterinary Practice Premises section.


Who are the Assessors?

  • All assessors must be at least five years qualified as an MRCVS; be in full or part-time veterinary practice (or to have been so within the previous three years) and be approved as having suitable experience in the species area for undertaking inspections of each appropriate accreditation.
  • A list of the current assessors can be found on our 'Meet the PSS Assessors' page.
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