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The RCVS has a duty to act in the public interest as the UK regulatory authority for veterinary surgeons.

The requirement for disclosure of cautions, convictions and adverse findings has been introduced to safeguard the welfare of animals and of the public, and brings the veterinary profession in line with many others, as professions seek to assure the public that their members are fit to practise.

If a veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse is convicted or cautioned or investigated for serious alleged criminal activity, the police may inform the RCVS under the Common Law Police Disclosure (CLPD) provisions. These relate to the circumstances in which the police use common law powers to disclose police information regarding an individual in order to enable a third party to consider risk mitigation measures in respect of an employment or voluntary role believed to be undertaken by that individual. The RCVS was previously a party of the Notifiable Occupation Scheme, but the Common Law Police Disclosures (CLPD) provisions took effect from 2nd March 2015, following the withdrawal by the Home Secretary of Home Office Circular 6/2006 – the Notifiable Occupations Scheme. However, the CLPD provisions do not negate the requirement for veterinary surgeons to make full disclosure to the RCVS.