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The test for treatment that falls far short is higher than the test for negligence. In addition, the test for treatment that falls far short relates primarily to the work carried out, not the outcome. (For negligence, the outcome – the loss or damage – is of primary importance.)

The following may be taken into account in appropriate cases because they reduce the risk of similar problems occurring:

  1. the RVN has accepted his/her mistake and is likely to learn from the incident;
  2. the RVN is likely to adhere to advice from the RCVS;
  3. the RVN has taken steps or has agreed to take steps to prevent similar situations arising;
  4. the RVN has undertaken or is willing to undertake further professional development to improve his/her skills in specific areas including communication skills courses.

The Stage one PIC may at any time seek direction from the RVNPIC Chair or the Head of Professional Conduct.

If the Stage one RVNPIC cannot conclude that there is not a realistic prospect on the basis of the information it has, it will refer a case to Stage 2 for consideration.

The STage one RVNPIC may refer a case to Stage 2 as considered appropriate, for example, if the case is of wider significance to the profession.

The Stage one RVNPIC will provide a written record of its decision.

The Stage one RVNPIC may give advice to an RVN when concluding an investigation.