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Yes, reasonable expenses are covered, including an overnight stay in London, if that is required.


Yes, reasonable expenses are covered, including an overnight stay in London if that is required.


Council members are effectively trustees of the RCVS and have overall responsibility for RCVS activities. As stated in the answer to Question 7, you will be expected to abide by the Code of Conduct for Council and Committee Members, incorporating the Seven Principles of Public Life (the ‘Nolan principles’).


New VN Council members are invited to an induction day where they meet the President and senior staff to find out more about the role of Council and the activities of the College.

VN Council members are happy to support newly-elected members, with informal advice and a more formal “buddy” system.


Yes. This guidance will be reviewed by RCVS Council after it has been in place for 12 months.

We would therefore welcome any information or evidence that will assist with informing this review so that Council has as complete a picture as possible.

Please contact the advice team at [email protected]  


The role of the RCVS is to set, uphold and advance veterinary standards. It is not a representative body for the profession, although it is important that its Council members are representative of the profession at large. Council Members are not elected or appointed to represent any constituency and all have a responsibility equivalent to trustees for the governance of the College. 

RCVS Council sets the strategic direction of the College, by, among other things:

  • Agreeing the strategic plan (you can find the strategy online)
  • Approving the annual budget and operational plan
  • Overseeing the strategic management of organisational risk
  • Electing the President, Vice-Presidents, Treasurer, and main committee Chairs
  • Creating committees and setting their terms of reference
  • Making major policy decisions
  • Appointing the CEO and Registrar

More detail about the role of Council and of Council members can be found in 'How to stand for election',  'Information for candidates' and 'Role of Council members' section. 


For more information and an informal chat, you are welcome to contact Matthew Rendle RVN, Chair of VN Council ([email protected]); our Director of Veterinary Nursing, Julie Dugmore on [email protected]; or Annette Amato, Secretary to VN Council, on [email protected].


Your legal obligations when prescribing POM-Vs

In line with the VMRs, POM-Vs may only be supplied where there is a valid prescription by a veterinary surgeon who has carried out a clinical assessment and has the animal under their care.

There is no specific form for a prescription: it can be oral, written as a script for the client to take away or written in the notes.

However, whatever form it takes, a prescription needs to include enough information so that the person supplying against it knows what to do, whether they are another veterinary surgeon, a pharmacist, RVN, SQP or lay member of staff.

With this in mind, the VMRs specify the information that written prescriptions must include (see paragraph 6 of Schedule 3) and templates are available from veterinary associations such as BSAVA and BEVA.

Records of oral prescriptions in clinical records

For oral prescriptions noted in the clinical records, much of the required information will already be available, for example, name and address of owner, animal identification, or will be added automatically, for example, veterinary surgeon’s details, authentication of the prescriber).

Where this is the case, there is no need to repeat this information under the heading 'prescription' or add it to the prescriptions tab on the practice management system.

In addition, some information may not be relevant, for example, withdrawal period or cascade use.

However, to be a valid prescription, the veterinary surgeon will need to include details of the medication they are prescribing as follows:

a. the product name

b. the pack size/volume/quantity of the product

c. the dosage instructions

d. any necessary warnings or instructions

e. either a frequency and time period, eg ‘1 bottle a month for the next 3 months’, or a number of repeats, eg ‘can be repeated twice’

f. an end time for the repeats, eg the decision on when you next want to see the animal

g. any other information you consider relevant

In view of this, entries in the notes such as 'OK for endos and ectos' or 'Recommend fleas and wormers for the next 12 months' are not valid prescriptions and supplying POM-V antiparasitics against this kind of entry does not comply with the VMR.

Generics and alternatives

The RCVS and VMD do not recommend noting prescriptions as mg/kg due to possible errors being made when the dose is calculated. However, where the generic active ingredient is prescribed in mg/kg, the prescribing vet will need to authorise this prior to the product being dispensed.

Generally, recording alternative or contingent prescriptions in the notes is not acceptable. However, for situations where listing one alternative might be appropriate, please see joint guidance published by the RCVS and Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).

Further guidance

Further guidance on prescribing and supplying veterinary medicines is provided by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.

If you have any concerns arising from the above information, please contact our advice team on 020 7202 0789 or [email protected].

Last updated: 9 February 2024


New Council members are invited to an induction day at the College where they meet the President and senior staff to find out more about the role of Council and the activities of the College, and ongoing training is set throughout the year.

Council members are happy to support newly-elected members with informal advice and a formal mentoring role was also introduced in 2017.


Our Council members tell us that being on VN Council has broadened their horizons and allowed them to meet people and go places they never would normally have done. In some cases, it’s given them back the buzz about their profession that they enjoyed when they first qualified. They feel good about giving something back to their profession – and often the employers benefit too, from having someone on their team ‘at the heart’ of the governance of the profession.

Council work can count as CPD if you feel it has helped you meet your development objectives, and it’s even been rumoured that it can be fun….

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