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Why is mandatory practice regulation being recommended?

Every veterinary practice must be compliant with a number of laws and regulations relating to standards. At present, these are covered by the ‘Core Standards’ level of the RCVS’s Practice Standards Scheme (PSS). However, as that scheme is not mandatory the RCVS has no power to assure that these standards are being met in a significant minority of practices. It is well understood that there are many excellent practices who are not members of the PSS, but it is the role of a regulator to assure and uphold standards – it cannot merely assume them.

Mandatory practice regulation would provide this assurance for the public by ensuring that all practices are inspected. Any mandatory scheme could look somewhat different to, and sit alongside, the existing PSS scheme.

A mandatory scheme would be somewhat toothless without the College having Powers of Entry to ensure that they are able to inspect practices, in line with the powers currently held by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in the human healthcare sector.