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Will remote assessments be as comprehensive as a face-to-face visit?

The remote assessment process will still be looking at key areas of practice standards, such as veterinary medicines, as robustly as during a face-to-face assessment, so that any areas of concern should be noticed and noted.

For example, all the documentation and evidence regarding veterinary medicines will be either requested for upload to Stanley in advance, or will be looked at during the remote assessment. Furthermore, assessors will be ensuring that the member of the practice team who is operating the device will show them all the relevant areas that need checking and assessing.

If assessors have any concerns during the practice visit, they will put these to the Practice Standards Review Group who may recommend that further assessments may be necessary within the four-year accreditation period.

Related FAQs

  • We will contact you at least a month in advance to give you notice of the assessment, so that you can start preparing. Once an assessor has been approved by you, they will contact you to arrange the date and time of your remote assessment.

    We already operate a document upload system ‘Stanley’, which will enable practices to share all the required documentation with our assessors prior to the assessment taking place. We intend to continue using Stanley for this process but will request that you upload a few items of documentation in advance that would ordinarily be looked at on the day of a live assessment. Once upload is completed, your assessor will review the documentation before the remote assessment takes place.

    At the remote assessment, your assessor will contact you via a Microsoft Teams link, and begin a video conference with you. It is recommended that this is held on a hand-held digital device, such as a smart phone or tablet. The assessor will then have the usual discussions with you regarding your accreditation, and ask you to perform a ‘walk around’ of the practice, in order to observe the key areas such as dispensary, consulting rooms, theatre and kennels.

    Once complete, the assessor will then write up your report on Stanley in the usual way, and you will be required to submit evidence for any outstanding requirements by specified deadlines. You will also be required to sign a self-declaration that all other requirements of your accreditation have been met. This declaration may only be made by a MRCVS or RVN employed by your practice.

  • Face-to-face visits may need to be carried out, depending on previous VMD or RCVS findings, however, this is likely to only be a very small number.

    If this applies to your practice, we will contact you in advance to discuss this. Where face-to-face visits are carried out, appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and social distancing measures will be used in-line with current government advice. 

  • We will provide you with full details of the documents you need to upload to Stanley prior to your assessment.

  • The duration will vary, but we recommend you set aside at least two hours for the remote assessment at the main premises. This is likely to be reduced for any branch premises.

  • You will be contacted at least one month in advance of your assessment taking place.

  • As stated, the PSS has been approved by the VMD to uphold all the requirements of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013. As such, this means the medicines element of your accreditation is written in legislation and is a legal requirement for storing and dispensing veterinary medicines from your practice premises.

    As a result, we are unable to allow any further delays to your accreditation. This is why we have designed a remote assessment that can be carried out whilst practices may still not be operating as normal during the Covid-19 pandemic, such as by being less time consuming for practices.

    If you have any queries about your remote assessment, please contact the PSS team at: pss@rcvs.org.uk.

  • It has been agreed by the VMD, the PSG and the RCVS Covid Taskforce that the usual interim accreditation period of four years will apply, with the caveat that we reserve the right to continue carrying out spot-checks for quality and monitoring purposes.

  • The remote assessment process will be starting with practices whose assessments were due in March, April and May 2020 and then gradually catching up with other overdue assessments. There will therefore be an impact on the assessments that were originally due over the coming months.

    We cannot say for certain yet when your assessment will be held, but we will contact you with sufficient notice (at least one month in advance).

  • PSG and the Covid Taskforce have agreed to extend the duration period of all existing awards by 12 months from the renewal date.

    This decision will be reviewed by 28 February 2021.

  • Awards, by their very nature, are reliant on performing ‘business as usual’ to an excellent standard.

    In these uncertain times, it is unlikely the majority of practices are operating normally, and with that in mind, PSG and the Covid Taskforce have decided to temporarily suspend new awards applications, until February 2021, when the situation will be reviewed in light of the latest government guidance on social distancing and the situation with the pandemic.

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