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The RCVS Impact Award

The RCVS Impact Award was agreed by RCVS Council in 2017, with the first award being made in 2018.

Mark Little receiving the 2023 Impact Award from Melissa Donald

The award is bestowed upon a veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse who has recently, or is currently, undertaking a project, initiative or similar that has a significant impact on the profession at large, animal health or welfare, or public health.

Such impact could have been made through any field of veterinary endeavour, including clinical practice, research, education or veterinary politics.

Nominations can be made by any MRCVS or RVN, excluding current RCVS Council and VN Council members. The nominations period usually starts in the autumn and closes in December.

Up to two RCVS Impact Awards can be bestowed in any year.

The nomination period for the 2024 RCVS Honours & Awards is now closed

Successful nominees for RCVS Honours & Awards will be announced in March 2024 and will be invited to attend Royal College Day in July 2024. 

Previous RCVS Impact Award recipients

2023: Dr Mark Little MRCVS, was jointly president of the British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) Northern Ireland branch and the Northern Ireland Veterinary Association (NIVA) for 2021/2022, a crucial time for the country’s veterinary sector as the impact of the post-EU Exit arrangements under the Northern Ireland Protocol were being worked out. During his time as president, Mark recognised the need for and spearheaded the response around the concerning issue of veterinary medicine supply to Northern Ireland at the end of the Brexit "grace period" in December 2022.

2023: Dr Collin Willson MRCVS, was nominated for his long and impactful career in veterinary public health and food safety, including providing expertise and policy input to the BVA and its divisions and, in particular, for his work with the Halal meat industry, ensuring that the right balance is struck between animal welfare concerns and respect for religious and cultural practices.

2022: Dr Liz Barton MRCVS, was recognised for her work in championing women leaders within the veterinary professions, working to enhance the wellbeing of the professions through the WellVet Initiative she co-founded, and using social media to develop sources of professional and personal support for working mothers within the veterinary professions. 

2022: Professor Clare Rusbridge FRCVS, was recognised for her research and clinical work on Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia (CMSM) which she discovered in King Charles Spaniels in 1997. Since then she has written some 59 scholarly articles on CMSM and in 2006 developed a CMSM treatment algorithm which has been translated into several languages and is regularly updated in order to allow dogs without easy access to veterinary neurologists to receive optimal care. 

2021: Alison Lambert MRCVS, the founder and owner of veterinary business consultancy Onswitch which looks to help veterinary businesses create customer-centred practice so that pets, horses and livestock receive the best care. Her nominator is Susie Samuel MRCVS said Alison had inspired the veterinary profession in the UK and around the world to improve the customer experience (Cx) of the client.

2021: Dr Gwenllian Rees MRCVS, nominated for her involvement in the Arwain Vet Cymru (AVC) project, a collaborative national antimicrobial stewardship program for all farm vets in Wales. Her nominator Robert Edward Smith MRCVS, praised Gwenllian for training a network of Veterinary Prescribing Champions (VPCs) across Wales to promote responsible medicine use and introduce antimicrobial stewardship policies into their practices, translating into real, practical, on-farm change.

2020: Dr Rosie Allister MRCVS, a leading campaigner and researcher for and about veterinary mental health, as well as a veterinary educator, the manager of the Vetlife Helpline and a member of the RCVS Mind Matters Initiative Taskforce for her contributions to research, awareness-raising and tackling stigma around mental health.

2020: Hannah Capon MRCVS, the co-founder and director of Canine Arthritis Management (CAM), a self-funded social enterprise that provides advice to both other veterinary professionals and animal owners on the treatment and management of arthritis in dogs, for her contributions to awareness-raising of canine arthritis amongst the profession and public.

2019: Professor Sarah Louise Freeman FRCVS, Professor of Veterinary Surgery at the University of Nottingham, for her work developing the ‘REACT now to prevent colic’ educational programme with The British Horse Society - which has had a significant impact on equine welfare, public awareness and the veterinary profession as a result of their research and educational campaigns. 

2019: Professor Paul Damien McGreevy FRCVS, Professor of Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare Science at the University of Sydney in Australia, for showing how the training of veterinary surgeons can lead to remarkable international impact on animal health and welfare.  

2018: Jade Statt MRCVS, co-founder of the StreetVet charity which provides free and accessible veterinary care to homeless pet owners on the streets of London and other cities in England. Please listen to our podcast interview with Jade Statt in which she speaks about the difference StreetVet has made to the homeless community and their companion animals.