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Standards & Advice update: June 2022

The Standards Committee has approved changes to Chapter 23 of the supporting guidance to the Code of Professional Conduct which deals with advertising and publicity. Under the new guidance, veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses may endorse veterinary products and services, provided that product or service is underpinned by sound scientific principles or has a recognised evidence base.

The revised guidance also clarifies the position regarding recommendations made in the course of treatment and requires that any conflicts of interest arising from endorsement activities are declared. Guidance on maintaining clinical freedom and how the RCVS defines different forms of advertising is also included.

Melissa Donald Melissa Donald (pictured), Chair of the RCVS Standards Committee, commented: "This represents a change from the RCVS previous position and aims to strike a balance between allowing greater freedom of veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses who wish to develop their own products and services and protecting animal health and welfare, the public, and the reputation of the professions."

As part of this review, the Standards Committee also approved changes to Chapter 9 of the supporting guidance in relation to recommending or favouring animal insurance. The update provides further information and guidance regarding the relevant authorisation required from the Financial Conduct Authority.

To read the new guidance in full, please see Chapters 9 and 23 of the supporting guidance to the Code of Professional Conduct for further information. If you have any questions about these changes, please contact the RCVS Standards & Advice Team on [email protected]

Routine veterinary practice ('RVP')

On 1 July 2022, new guidance for routine veterinary practice (‘RVP’), formerly known as recognised veterinary practice, will be introduced by the RCVS to empower the profession to make their own judgements about RVP and clinical veterinary research (‘CVR’).

Following approval by the RCVS Standards Committee, the new guidance, which replaces Chapter 25 of the supporting guidance to the Code of Professional Conduct, will help the profession to determine whether a procedure, series of procedures, or study is RVP, CVR, or whether it is experimental and so should be regulated by the Home Office under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act. This in turn will assist vets in deciding whether ethics review is required, what level of consent should be obtained, and from whom.

The full details of the changes can be found in this news story

June 2022