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Practice Standards Scheme introduces remote assessments for RCVS-accredited practices

23 September 2020

The RCVS Practice Standards Scheme (PSS) is introducing remote assessments for RCVS-accredited practices so that it can continue to ensure standards are being met, while protecting public health during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Practice Standards Group, the governing group for the PSS that comprises representatives from all of the major veterinary and veterinary nursing organisations in the UK, approved plans for remote assessments last week, which were then approved by the RCVS Covid Taskforce.

The remote assessments will mean that the RCVS team of Practice Standards Scheme Assessors will be able to ensure that RCVS-accredited practices are meeting the Veterinary Medicines Regulations (the Veterinary Medicines Directorate has given the RCVS permission to check these remotely), the Core Standards of the PSS and other key standards relating to the practices accreditation type and level.

Mandisa GreeneDr Mandisa Greene (pictured), RCVS President and Chair of the Practice Standards Group, explains: “We have introduced these remote assessments as a means of being able to quality assure veterinary practices that are either in the Scheme or who wish to join it, while still making sure that public health is safeguarded and that the burden our face-to-face assessments may place on practices is reduced.

“All our Practice Standards Scheme Assessors will be trained in carrying out remote assessments, and practices that are due an assessment will be given the full details of how it will work in advance, just like if a physical assessment of the premises were taking place.

“In the immediate-term we will be prioritising those practices that were due assessment visits in March, April and May this year which were cancelled due to the nationwide lockdown and they are currently being contacted to make arrangements. We will then start a rolling programme of visits for the other delayed assessments over the next few months. We will aim to give all practices at least one month’s notice before a visit takes place.”

In order to help veterinary teams at RCVS-accredited practices understand the changes and its implications, the RCVS has produced a list of anticipated ‘frequently asked questions’ containing the full details of how the remote assessments will work. 

Those with any additional enquiries should contact the RCVS Practice Standards Team on pss@rcvs.org.uk

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