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Practice Standards Scheme temporarily returns to remote assessments

16 December 2021

Following the government announcement on Wednesday 8 December 2021 to introduce ‘plan B’ Covid-19 restrictions, we have taken the decision to carry out remote PSS assessments again on a temporary basis.

This is in response to government restrictions which include mandatory wearing of facemasks in veterinary practices and asking people to work from home where possible, which was effective from Monday 13 December for a period of at least six weeks.

The updated RCVS Covid-19 guidance for the profession emphasises the need to maintain social distancing and wear PPE in practice to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. We always want to put the safety of practice teams and our assessors first, and in light of the government measures, we have taken the decision to temporarily return to remote PSS assessments.

We plan to use remote assessments between 4 and 28 January 2022, and will review if we need to extend the use of remote assessments  in the middle of January.

Practices who have an assessment scheduled for December or January will have been or will be contacted by their PSS Assessor to notify them of the move to a remote assessment and to confirm the appointment details. This will be followed up with an email  from the PSS Team with the Practice guide to remote PSS assessments and further instructions.

Practices are advised that the remote assessment format has been updated to be relevant for version 3 of the PSS standards, which have been in effect since October 2021. The list of documents to be uploaded can be found at the back of the remote assessment guide and will need to be referred to in place of the required documents shown on Stanley.

As before, any practices that have been identified as ‘high risk’ (as advised by the VMD or based on the number of VMR deficiencies at the previous PSS assessment) will not be eligible for a remote assessment. For these practices, we will arrange an in-person assessment as soon as possible in February.

Any Awards assessments that are due before February 2022 will also be postponed and arranged from February 2022 as possible. If you are due a remote assessment and have any further questions about the process, please contact the PSS Team at pss@rcvs.org.uk or on 020 7202 0767.

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