Summary of November 2014 RCVS Council meeting

14 November 2014

At its 6 November meeting Council agreed to continue to display postnominals in the Register, undertake a consultation on whether members should be able to use the courtesy title ‘doctor’ and make amendments to our current registration regulations.

From left: Amanda Boag, Gordon Hockey, Stuart Reid, Nick Stace and Bradley Viner

Here is a summary of some of the main decisions made by Council. The full Council papers are also available to view.


Council discussed and approved the College’s budget for 2015.


RCVS Charter

Council heard that the new Royal Charter had been approved by the Privy Council the previous evening and approved new rules relating to the registration of veterinary nurses which need to be in place when our new Royal Charter comes into effect and new bye-laws to replace the existing ones which will be revoked when the Charter is sealed and brought into effect.


Registration regulations

Council agreed to amend a number of the current regulations for the registration of veterinary surgeons in order to make the process more convenient for registrants.

Key changes include allowing veterinary surgeons to supply either a work or home address for publication in the Register, not charging a punitive additional restoration fee for those who are restored to the Register at the direction of the Disciplinary Committee and no longer levying an administrative charge on credit card payments – a change which will also now allow us to accept debit card payments.

The new registration regulations have now been submitted to the Privy Council, which will need to grant approval before they come into effect.


Postnominal qualifications

Council confirmed that we will continue to display postnominals for postgraduate qualifications in the Register – reversing a previous decision to remove all postnominals except those for the registerable degree and MRCVS or FRCVS.

Council agreed that the following postnominals would be included on the Register – primary veterinary qualifications that the College has a legal obligation to display; qualifications approved for Advanced Practitioner and Specialist status; and other qualifications and honorary postnominals deemed relevant by Council including some non-veterinary/science-related qualifications.


Use of ‘doctor’ title

Council agreed to undertake a consultation on whether members should be allowed to use the courtesy title ‘doctor’.

The proposals were brought forward by President Professor Stuart Reid who cited the fact that international veterinary surgeons used the title, that medical practitioners in the UK carry the courtesy title and a recent decision by the General Dental Council to allow dentists the use the title.

Council agreed to open the issue to an online consultation with both the public and profession, which is likely to be launched before Christmas.


Committee reports

Council members heard reports from VN Council and the Audit and Risk, Education, Standards, Preliminary Investigation, Disciplinary and PIC/DC Liaison Committees. Papers for each can be also be found in the full Council papers.



During the afternoon session of Council, members considered a range of possible options for reforming the governance structure of the College.

The case for reform was outlined by Professor Reid who asked Council members to consider its decision-making functions, size, composition and frequency of meetings.

Following group discussions various views were put forward, including a larger consultative Council which would meet less frequently, alongside an enlarged Operational Board which would meet monthly; and having a smaller Council which would meet more frequently.

The Operational Board will now be considering these views and will put further proposals to Council in March.


Delegation of Council powers

Council agreed a recommendation put forward by members Mark Elliott and Richard Stephenson that recognised that while much decision-making had been delegated to committees (eg the Standards and Education Committees), Council members should feel able to discuss decisions made in committee with which they disagree.

Furthermore, the recommendation stated that committees should be encouraged to refer major policy decisions to Council for ratification.

The majority of recommendations were accepted in principle by Council.

More information about these decisions can be found in the latest edition of RCVS News, copies of which have been sent to all veterinary surgeons and listed/registered veterinary nurses.


Photographs from the meeting are available on our Flickr photostream.

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