Proposal for new Royal Charter

This consultation has now closed and the text below was updated in July 2014.

What is happening?

Following our First Rate Regulator Initiative we consulted in December 2013 on proposals to update our Royal Charter. A summary of points made in responses to the consultation is available to download on the right. Now, following a recommendation from the RCVS Council, veterinary surgeons have voted unanimously (at the annual general meeting on 11 July 2014) to submit a new Charter to the Privy Council for approval. The text of the resolution and of the new Charter is available to download from the 'Related documents' box at the bottom of this page.


What does the Charter do?

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons exists by virtue of a Royal Charter of 1844. A Supplemental Charter of 1967 regulates the internal affairs of the College and gives us certain powers (e.g. to employ staff and own property). We regulate the veterinary profession under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, but we rely on the 1967 Charter for powers to do other things such as awarding Fellowships, certificates and diplomas.


Why do we need a new Charter?

The current Charter is very out of date in some respects, and there are significant omissions. It does not include a statement of objects, explaining what the College is there to do. The proposed new Charter sets out our objects as to

‘set, uphold and advance veterinary standards, and to promote, encourage and advance the study and practice of the art and science of veterinary surgery and medicine, in the interests of the health and welfare of animals and in the wider public interest’.

The new Charter will also describe much more clearly the kind of activities which the College can undertake alongside its work under the Veterinary Surgeons Act.


What does this mean for veterinary nurses?

The new Charter will recognise Registered Veterinary Nurses as members of a regulated profession who are answerable for their professional conduct. They will have the formal status of associates of the College and continue to use the postnominals RVN. The Charter will also recognise the Veterinary Nurses’ Council as the body which sets standards for the training, education and conduct of Registered Veterinary Nurses. Those listed veterinary nurses who have not opted to become RVNs will be transferred to the Register of Veterinary Nurses automatically.


Is the proposed Charter the same as the version of December 2013?

There are a number of detailed changes to tighten up the drafting and clarify what is intended. A note explaining the changes is available to download.


What happens next?

The proposed Charter has been submitted to the Privy Council - in effect, the Government - for approval. Following a meeting of the Privy Council on 16 July the proposal has been advertised in the London Gazette, and it is hoped that the new Charter will be approved and come into operation in the autumn.