Review of the Day One Competences

This consultation has now closed.

We have set up a working party to review the RCVS 'Day One Competences' (D1C) and are seeking views at the outset to help inform this work. You are invited to complete the survey to help inform the Working Party’s discussions on whether the D1C need to be updated and if so, in what way.



The D1C set out in broad terms what is required of new veterinary graduates at the end of their veterinary degree, to prepare them for safe practice on ‘day one’ after they graduate.

Since they were first set down over ten years ago, the D1Cs have provided the foundation for curriculum design and student assessment in UK veterinary degree courses, and they have also been incorporated into European evaluation criteria for veterinary degrees across Europe and elsewhere.

Whilst the D1C form the cornerstone for the veterinary curriculum, they are not the sole measure against which degree courses are evaluated and students are assessed. Nor do they dictate how subjects should be taught or courses structured.

The generic nature of the D1C allows universities flexibility to innovate and build on their strengths, provided that all students can at least meet these core D1C by the time they graduate.

View more details about the RCVS’s accreditation criteria.



“Competence” involves the integration of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours, such that the professional can perform effectively in a variety of contexts, is able to respond appropriately to change and cope with the unexpected.

The D1C are therefore deliberately general as they aim to convey the important principles that all students must achieve by the time they graduate, regardless of the precise curriculum they have followed, so that they are safe to practise in a range of veterinary contexts from day one after they graduate. 



Skills lists, on the other hand, are more specific and are used by the universities to guide students and examiners on the sorts of procedures that students are expected to perform under supervision  or observe.

For example, the competence “apply the principles of aseptic surgery” could be assessed by observing a student undertaking a routine castration in one species, excising a small tumour in another, and wound management in a third

The procedures undertaken by each student may vary slightly, but their learning should be transferable from one area to another.   


Universities and students work with more detailed lists of skills and procedures (such as the RVC’s Day One Skills), which map to the RCVS D1C, and which guide students on the skills they need to undertake or observe before they graduate.

Later this year, we will be introducing an online student experience log which will enable students to keep on online record of all the practical and clinical skills they have covered at university during their intramural rotations and EMS.

This will help them to plan their learning and lead them naturally into their Professional Development Phase (PDP) after they qualify.


Your views

We would welcome your views on the D1C - a copy of the statement is available to download from the 'Related Documents’ box on the right - please make sure you read these first and then complete the survey.

The deadline for completing the survey is 5pm on Friday 31 May 2013.