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August 2022 meeting summary

The Limited / Focused Licensure Working Party (LFLWP) which was created earlier this year, met for the first time on 3 August to begin to explore how the veterinary professions can be made more accessible for disabled people. This followed a recommendation from the Legislation Review that the RCVS should have powers to introduce limited licensure.

For the first meeting, Working Party members were joined by a guest speaker from the Medical Schools Council who set the scene for how reasonable adjustments and approaches to disability currently work in the world of undergraduate and newly qualified human medicine. This presentation provided food for thought for Working Party members and allowed discussion to take place about the parallels in the approaches, but also how the veterinary medical field could seek to be more inclusive. There was certainly agreement that more can and should be done, reaffirming the timely formation of this Working Party.

During the meeting, the Working Party were asked to agree the Terms of Reference which were set out at the group’s inception which were approved as below:

  • To produce a report on current best practice in the implementation of reasonable adjustment, with recommendations for the veterinary professions
  • Reporting on whether limited/focused licensure could, in principle, increase access to veterinary degrees and veterinary nursing qualifications for those with disabilities beyond that allowed by reasonable adjustment
  • Making recommendations on related issues, such as appropriate nomenclature for any policies and practices

The Working Party also heard from the RCVS Director for Education, Linda Prescott-Clements who outlined the current Day One Competencies for Veterinary Students and the approaches schools currently take to ensure reasonable adjustments are in place for prospective students with disabilities. It was agreed that further exploration of how the competencies can be interpreted or demonstrated is needed.

This first meeting encouraged a lively discussion and considered the points of view of those working in veterinary education, those with lived experience of a disability, and veterinary professionals working in practice today. The Working Party were interested in definitions of disability and agreed to pick this up for discussion in future meetings.

After a successful initial meeting the LFLWP will be meeting again in October, and we will be producing further updates on the discussions as they unfold.