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Exemption Orders & Associates Working Party


Our Exemption Orders & Associates Working Party was established in early 2016 when Defra asked for us to take the lead on a review of exemptions under which certain allied professionals and laypeople can undertake acts of veterinary surgery under particular circumstances.

Among the issues considered by the Working Party are:

  • Reviewing the existing exemptions and deciding if they are suitable;
  • Assessing whether the terms of the existing orders are adequate in terms of animal welfare;
  • Assessing whether there are any additional acts of veterinary surgery which could be subject to an exemption order;
  • Consideration as to whether a ‘master exemption order’, to be used as a template for all exemption orders, is possible and desirable;
  • Developing the criteria for RCVS associate status; and, 
  • Coordinating with VN Council’s review of Schedule 3.


  • Dr Bradley Viner (Chair) - Former RCVS President 
  • Mr Richard Drummond - Veterinary Consultant, Former Deputy Director of Defra Professor 
  • Prof Tim Greet - RCVS Council Member (Veterinary Surgeon) 
  • Mr Peter Jinman - Former RCVS Council Member (Veterinary Surgeon) 
  • Mrs Kathy Kissick - Former Chair of VN Council 
  • Mr Mark McLaren - Lay member, formerly of Which? 
  • Dr Kate Richards - RCVS Council Member (Veterinary Surgeon) 
  • Ms Gudrun Ravetz - President of BVA 
  • Professor Nairn Wilson - Lay member, dentist and former President of the General Dental Council and British Dental Association


We have created a set of principles on which the inclusion of additional exemption orders to the Veterinary Surgeons Act should be based and have subsequently created a set of recommendations for revising the existing exemption orders, creating new ones and removing defunct orders.

Furthermore, we have created two models of ‘association’ with the College to allow allied professionals to come under the regulatory umbrella of the College under the remit of its Royal Charter, as is currently the case with veterinary nurses.

We are currently preparing a report to Defra on these issues.