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VN student with dog

Our standards set out the professional values, knowledge, skills and behaviours required of Accredited Education Institutions (AEIs), Centres, Delivery Sites and Training Practices (TPs). 

These standards aim to provide AEIs and TPs with the flexibility to develop innovative approaches to all education for student veterinary nurses, while being accountable for the local delivery and management of accredited programmes in line with RCVS Standards Framework for Licence to Practise Veterinary Nurse Qualifications.  Accredited Institutions may offer various academic and flexible educational routes.

AEIs must be accredited against these standards to award any RCVS Licence to Practise Veterinary Nurse Qualification. 

AEIs are responsible for working with centres and training practices to manage the quality of their educational programmes. Overall responsibility for the day-to-day management of the quality of any educational programme lies with an AEI in partnership with centres and training practices who provide opportunities for clinical experience (placement or employed) to veterinary nursing students.

Before a programme can be run, an accreditation process takes place through which we check that the proposed programme meets our standards. Examples of evidence have been provided, however, this is not an exhaustive list and AEIs can offer their own evidence appropriate to the requirements.  Animal health and welfare and public safety are central to our standards. Students will be in contact with patients and their owners throughout their education and it is important that they learn in a safe and effective way.

Through our quality assurance (QA) processes we check that education programmes meet our standards and that centres and training practices are managing risks effectively. Using internal and external intelligence we monitor risks to quality in education and training; this intelligence gathering includes analysis of system regulator reports.

AEIs are monitored and we have processes for collecting, analysing and responding to any risk intelligence we receive regarding educational programmes, including concerns raised with us directly by students. AEIs are also required to self-report any risks or concerns that could affect the quality of programme delivery and, therefore, animal health and welfare and public protection.

We strongly encourage people to take part in QA events, where they will be asked to share experiences of veterinary nurse education and suggest improvements.

With grateful thanks to the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) for allowing us to adopt the structure and format of the Standards of Proficiency for Registered Nurses.

We would also like to take the opportunity to thank all the stakeholders that contributed to the development of the new framework.