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Standard 2 - Governance and quality

standard 2 - governance and equality


There are effective governance systems that ensure compliance with all legal, regulatory, professional and educational requirements and clear lines of responsibility and accountability for meeting those requirements

All learning environments optimise 16safety and quality, taking account of the diverse needs of, and working in partnership with, students and all other stakeholders.


Accredited education institutions, together with centres and training practices, must:

  1. comply with all relevant legal, regulatory, professional and educational requirements.

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) report and action plans
    2. Office for Students report and action plans
    3. Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) report and action plans
    4. RCVS quality monitoring report and action plans
    5. External examiners reports and action plans
    6. minutes of validation/accreditation event and evidence of any conditions have been addressed
    7. New programmes only: RCVS pre-accreditation support


    Evidence of the following reports may be shown to demonstrate compliance:

    · Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual)

    · Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)

    · RCVS Quality Monitoring

    · EE reports

    · Office for Students registration

    · TP/aTP approvals and audits

    The AEI/Delivery Site should also demonstrate that module content for regulatory and professional modules/units is current.

  2. provide all information and evidence required by regulators in a timely manner, ie within published timescales.

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. Completed action plans from regulatory, professional, and legal bodies


    Evidence of timely completion of actions set by all relevant regulatory, professional and education bodies.  

  3. ensure programmes are designed to meet RCVS Day One Competences and Skills for Veterinary Nurses, QAA Veterinary Nursing Benchmarks and outcomes relevant to the programme.

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. Curriculum mapping documents to meet RCVS Day One Competences / RCVS Day One Skills
    2. Curriculum mapping document to QAA Veterinary Nursing Benchmarks (HEIs)


    Evidence to be provided to show mapping of the DOC/DOS within theory modules/units of the programme and competency throughout the DOS in practice through a relevant tool.

    QAA benchmarks and programme outcomes must also be fully mapped.

    AEIs may wish to present a spreadsheet indicating the mapping.  

  4. comply with the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. Module/unit documentation
    2. Programme curriculum
    3. Lesson observation records
    4. Schemes of Work
    5. Lesson planning documentation
    6. Student and Clinical Supervisor handbooks


    The RCVS CoPC should be clearly embedded within the Programme Handbook, Module Handbooks, TALO paperwork, TP/aTP annual audit paperwork.

  5. comply with the RCVS Veterinary Nursing Registration Rules.

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. Adequate placement provision / employment
    2. Programme specification
    3. Qualification Handbook


    Sufficient placement time should be allocated within the programme schedule to ensure the RCVS training hours requirements can be met.

    Sufficient logging and authentication of hours should be evidenced for all students.

    To ensure students who miss allocated placement time are not disadvantaged, there should be leeway within the programme timetabling for students to be able to make up missed training hours.

    Fitness to Practise needs to be embedded within both theory and clinical work and can be evidenced in the Scheme of Work (SoW), Module/unit Handbooks, Placement Handbooks and Behavioural Evaluations.

  6. adopt a partnership approach, with shared responsibility, evidenced by a Memorandum of Understanding between the approved education institution and the delivery site and between the delivery site and the training practice. This must be regularly reviewed and clearly stipulate the roles, responsibilities, and regulatory requirements.

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. Memoranda of Understanding
    2. Quality Assurance Procedures
    3. Risk assessments
    4. Review meeting minutes
    5. TP / aTP handbook
    6. Clinical Supervisor handbook

    7. Delivery site approval documents

    8. TP/aTP secondment documents


    Detailed and current Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the AEI and Delivery Site, where applicable. Where the delivery is undertaken at the same location as the validating institution, the AEI must be assured that there is a clear definition of roles and responsibilities and that regulatory requirements are being met.  

    Detailed and current MoU between the Delivery Site and TP/aTP.

    The Placement Handbook clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of the AEI, Delivery Site, TP/aTP, Clinical Supervisors and Students.

    TP/aTP approval and monitoring paperwork stipulates allocated training time within placement hours and supervision of students by an RVN or MRCVS (UK Practising).

  7. ensure that recruitment, selection and retention of students is open, fair and transparent and includes measures to understand and address underrepresentation.

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. Selection criteria for admission
    2. Recruitment documentation
    3. Copies of student certificates
    4. Accredited Prior Learning (APL) /Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) policy
    5. Equality of opportunity policy
    6. Interview records
    7. Self-Assessment Reports
    8. Widening participation policy


    The AEI’s commitment to address and recruit underrepresented students should be detailed within the recruitment policy.

    Student entry requirements must be suitable for the level of qualification and original certificates should be available to view upon request.

    The utilisation of different recruitment tools/platforms such as videos and social media could demonstrate an innovative approach to programme marketing and recruitment and could reach a more diverse audience.

    Robust and fair Accredited Prior Learning (APL) and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policies should be in place for those students who have undertaken previous qualifications.

    The Equal Opportunities policy should be fair, current and adhered to.

  8. have entry criteria for the programme that includes evidence that the student has a capability in numeracy, literacy and science, written and spoken English and mathematics to meet the programme outcomes.

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. Programme specification
    2. Prospectus
    3. Website
    4. Social media
    5. Careers leaflets
    6. Equivalence policy


    The University/College websites clearly detail the programme entry requirements including any work experience requirement. The prospectus should also detail this information. AEIs are reminded that RCVS does not set entry criteria; each AEI must set the criteria specific to its own programme and determine relevant equivalencies.

    Entry requirements for non-UK nationals should also be clearly detailed with support/guidance available on APL/RPL.

  9. provide students with the information and support to enable them to demonstrate fitness to practise including the disclosure of any criminal convictions that may affect registration with the RCVS as qualified veterinary nurses at graduation

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. fitness to practise policy
    2. induction procedure
    3. timetables
    4. personal tutorial timetables
    5. recruitment policy
    6. Student interviews
    7. Student handbook

    8. RCVS registration guidance within documentation


    Fitness to Practise policy for Student Veterinary Nurses should encourage the disclosure of criminal convictions.

    The AEI/Delivery Site will need to implement a policy for notifying the RCVS of any criminal conviction that may affect registration with the RCVS as a qualified veterinary nurse. This should include any convictions which occur whilst the student is on programme.

    Students should be advised of the Fitness to Practise Policy within the recruitment and induction processes. This can be evidenced within the Recruitment Policy, Induction Materials, Timetabling and Student Interviews.

  10. demonstrate a robust process for recognition of prior learning (RPL).

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. RPL/APL Policy
    2. RPL/APL documentation
    3. RPL/APL decision recording
    4. RPL/APL guidance on website


    The AEI/Delivery Site will need to ensure that their APL/RPL policy is fit for purpose and is implemented where necessary. The policy will need to indicate the criteria for decision making.

    Any decisions should be documented and disseminated to relevant parties.

  11. provide students with the information and support they require in all learning environments to enable them to understand and comply with relevant governance processes and policies.

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. Student handbook
    2. Programme handbook
    3. TP / aTP handbook
    4. Fitness to practise policy
    5. RCVS enrolment guidance
    6. RCVS Registration guidance
    7. Clinical supervisor handbook

    8. RCVS CoPC references within relevant documentation


    Students should be well informed regarding programme requirements and governance of their qualification, including registration rules and requirements with the RCVS. This can be evidenced in:

    · Student Prospectus

    · Recruitment Documentation

    · Student Handbook

    · Programme Handbook

    · Evidence of inclusion of the Fitness to Practise Policy within the induction process and throughout the programme.

    · Support mechanisms in place for students at the end of their programme regarding registration with the RCVS as a qualified veterinary nurse. This should include advice and guidance for students wishing to raise a concern or on the occasion an error is made.

  12. have robust, effective, fair, impartial and lawful fitness to practise procedures to swiftly address concerns, and where appropriate notify the RCVS, as Regulator, about the conduct of students that might compromise public and animal safety and protection.

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. Fitness to practise policy

    2. Fitness to study policy

    3. Appeals procedure and policy

    4. Academic malpractice policy

    5. Student Code of Conduct


    HE Fitness to Practise Policy for Veterinary Nurse Students in place and fit for purpose.

    Students made aware of the Fitness to Practise Policy during induction and regularly referred to during tutorials and within professional modules/units.

    Student Code of Conduct reviewed and, where applicable, signed by students.

    Academic malpractice policy in place and procedures implemented and adhered to with detailed documentation and record keeping.

    Requirement for disclosure to the RCVS in the event of an adverse finding by the AEI is to be incorporated within the relevant policies.

  13. confirm that students meet the required RCVS Day One Competences and Skills for Veterinary Nurses and programme outcomes in full, demonstrating their fitness for practice and are eligible for academic and professional award.

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. Board of Examiners meeting minutes
    2. Student progression meeting minutes
    3. Exit award details


    Clear mapping of the RCVS DOC/DOS within course content and delivery.

    Board of Examiners meeting minutes with decisions on student progression/outcomes detailed. Where the exit award has been awarded this process should be clearly detailed.

    Student progress review meeting minutes with outcomes detailed.

    HE Fitness to Practise Policy for Veterinary Nurse Students embedded within the induction process and throughout the course.

    Professional requirements detailed within the Programme and Placement Handbooks.

  14. regularly review all learning environments and provide assurance that they are safe, effective and fit for purpose.

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. Course reviews
    2. Student feedback
    3. TP / aTP quality monitoring paperwork
    4. Risk assessments
    5. Health and Safety Policy
    6. Centre Sampling Policy
    7. AEI visit documentation (site visit or site review documentation)
    8. Memorandum of Understanding
    9. External Examiner reports
    10. External Quality Assurance reports
    11. Standard operating procedures

    12. e-safety policy

    13. Student training regarding online safety


    On campus reviews of the Delivery site to be carried out by the AEI as per the audit cycle to ensure facilities and learning environments are safe, effective and fit for purpose.

    Robust and valid quality assurance processes in place and adhered to for all elements of the programme. These processes should be detailed within relevant quality assurance documentation and policies.

    Regular student and stakeholder feedback to be sought and changes actioned where required.

    MoU between the AEI, Delivery sites and TP/aTPs regularly reviewed to ensure they are fit for purpose and benefit all parties, clearly indicating responsible persons.

    EE reports reviewed and disseminated within the team. Any areas for concern discussed and actioned.

    Health & Safety policies and procedures read, and declaration signed by all staff upon employment. Review of Health and Safety policies and procedures, including risk assessments to be carried out annually.

  15. appoint appropriately qualified and experienced people for programme development and delivery.

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. Staff lists

    2. Staff development plan

    3. Staff in-house training records

    4. Job descriptions

    5. Staff time allocation

    6. Recruitment policy

    7. External Examiner/Adviser recruitment policy


    Staff recruitment processes are robust to ensure that appropriately qualified persons are interviewed and considered, and the relevant personnel are involved with selection and recruitment.

    Job descriptions and person specifications are utilised for specific roles, rather than generic, to ensure role specific requirements and responsibilities are met.  

  16. where an Accredited Education Institution is not yet fully accredited, or at the discretion of Veterinary Nurse Education Committee, facilitate the attendance of the RCVS at the trial/mock OSCE/practical assessment at least one year in advance of the final summative assessment taking place for the relevant cohort of students.

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. Proposed dates for trial/mock examination


    Dates for trial/mock OSCEs/practical assessments to be detailed within the SoW and dates made available to the RCVS upon request to allow quality monitoring activities to be carried out.

  17. where an Accredited Education Institution plans to make any changes to its provision, including assessment, the RCVS must approve all changes prior to implementation.

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. Correspondence with RCVS regarding proposed changes


    Appropriate and timely correspondence to be submitted to the RCVS in light of any proposed changes to programme delivery or assessment methods. AEIs are required to submit proposals for programme changes at least three months prior to the relevant Veterinary Nurse Education Committee meeting. The submission must include tracked changes versions of all documentation where the change would be referenced.

  18. Accredited Education Institutions must provide evidence that adequate market demand and finances are in place and are sufficient to sustain and develop the programme and have been approved by the Higher Education Institution or Awarding Organisation.

    This may be evidenced through:

    1. Budget
    2. Self-Assessment Reports
    3. Institution’s annual report containing audited accounts

    4. Budgetary forecast for the accredited programme

    5. Evidence of actual and/or projected income sources 

    6. Evidence of demand for the programme (the market)

    7. Marketing strategy for the programme

    8. NSS Survey

    9. End of programme evaluation


    Evidence of market research demonstrating the requirement for the provision and continued growth.

    The completion of SARs to evidence recruitment and retention figures for both student veterinary nurses and TPs/aTPs.

    Institution’s annual report containing audited accounts.

    Stakeholder feedback from TPs/aTPs regarding the demand for student veterinary nurses and the role of TPs/aTPs in supporting continued demand.

    Marketing strategy is in place to promote veterinary nursing and the provision at the AEI/Delivery site. This could include media campaigns, social media posts, school careers events and ensuring the institution’s website reflects the facilities and learning environments on offer.

    Evidence of continued financial input to ensure the continued growth of the provision.