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Accreditation process

Introducing Stanley


Stanley is the online administration and support system for the Practice Standards Scheme through which the assessment process is managed.

Offering step-by-step guidance on the Scheme's requirements, Stanley provides a document storage facility, a reminder service for appointments and expiry dates, a self-assessment tool to mark your progress and an easier way to communication with the Assessors and PSS Team here at the College.


Using Stanley

To start your initial accreditation application up on Stanley please refer to the 'How to apply for accreditation page'.

If you are already accredited and wish to begin using the Stanley to manage your assessments please log into Stanley using your practice My Account details. 

Download our guide to using Stanley via: Getting to know Stanley: a guide for veterinary practices


Preparing for your initial accreditation assessment 

  • Before you apply make sure you are of what you will be assessed for by taking a look at the modules which list the requirements for each type of accreditation for each species type. You will need to be assessed to at least Core Standards for all species treated.
  • Ensure routine maintenance and testing of equipment has been undertaken or is scheduled to take place before the assessment. You will be able to submit evidence of this after your visit, but it is best to have it completed before the visit if possible.
  • You will be required to upload documents to Stanley before your assessment, which will be checked by their allocated Assessor before the visit. Stanley will indicate where an upload is needed with an icon. You may want to prepare by scanning in any non-digital documents.
  • Be aware that we try to arrange assessments for 3 to 6 months after an application is received, and all new locations must be assessed within 12 months of application at the latest. If this timeframe is not suitable, please let the team know when you apply.

Please download the Practice Standards Modules, Rules of the Scheme, and the PSS Handbook found in the 'Related documents' box for useful information.


The assessment process

  • AssessorsThe PSS Team will notify the practice via Stanley with details of the proposed Assessor.
  • Once an Assessor has been accepted, they will contact your practice’s named PSS contact to arrange a mutually convenient date to visit, using the contact details provided on Stanley. 
  • Assessors will check the pre-assessment uploaded documentation prior to the visit. You should upload these a month before the agreed assessment date to ensure the Assessor has time to go through them.
  • During the visit the Assessor will check outstanding paperwork, tour the premises, look at facilities and equipment and talk to team members. The Assessor may also wish to talk with your clients in the waiting room and observe consultations with permission. Please note that you are not expected to be perfect on the day of the visit, as you will be given time to correct any issues found after the assessment visit.
  • 6 - 8 weeks after the visit you will receive your assessment report through Stanley. This will detail any issues that have been identified and any further evidence that needs to be supplied. You will usually be asked to provide additional evidence within 1, 3 or 6 months of the report being released. Please note that your practice may be required to take immediate remedial action where a serious deficiency has been identified. We will send any post-assessment evidence to the Assessor for review and if any evidence is incorrect or has not been supplied, either the Assessor or the PSS Team will be in touch.
  • Once the Assessor has confirmed compliance for all premises in the group, a certificate pack will be issued to the practice and Find a Vet will be updated to show that the premises are accredited. 


The assessment process for existing members

Once the practice premises or group is accredited the assessment process is repeated every 4 years. You can update documents on Stanley in the meantime to ensure you are keeping up to date and to reduce the work needed in the lead up to your next routine assessment. Please note that the accreditation is specific to your premises, so if the practice moves you will need to apply to be accredited again.

In addition to this you may be visited randomly for a spot assessment in order to ensure consistent high standards across the Scheme’s membership. These are shorter (generally around 2 hours) and more focused than routine assessments. Documentation will generally not be needed and it should not be a problem if key team members are not available. Spot checks are arranged in advance but with much less warning than a routine assessment visit. Typically, you will receive 24 to 48 hours notice.

Practices may also decide to request an assessment for any of the following reasons (please note that fees apply): 

Moving premises: You must contact the PSS team as soon as you are aware that you are moving. When you have notified us of the move you will be asked to select one of the following options:

  1. Retain your accreditation at the new premises. An assessment will need to take place 1 month after the date of opening. After this visit, you will then have 1 month to provide evidence to show that any areas for improvement have been addressed or your accreditation will be suspended.
  2. Lose accreditation and await the next routine assessment. Until accredited after the next assessment, any reference to the practice premises as being accredited must cease.
  3. Lose accreditation and arrange a visit before the next routine assessment date.The practice can wait until it has settled into the new premises and then request an assessment to be arranged. As for option b) above, until accreditation from this visit is granted, any reference to the practice premises as being accredited must cease.

New premises/acquisitions: Options for assessment as for moving premises (see above). 

Accreditation changes: e.g. Core Standards to General Practice. Please contact us to find out whether a visit is required.

Alteration to premises:  Should extensive refurbishment be undertaken at a practice it is likely that functions of rooms and the way staff work will alter. The PSS Team should be contacted with details of the changes which are due to take place at the practice to review whether a visit is required.

Please contact the PSS Team for further information if you need to arrange an assessment or to notify us of planned refurbishment/building extension. Information about registering new premises can be found in the Register of Veterinary Practice Premises section.


Who are the Assessors?

  • All Assessors must be at least 5 years qualified as an MRCVS; be in full or part-time veterinary practice (or to have been so within the previous 3 years) and be approved as having suitable experience in the species area for undertaking assessments of each appropriate accreditation.
  • A list of the current Assessors can be found on our Meet the PSS Assessors page.