Performance Protocol – have your say

We are calling for comment on a draft new Performance Protocol, which aims to manage proportionately any justified concerns about the professional performance of veterinary surgeons and registered veterinary nurses (RVNs).

To ensure that we manage any justified concerns about professional performance in a proportionate manner, the Preliminary Investigation and Advisory Committees have been working together to develop a new Performance Protocol, setting out the way in which the College will respond to ongoing performance-related concerns.

This will be reinforced by the new principles-based Code of Professional Conduct, currently being finalised, which is likely to require clinical governance to be part of professional practice for veterinary surgeons and RVNs.

The draft Performance Protocol is intended to formalise and build on the way the RCVS already manage ongoing serious performance-related concerns.

It introduces new measures, including supervision and undertakings, to seek to ensure that veterinary surgeons and RVNs take reasonable steps to address any serious performance concerns.

This will bring the RCVS into line with other professional regulators and enable a tailored and proportionate response to these cases, in order to protect the welfare of animals and the public interest.

According to independent legal advice, such an approach is appropriate and necessary in order for us to fulfil our regulatory responsibilities.

Our current system of offering advice to veterinary surgeons and RVNs will remain for complaints which are closed, because there is no indication of serious professional misconduct.

The draft Performance Protocol follows similar legal advice that supported the implementation of the RCVS Health Protocol, and both protocols clarify our parallel jurisdiction relating to health and performance-related issues.

The draft Performance Protocol can be downloaded from our consultations section and comments on the draft should be emailed to Simon Wiklund, Advisory Manager at by 13 January 2012 – please add ‘Performance Protocol’ to the subject heading.

The feedback received from the consultation (which was launched in November) will be considered by the Preliminary Investigation and Advisory Committees in January 2012, before being submitted to RCVS Council for approval in March.



The Practice Standard (December 2011)