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PSS updates

Get the latest Practice Standard Scheme updates, including changes to the rules and requirements.

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Recent changes to the Practice Standards Scheme - 2023/24

Incorporating new guidance on ‘under care’ and 24/7 cover

In January 2023, the RCVS Council approved new guidance on ‘under care’. We've updated Core accreditation standards to reflect this.

Updated rules to ensure compliance with Core Standards

On 8 June 2023 RCVS Council approved changes to the PSS Rules. The changes will come into effect from 1 January 2024.

These changes allow:

  • a 12-month time limit to the PSS process, starting from the assessment date;
  • a route of escalation for matters of public interest and serious concern.

12-month time limit (amendment to Rule 12)

Practices will have 12 months to achieve Core level accreditation from their assessment date.

Second attempt at achieving Core Standards and possible escalation (Rule 74A)

If a practice doesn't achieve Core accreditation by 12 months post-assessment, the process will be re-started. However, the practice will have to pay another joining fee and initial assessment fee. Furthermore, any existing accreditations and awards will be removed until the practice has met Core accreditation.

If the practice cannot meet Core Standards after a second attempt, this will be escalated to the Registrar. 

If there are any serious concerns with a practice’s inability to achieve core standards, this may be brought to the attention of the Professional Conduct Department.

Changes to Find a Vet listings

We are making some changes to practice listings on our online Find a Vet service. This is to both raise awareness of practice efforts to achieve/maintain RCVS accreditation, and to help uphold public confidence in the PSS.

Practice premises show as ‘RCVS-accredited’, with a blue box, when:

  • they have achieved their first-ever accreditation; or
  • they are compliant from their last assessment.

Practice premises show as ‘RCVS accreditation in progress’, with a green box, when:

  • they have enrolled on the PSS and are working towards their first assessment; or
  • they have not achieved compliance with at least Core accreditation standards within 12 months of their assessment and they are working towards accreditation as part of a re-assessment. 

Fee changes

We've recently made changes to our fees, as follows:

  • Initial joining fee - £76 (previously £73)
  • Initial assessment fee - £621 (previously £511)
  • Annual Fee: Main/Standalone Practice - £560 (previously £503)
  • Annual Fee: Branch practice - £151 (previously £138)
  • Award Fee (Half day assessment) - £310.50 (previously £221)
  • Equivalent day rate - £621 (previously £511)

Find out more about our fees

Rearrangement of assessment dates

Some practices due to have assessments in 2024 and 2025 will have their assessment dates changed. This is a knock-on effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced us to put assessments on hold and them move to a remote format for a further period. We've had to realign our assessment schedule in response.

Those practices most affected will have their assessments changed from April 2024 onwards.

Some assessment dates may be pushed back. This means practices will be assessed later than their original assessment date and will have more time to prepare. The majority of these practices are those originally due to be assessed in 2024.

Some assessment dates may be brought forward. This means practices will be assessed earlier than their original assessment date. These are likely to be those originally scheduled in 2025.

The PSS team will contact you directly if your practice is affected. We will give you as much notice as possible. 

Download the updates 

Latest versions of the PSS rules and standards

Details of all recent changes can be found in the final section of each document.

Minor changes and clarifications - 2022

In July 2022, we published an updated version of the PSS standards and requirements. This version provided clarifications and other minor changes that came out of the PSS review in May 2021.

One change to the standards related to social sustainability. The requirement to have a protocol in place for managing conflict and bullying in the workplace was moved to Core level.

The changes came into effect on 1 October 2022.

Version 3.2 (3.3 for Equine) is the most current version of the standards, which we started assessing in October 2022.

Environmental sustainability module and award - 2022/23

On 9 June 2022 RCVS Council approved a new Environmental Sustainability Module and Award.

The new module came into effect on 1 June 2023. It contains Core Standards and General Practice level requirements, which need to be met by all PSS practices at the relevant accreditation levels.

The new Environmental Sustainability Award came into effect from 1 January 2023.

More about the Environmental sustainability module and award

Five-year review

Every five years, the Practice Standards Group (PSG) reviews the scheme's standards and requirements. This is a detailed review, examining all accreditation levels and awards. The next review of the PSS will be in 2025.

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