- Advancement of the Professions Committee
- Standards Committee
- Audit and Risk Committee
- Education Committee
- Finance and Resources Committee
- Disciplinary Committee
- Charter Case Committee
- Preliminary Investigation Committee
- Paper classification: some definitions
- Veterinary Legislation Review
- Information for MPs
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- Completing your annual renewal
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- Frequently Asked Questions
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- VetGDP Advisers
- Practices and workplaces
- Graduates and students
- VetGDP information to help you get started
- VetGDP FAQs
- Overseas vets
- Vets returning to the UK Practising Register after 5+ years away
- Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs)
- Applying to the PSS
- The PSS assessment process
- PSS awards
- Meet the PSS team
- Meet the PSS assessors
- Meet the Practice Standards Group
- PSS updates
- PSS accreditation levels
- Using the Stanley system
- Updating your practice information
- Promoting your RCVS accreditation
- PSS training and resources
- Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons
- Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses
- Contact the Advice Team
- XL Bully dog ban
- 'Under care' - new guidance
- Advice on Schedule 3
- Controlled Drugs Guidance – A to Z
- Dealing with Difficult Situations webinar recordings
- FAQs – Common medicines pitfalls
- FAQs – Routine veterinary practice and clinical veterinary research
- GDPR – RCVS information and Q&As
- Accrediting veterinary degrees
- Accrediting veterinary nursing qualifications
- External review of the RCVS by ENQA
- Requirements for remote and online student assessments
- I want to raise a concern about a veterinary surgeon
- I want to raise a concern about a registered veterinary nurse
- Confidential Reporting Line
The PSS assessment process
Practice Standards Scheme (PSS) assessment is an ongoing process that begins once you’ve submitted your application.
Find out what to expect at each stage, including what assessment day is like.
The stages of PSS assessment:
- Submit your application
- Prepare your pre-assessment information
- Assessment day
- Get your assessment report
- Submit post-assessment evidence
- Get confirmation your assessment is resolved
- Pay your fees
- Get your certificate pack
- Ongoing assessment
- You can apply for the PSS via Stanley.
- We’ll confirm we’ve got your application within a week, then invoice you for the application fee. Payment is due within 30 days of the invoice date.
- Once we’ve received payment, your practice becomes a candidate.
- If your practice is part of a Group, please find out what your Group's process is before applying for assessment.
- For each PSS accreditation, there’s a list of requirements, which you can find on Stanley.
- Before your assessment, you’ll need to work through these requirements on Stanley and confirm that you’re meeting them. For some of them, you’ll need to upload documentation. This is your pre-assessment information.
- Your assessor will give you a due date for uploading this information. Please upload it by this date so they have time to go through it.
- It’s important that all documentation is up to date, and that you have scanned copies of any non-digital documents.
- In the month before your first assessment, your assessor will review your documentation and give you feedback.
- Once you’ve paid your application fee, the PSS team will contact you to check availability for the assessment visit. This would usually be scheduled for three to six months after this conversation.
- Before your assessment day, we’ll contact you with details of our proposed Assessor, who you will be able to accept or decline.
- Once you’ve accepted an Assessor, they’ll contact your practice to arrange a suitable date for the assessment.
- We’ll use the practice contact details you’ve given us on My Account, so please make sure they’re up to date.
What happens during a PSS assessment visit
During the visit the Assessor will:
- check outstanding paperwork,
- look at facilities and equipment,
- talk to practice team members.
They might also:
- talk to your clients in the waiting room,
- observe consultations (with permission).
You'll get some feedback from your Assessor on the day of the visit.
You aren't expected to be perfect on assessment day – you’ll have time to correct any issues found afterwards.
Please feel free to ask our Assessors questions – they’d be happy to share best practice with you.
Length of assessment visits
The length of the assessment visit itself will depend on:
- the presence/quality of your pre-assessment information,
- the level of accreditation your practice premises is pursuing,
- the number of premises in your group,
- how many team members the Assessor speaks to on the day.
The Assessor should be able to give you a more precise timeframe once they've been confirmed.
- Four to six weeks after the visit, we'll release your assessment report via Stanley. This will detail any issues we've identified and any further evidence that you need to give us.
- It’s a good idea to wait for our report to be released before resolving any issues raised. This is because we review reports internally, so some of the feedback may change.
- Depending on the nature of issues identified in the assessment, we’ll ask you to submit further evidence in one, three or six months' time. This evidence is reviewed by the assessor within three weeks of receipt.
- The PSS team re-releases an updated version of your report after each submission is reviewed. This cycle is ongoing until all evidence is submitted and issues resolved.
- If we identify a serious issue, your practice may need to take urgent action.
- Once you’ve submitted your post-assessment evidence, our Assessor will review it. If all outstanding requirements have been met, the assessment will be marked as complete.
- If the evidence is incomplete, the Assessor may give further feedback.
After the first assessment we’ll send you an invoice for:
- the initial assessment fee
- any additional time
- any assessor expenses.
Practices applying for the Scheme pay an application fee of £73 (£76 from 1 January 2024).
The initial assessment fee is £511 (£621 from 1 January 2024), plus assessor expenses such as travel costs, accommodation and food.
Once practices are part of the scheme, there’s an annual fee of £503 (£560 from 1 January 2024) for main/standalone practices or £138 (£151 from 1 January 2024) for branch practices.
- Once our Assessor has confirmed that all premises in the group meet PSS requirements and your invoice is paid, we'll send you a certificate pack.
- We will update Find a Vet to reflect that your practice premises is RCVS accredited.
Once you’re accredited, you'll be assessed every four years.
You can continue to use Stanley between assessments to make sure you're still meeting requirements and to manage your documents. This may also help to reduce the work needed in the lead up to your next routine assessment.
To ensure consistent standards across the Scheme, we carry out spot-check assessments. You'll usually be given 24 to 48 hours’ notice.
These visits are usually shorter (around two hours) and are more focused than routine assessments. Generally, documentation isn't needed and it's not a problem if key team members aren't available.
As with routine assessments, we'll send you a report listing any issues. You'll also be asked to upload evidence to Stanley.