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How do I apply for PSS Awards?

Once your practice premises has achieved accreditation you may apply for optional Awards in specific areas, to denote where your practice excels. Practices can achieve ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ within each award.

Awards assessments are behaviours-based, and practices need to demonstrate that the behaviours have been in place for at least three months prior to the assessment in order to achieve the relevant points.

The following awards are available:

Awards Small animal Equine Farm animal
Advisory / Consultation Service     check
Ambulatory Service   checked  
Client Service checked checked checked
Diagnostic Service checked checked checked
Emergency and Critical Care Service checked    
In-patient Service checked checked  
In-patient Service (No Dentistry) checked    
Patient Consultation Service checked    
Team and Professional Responsibility checked checked checked

Find further information about each award below

Advisory/Consultation Service Award

Recognises how the quality of the practice is reflected in the services it offers to farmers. For example, it recognises areas such as further qualifications and training, advice on biosecurity, using protocols for the diagnosis of common conditions, safe surgery on the farm and using medicines appropriately.

Required modules: Infection Control and Biosecurity; Farm Consultation; Pain Management and Welfare; Surgery; Medicines. 

Ambulatory Service Award

Recognises excellence in service provided away from the practice premises. For example, it recognises further qualifications and training, recognising and treating pain appropriately and maintaining hygiene and safety in practice vehicles.

Required modules: Infection Control and Biosecurity; Out-patients (Ambulatory); Pain Management and Welfare; Dentistry; Medicines. 

Client Service Award

Given to practices who demonstrate high levels of care for their clients. This award comprises only one module, Client Experience, encompassing practical and behavioural steps that practices can take to improve Client Service. 

Required Modules: Client Experience.

Diagnostic Service Award

Recognises the practice’s services in terms of the use of diagnostic of techniques, such as radiography and ultrasound, and the training and safety measures in place for these.

It also includes a module on Laboratory and Clinical Pathology which assesses the practice in terms of its use of laboratory technology to allow diagnostic tests to be carried out and reported promptly.

This will help the practice support or rule out potential diagnoses in a number of clinical areas, which underpins the effective and efficient treatment of the animal.

Required Modules: Diagnostic Imaging; Laboratory and Clinical Pathology.

Emergency and Critical Care Service Award

Practices gaining this award have demonstrated that they excel in caring for animals when in need of urgent care.

In order to gain this award practice team members must have been specifically trained in emergency care, nursing and recognising pain and be regularly attending to patients 24 hours a day.

Practices must have access to resources and equipment for emergency diagnostics and treatment, and provide a range of pain relief.

Required Modules: Emergency and Critical Care; In-patients; Nursing; Pain Management and Welfare. 

In-patient Service Award

This award allows practices to demonstrate excellence in the service they provide to patients staying within the practice. So, for instance, it assesses factors such as facilities, nursing care for hospitalised animals and maintaining an aseptic surgical environment.

The role of veterinary nurses is also highlighted in this award, in recognition of the vital role they play in caring for hospitalised patients.

Required Modules: Anaesthesia; Dentistry; Infection Control and Biosecurity; In-patients; Nursing; Pain Management and Welfare; Surgery. 

Patient Consultation Services Award

Recognises how the quality of the practice is reflected in the first-opinion services it offers to clients and patients. For example, it recognises further qualifications and training, maintenance of practice hygiene and ensuring high standards of nursing care.

Required Modules: Infection Control and Biosecurity; Nursing; Out-patients (first opinion); Pain Management and Welfare. 

Team and Professional Responsibility Award

Allows practices to demonstrate that they have systems in place to make sure that the welfare and safety of team members is paramount and that their knowledge and training is kept up-to-date.

It also recognises the practice team’s dedication to taking responsibility for areas that impact on the level of service offered to clients and patients, such as clinical governance, practice hygiene, record-keeping and prescription and medicines services.

Required Modules: Clinical Governance; Infection Control and Biosecurity; Medicines; Practice Team. 

The awards assessment process

A step by step guide to awards assessment

  • Apply for the award(s) you're interested in via Stanley or by emailing the PSS team.
  • We will email you to confirm receipt of your application within a week. We will also confirm your availability for the assessment which will be in a minimum of 3 months' time due to assessor availability. 
  • Within a month, we will contact you with details of the proposed assessor, who you will be able to accept or decline.
  • Once you have accepted the assessor, they will contact you to arrange a mutually agreeable date for the assessment.
  • Whilst preparing for the assessment please use Stanley to mark the awards requirements as 'confirmed' once they are in place. This will allow you to monitor your progress and projected award result. There are also some pre-assessment documents that you will need to upload to Stanley.
  • One month ahead of the assessment visit, all documents should have been uploaded to Stanley.
  • Please note there will be a charge for the assessment
  • The assessor may leave comments on the uploaded documentation any time in the month before the visit.
  • On the day of the visit, the provisional result of the assessment will be confirmed by the assessor. 
  • We will send you confirmation of the awards outcome and the official awards report by email 4-6 weeks after the visit. The awards result and some feedback is also provided on Stanley. We will send the invoice for the awards assessment to you at this time.
  • Once all invoices have been paid we will send you the certificate and logos, and update Find A Vet to reflect your updated status.

If you have any questions about the awards process, please contact the PSS team by emailing or calling 020 7202 0767.