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How to stand for election

If you would like to stand for election to RCVS Council next year, the nominations period is now open until 5pm on 31 January 2022.

To give you an idea of what to expect as an RCVS Council member, and what is expected of you, please read our handy 'job description' below.

Before you submit your nomination, please read our 'Information for candidates', where you can also download the necessary forms to fill out and send back to us.

What it means to be an RCVS Council member

Who is the RCVS and what does RCVS Council do?

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is the regulatory body and Royal College for the UK veterinary and veterinary nursing professions.

As a regulator, we set, uphold and advance veterinary standards. As a Royal College, we promote, encourage and advance the study and practice of the art and science of veterinary surgery and medicine. We do all these things in the interests of animal health and welfare, and in the wider public interest.

As the College's governing and decision-making body, RCVS Council is responsible for helping us perform our role and fulfil our latest Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Plan 2020-2024 itself sets out how we will be working to achieve this vision, and is built on a foundation of four key ambitions: Clarity, Compassion, Courage and Confidence.

What does an RCVS Council member do?

Council members, whether elected or appointed, are expected to attend between six and eight Council meetings every year where they will be responsible for making a variety of decisions. These could be, for example:

  • approving financial plans and budgets, including fee levels;
  • making decisions on holding consultations on matters of importance to the professions such as legislative changes and veterinary education;
  • debating and voting on major regulatory changes, for example, approval of new veterinary degrees and registration policies around Brexit;
  • election of Officers including President, Vice-Presidents, Treasurer and committee chairs
  • appointing senior staff of the RCVS including the CEO and Registrar

Read more about the role of Council members

Committees and working parties

It is likely that Council members will be asked to sit on one of our standing committees or subcommittees, as well as working parties that have been set up to consider specific issues.

Standing committees have delegated powers to make key decisions in areas related to their remit, therefore much of the critical work of Council members happens here.

Our key standing committees are:

  • Advancement of the Professions Committee: coordinates and develops RCVS activities that help to advance the veterinary and veterinary nursing professions, such as our leadership initiative, the Mind Matters mental health initiative and ViVet innovation programme;
  • Audit & Risk Committee: supports RCVS Council by reviewing assurances and internal controls on areas such as mitigating risk;
  • Education Committee: sets policy for undergraduate and postgraduate education and training, as well as for CPD, statuses such as RCVS Advanced Practitioner and RCVS Specialist, and postgraduate support programmes;
  • Finance & Resources Committee: responsible for ensuring the finances, resources and framework of the College governance system is fit for purpose;
  • Registration Committee: responsible for activities relating to the registration of veterinary and veterinary nurse members of the College, including potential new associate professions of the RCVS;
  • Standards Committee: makes decisions relating to the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct and supporting guidance for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses as well as the provision of advice and guidance on specific topics.

View our full list of Committees, subcommittees and groups

What is expected of RCVS Council members?

If elected or appointed on to RCVS Council, you have a responsibility to make yourself available for meetings of the Council and any committees, subcommittees or working parties, to which you might have been appointed.

As well as attending meetings, you will be expected to read papers and give appropriate consideration to issues to ensure that you are making decisions on a fully informed basis.

To begin with, we would estimate you would spend between 12 and 15 days a year on Council and committee business. We also recognise that everyone has professional and personal obligations and we will try and be as flexible as possible in accommodating your needs. This includes a loss of earnings allowance paid to your employer (or you, if you are self-employed), plus reasonable expenses incurred.

All Council members are subject to a specific Code of Conduct for Council and Committee Memberswhich sets out the high and respectful standards that those who act in the name of the RCVS are expected to adhere to when conducting themselves and the business of the RCVS.

In particular, we would draw your attention to the ‘Seven Principles of Public Life’ (known as the Nolan Principles), the ethical standards expected of public office holders covering: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.