What is RCVS accreditation?
Practices can become accredited under the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Practice Standards Scheme, a voluntary quality assurance programme. To be accredited, practices must pass a rigorous inspection carried out by an experienced veterinary surgeon. Areas covered include hygiene, health and safety, and the facilities and equipment provided, to name just a few of the many criteria.
An accredited practice is inspected every four years. It must certify annually that it continues to meet the standards. It may be subject to spot-checks between full inspections.
What does it mean for me and my animals?
RCVS accreditation means peace of mind for you; quality care for your animals; regular inspections for the practice. The Practice Standard Scheme is a voluntary initiative – not all practices are part of it yet. As a client of an RCVS accredited practice, you can rest assured of high quality care throughout the practice
Are all accredited practices the same?
There are many different types of veterinary practice. Some such as veterinary hospitals offer a very broad range of services. Some are general practices or may concentrate on a particular species.
An RCVS Accredited General Practice will have been inspected as meeting with Core Standards including: a range of legal and health and safety requirements; keeping premises clean and maintained; having access to laboratory facilities for diagnostic testing; having a system for communicating with clients and looking at feedback; and showing a commitment to education and training of staff, amongst others.
What’s the RCVS?
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) regulates the veterinary profession. This involves individual veterinary surgeons and, more recently, the practices in which the veterinary team works. You might have seen MRCVS after a vet’s name – that means they are a Member of the RCVS and qualified to practice in the UK.
For more information check out the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) website.