The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) launched the new Practice Standards Scheme (PSS) on 20 November 2015 to the veterinary and veterinary nursing professions. It is now open for applications for both practice accreditations and the brand new system of PSS awards.
The new Scheme is all about offering a pathway to improvement for practices of all shapes and sizes that want to aspire to excellence, and then highlighting these achievements to the animal-owning public in a way that is clear and easy to understand. Over half of all veterinary practice premises in the UK are already RCVS-accredited. The main changes to the Scheme, which was established in 2005, have been based on feedback from the profession and input from the Practice Standards Group (PSG), with the dual aims of making it more accessible for those practices which aren’t yet PSS members, and even more rewarding for those who are already accredited.
Whilst retaining the existing accreditation levels across small animal, equine and farm animal practices (current RCVS-accredited practices will be automatically transferred to the new Scheme), a new modular structure helps to make the Scheme more flexible and ensure all types of veterinary practice – from ambulatory services to veterinary hospitals – can join. This structure also recognises the contributions of the whole practice team, helping to raise standards across the board. Once accredited, practices can now apply for a range of optional awards that focus on outcomes and behaviours in specific areas, such as ‘In-patient Service’, ‘Team and Professional Responsibility’ and ‘Client Service’.
As an introductory offer, the RCVS is now inviting applications from practices that would be willing to help with a final round of testing of the new Scheme, to be in with a chance to win one of 20 free assessment days, worth £350. The offer is open from 20 November until Friday 4 December, and the first 20 practices drawn at random on 7 December will be allocated the free assessments.
Full details about the draw, the new Scheme and how to apply for accreditation and/or awards are available at www.rcvs.org.uk/newpss