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Veterinary Client Mediation Service (VCMS)

Working with the VCMS, we have developed an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme to address the many concerns we receive but cannot deal with under our statutory powers.

VCMS is administered by Nockolds, an independent firm of solicitors.

Canine patients in veterinary practice

Why has the RCVS developed an ADR scheme?

Although it is our legal responsibility to investigate all concerns raised with us, we are limited to dealing with only the most serious of concerns raised about a veterinary surgeon’s or registered veterinary nurse’s (RVN) fitness to practise.

Such cases make up only a small portion of the complaints we receive and most concerns are closed with no further action. This, however, leaves many people with no alternative form of redress. The ADR scheme allows concerns that do not meet our criteria to be dealt with in a way that is satisfactory to both the complainant and the veterinary professional.

How does it work?

VCMS uses mediation to resolve disputes between veterinary professionals and their clients. Participation in the trial is voluntary, i.e. both parties must agree to take part, and is free to users.

Any concern which falls outside of the RCVS’ remit may be considered by VCMS. This means that VCMS may be able to help you if your concern is about:

  • the service you have received from a veterinary practice
  • the fees you have been charged
  • negligence

VCMS may also be able to help you if you are seeking:

  • an apology

  • a refund

  • corrective treatment

  • a goodwill payment

Please note that only concerns raised by individual owners (rather than commercial clients) are eligible to be considered by VCMS.

You can learn more about VCMS by visiting the VCMS website, or by contacting them directly on 0345 040 5834 or [email protected].

Unsure who to contact?

If you have a concern, but are not sure whether it should be dealt with by VCMS or by us, please call us on 020 7202 0789 or fill in our short enquiry form and we will contact you.