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City & Guilds to cease offering veterinary nursing qualifications

16 January 2020

The RCVS has been disappointed to learn of City & Guilds’ decision to withdraw veterinary nursing from its portfolio of qualifications, meaning the Awarding Organisation will accept no new registrations from 1 September 2020, and cease certificating existing qualifications from 1 September 2023.

The specific qualifications affected will be as follows:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Small Animals) (7457-03) Ofqual Accreditation No: 600/6052/9
  • Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Equine) (7457-13) Ofqual Accreditation No: 600/6052/9
  • Level 3 Diploma in Small Animal Veterinary Nursing (7457-33) Ofqual Accreditation No: 603/5101/9
  • Level 3 Diploma in Equine Veterinary Nursing (7457-43) Ofqual Accreditation No: 603/5102/0

City & Guilds has also said it no longer intends to apply to become an End-point Assessment Organisation for the veterinary nursing apprenticeship end-point assessment.

According to City & Guilds, its decision not to continue these qualifications is ‘based on several factors’ but the awarding organisation is yet to provide further detail about its rationale.

Susan Howarth RVN, Chair of the RCVS Veterinary Nurse Education Committee said, “We fully recognise this will be worrying news for many VN students, so our immediate priority is to provide as much information and reassurance as possible to those currently enrolled with City & Guilds-approved centres, or those who might be intending to enrol soon.

“We have published a list of frequently asked questions on our website to help address what are likely to be the most immediate concerns, which we will add to as more information becomes available.

“Anyone with additional questions or concerns at this stage should speak to their Centre in the first instance, or contact the RCVS VN team at or 020 7202 0788.”

During the next days and weeks, the College will be liaising closely with City & Guilds to ensure the needs of their VN learners continue to be met and all commitments to them honoured up to September 2023. It will continue to audit and monitor the City & Guilds programme and affiliated Centres until 31 August 2023.

In the meantime, the College will also work closely with the two other awarding organisations – Central Qualifications and VetSkill – and with the Higher Education establishments that offer alternative routes to VN qualifications, to consider how best to prevent a shortfall in VN training places arising from City & Guilds’ decision to withdraw these qualifications.



This article was amended on 17 January 2020 following City & Guilds' subsequent decision to extend its proposed two-year certification period to three years, meaning the end certification date is now 31 August 2023.


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