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June 2012 Council meeting – key decisions

18 June 2012

RCVS Council met on 7 June 2012, under the chairmanship of President Dr Jerry Davies. The minutes of the meeting will be available in due course, but in the meantime, read on for a brief summary of some of the key decisions made.

The numbers refer to the agenda item (AI), for ease of cross-reference to the bundle of papers.

This report does not give detail of discussion that took place during the meeting. Further detail on some of the decisions made, and their impact, can be found in the June issue of RCVS News.


AI 6a Draft budget and fees for 2013

Council agreed that there would be no increase in registration or retention fees for veterinary surgeons or veterinary nurses in 2013. It also agreed that a recommendation would be made to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate to reduce the Register of Veterinary Practice Premises fee from £40 to £34 at the next available opportunity (to tie in with the next iteration of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations).

The draft budget will be reconsidered at the November 2012 meeting of Council.


AI 6b Recommendations from the Specialisation Working Party

Professor Sir Kenneth Calman, Chairman of the Specialisation Working Party, introduced the WP’s report, which was well received.

Council approved the report, the recommendations of which included setting up a list of Advanced Practitioners, which those holding the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice or equivalent, could join. Such status would be revalidated every five years.

The Specialist List will remain, and a new route for entry will be developed for those without a Fellowship or Diploma.

To whom a veterinary surgeon chooses to refer a case will remain for the individual’s professional judgement, although the WP emphasised the importance of informed consent.

Detailed information about these changes will be provided to the public and the profession once the Education Policy and Specialisation Committee has developed the criteria and procedures for implementation.

You can read more about this in the June issue of RCVS News.


AI 6c Governance Review Group reports

Reports from the Governance Review Group’s meetings on 21 March and 25 April were noted.


AI 6d Bye-laws to support the legislative reform order (LRO)

Additional Bye-laws required to support the introduction of the proposed legislative reform order, which will ensure that the Disciplinary and Preliminary Investigation Committees are independent from Council, were approved.


AI 6e Enforcement of the Code of Conduct for Council and Committee members

A paper outlining options for the enforcement of the Code of Conduct for Council and Committee members was discussed. Following legal advice, it was not recommenced that members be removed from Council if they breach the Code, but that enforcement should be informal. The paper was approved.


AI 6f Preliminary Investigation Committee: new Lay Observer

Sarah Pond was confirmed as a new Lay Observer on the Preliminary Investigation Committee, to replace Jane Ramsey, who has stepped down.


AI 6g CertAVP structure – proposed Bye-Law changes

Proposals to amend the structure of the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (CertAVP) were discussed and agreed. The new structure streamlines the amount of compulsory modules on professional and business skills that are required, moving some of these elements into optional modules.

Read more about this issue in the June issue of RCVS News.


AI 7a Advisory Committee report

A report was submitted by Advisory Committee Chairman, Clare Tapsfield-Wright, who highlighted changes from Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency to the testing regime for bovine TB; updates to the Pre-Purchase Examination certificate; and the issue of whether any additional supporting guidance on the use of dart guns was required. She also announced that two new Working Parties were being formed, to look at the introduction of the Performance Protocol, and Recognised Veterinary Practice. The report was adopted by Council.


AI 7b Veterinary Nurses Council report

The Chairman of the Veterinary Nurses Council, Liz Branscombe, gave a report from its May meeting, and highlighted that the VN Council was considering setting up a VN Education Committee, given that a large proportion of its business was in this area. The paper was adopted by Council.


AI 7c Education Policy and Specialisation Committee report

The Vice-Chairman of the Education Policy and Specialisation Committee, Chris Tufnell, reported on the Committee’s meeting in May, as the Chairman, Professor Stuart Reid was away on College business in Australia.

Chris Tufnell drew Council’s attention to the launch of a Social Mobility Tooklit by ‘Professions for Good’, and also to referred to the changes to the CertAVP and the Specialisation Working Party’s report, both of which had already been discussed.

The report was adopted by Council, and by doing so, they agreed to award the Diploma of Fellowship to Dr Annamaria Nagy DrMedVet MRCVS, for her thesis entitled: ‘High-field and low-field magnetic resonance imaging findings in the carpal and proximal metacarpal region of horses, with and without carpal and/or proximal metacarpal regional pain’.


AI 7d Planning and Resources Committee report

Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Vice-President Jacqui Molyneux, introduced the paper, as Treasurer Dr Bradley Viner had sent his apologies. Much of the business of the report had been discussed at agenda item 6a.

Attention was brought to the fact that the Planning and Resources Committee (P&RC) had decided that the College should no longer hire its data to third parties.

Mrs Molyneux also highlighted that discussion had taken place at the May P&RC meeting regarding the recent elections, and the fact that, on advice from Electoral Reform Services, the result had been declared. It was agreed that the arrangements for the election would be reviewed in time for next year.

A motion asking for P&RC to review the costings for the Register of Veterinary Practice Premises was not passed.

The report was adopted.


AI 8a Preliminary Investigation Committee report

PIC Chairman Jill Nute introduced the report, which gave an overview of recent activities, including a detailed breakdown of activities following the 2010 Panorama programme, ‘It shouldn’t happen at a vets’.

A summary of the paper can be read in June issue of RCVS News.


AI 8b Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) Preliminary Investigation Committee report

RVN PIC Chairman Lynne Hill was way on College business in Australia. Acting Head of Professional Conduct, Eleanor Ferguson, introduced a report on recent activities of the Committee, which included that  two new complaints had been considered by the Committee during March and May.


AI 8c Lay Observers’ Report with PIC response

The report was noted by Council.


AI 8d Disciplinary Committee report

The Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, Professor Peter Lees, updated Council on recent cases heard by the Committee. Information relating to Disciplinary Committee cases can be read online.


AI 9 Notices of motion

There were no notices of motion.


AI 10 Questions

There were no questions.


AI 11 Any other business

Council member Richard Stephenson asked if any further clarification was available on whether Belgravia House was owned by the College as statutory regulator or as chartered body. The Acting Registrar, Gordon Hockey, said that legal advice was being sought on this issue.

The President thanked Gordon for all his hard work since he had taken on the role of Acting Registrar, in November 2011.


AI 12 Dates for future Council meetings

The next Council meetings will be held on 1 November 2012, and 7 March, 6 June and 7 November 2013.


AI 13 Retirements from Council

On behalf of Council, the President thanked three retiring Council members, Dr Chris Chesney, Dr Bertie Ellis and Charles Gruchy, for their hard work and contributions to Council. All three will step down from Council at RCVS Day on 6 July 2012.


AI 14 Confidential matters

Confidential matters were discussed at this point in the meeting.


AI 15 Date of the next meeting

The next meeting of Council will take place on Thursday, 1 November, at 10am. The meeting is open to the public, and anyone is welcome to attend, although there are restrictions on space. Please contact the Executive Office for more information:

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