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RCVS launches two new awards for 2021 to celebrate community and compassion

11 September 2020

At its virtual Honours & Awards Evening last night [10 September 2020], the RCVS launched two new awards for its 2021 Honours & Awards programme – both of which are about celebrating the power of compassion and community within the veterinary sector.

The RCVS Compassion Award reflects the fact that compassion (along with clarity, courage and confidence) is one of the key themes of the RCVS 2020-24 Strategic Plan. It can be awarded to a veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse who has demonstrated compassion towards fellow professionals and/or members of the animal-owning public. This may be as part of a one-off initiative or sustained over a longer period of time, but the individual needs to have made a significant impact and shown genuine compassion above and beyond what might have been expected of them as part of their day-to-day work.

The RCVS Student Community Award will recognise a veterinary or veterinary nursing student who has made a real effort to support their fellow students and the wider veterinary/veterinary nursing school community. It may also reward someone who has contributed to the wider local community within which the academic environment is based.

Dr Mandisa Greene, RCVS President 2020-21 delivering her opening speech Dr Mandisa Greene (pictured), RCVS President, commented: “I am delighted to launch the Compassion Award and the Student Community Award during my presidential year. If the events of the last few months have taught us anything, it is about the power of treating our peers and colleagues with compassion, particularly if they are going through a difficult or distressing time, because sometimes even small acts of kindness, support and understanding can change a person’s mindset and outlook. It is people that have started actions and initiatives that have had this kind of impact on others that we are looking for in the nominations for the RCVS Compassion Award.

“Furthermore, student outreach is a major focus of my presidential year, and that is why I am also very proud of our new Student Community Award which again is all about kindness and support for peers or wider community. The award could encompass a wide range of activities such as a specific initiative that the student has developed; personal support they have given over a sustained period; a demonstrable civic awareness in the way they have conducted themselves in student politics; an outreach programme with their local community; or an invaluable contribution to the governance of the student body. If you know of a student who fits the criteria then please nominate them for this award.”

The two new awards join the existing roster of RCVS Honours & Awards, which are:

  • The Queen’s Medal which is awarded to a veterinary surgeon for a lifetime of outstanding contributions to the profession, who has dedicated their career to working above and beyond the call of duty in the fields of veterinary medicine or science, or related areas.
  • The Veterinary Nursing Golden Jubilee Award which is awarded to a veterinary nurse who has had a sustained and distinguished career, who can demonstrate a leadership role within the profession and who can act as an ambassador for the value of veterinary nurses and their work.
  • The RCVS International Award which is awarded to veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses or laypeople who have made an outstanding contribution on issues that are in line with the RCVS mission, for example, around raising veterinary standards, veterinary education, improving animal health and welfare, developing leadership, promoting mental health and welfare on an international basis.
  • The RCVS Impact Award which is awarded to veterinary surgeons or veterinary nurses who have recently, or are currently, undertaking a project, initiative or similar that has a significant impact on the profession at large, animal health or welfare, or public health.
  • The RCVS Inspiration Award which is awarded to veterinary surgeons or veterinary nurses at any stage in of their career who has demonstrated the ability to inspire and enthuse others consistently throughout.
  • Honorary Associateship which is awarded to laypeople (ie those who are neither MsRCVS nor RVNs) who have made a special contribution to the veterinary sphere and could include, for example, for example, scientists, lecturers, journalists, charity-workers, farriers, farmers and those involved in the commercial field.

The 2021 nomination period was formally launched by RCVS Senior Vice-President Dr Niall Connell at the College’s online Honours & Awards evening, at which the achievements of the 2020 award winners were celebrated. For those who missed it, a full video playback of the evening is available to watch 

The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2021 RCVS Honours & Awards is Friday 8 January 2021.

To download an information and guidance document about RCVS Honours & Awards and to find out more about each of the awards and their nomination criteria, please visit our dedicated webpage

Nominations can be submitted by downloading a PDF nomination form and emailing it to the RCVS, or by completing an online form on the RCVS website. All nominations should be accompanied by two supporting statements.

Those with any queries about the Honours & Awards or how to make a nomination, should contact Luke Bishop, RCVS Senior Communications Officer, on for further guidance.

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