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Postgraduate postnominals decision overturned

The decision to remove all postgraduate postnominals from the RCVS’s Register of Veterinary Surgeons has been overturned.

At its meeting on Thursday, RCVS agreed to overturn the decision made in June 2012 and look again at which qualifications should be included.

The original decision was made as part of a package of proposals to help clarify postgraduate skills and knowledge, in particular to help explain the difference between an accredited status and a qualification achieved at a particular point in time, and also to address the proliferation of qualifications that are included in the Register.

The proposals also included the introduction of Advanced Practitioner status, as a level of skills and knowledge sitting between general practitioner and RCVS Specialist – the introduction of which is unaffected by this change.

In the future the RCVS will look at proposals regarding which qualifications will be included in the Register, and the Register/List of Veterinary Nurses.

RCVS also say that plans will be developed to ensure greater clarity around postgraduate qualifications and status for both the public and the profession.

“Although the requirements for clarity remain, council listened to the unhappiness amongst members of the profession and has agreed to put the brakes on the original decision,” said CEO Nick Stace.

“I think this was the right choice. It is important that we recognise the tremendous efforts that the profession goes to in order to further their skills and knowledge.”

This comes as the BVA had previously voiced their concerns regarding the decision. BVA president Robin Hargreaves said: "The removal of post nominal from the register is seen by some as a retrograde step and an insult to those veterinary surgeons who have studied hard for post graduate qualifications with the aim of improving the clinical standards of the profession.

"Furthermore, it is confusing for both the profession and public when veterinary surgeons will, quite rightly, be free to continue to use postnominals on practice stationery or other material. Whilst we support the principle of rationalising the plethora of postnominals provided by some commercial CPD providers we do not believe that the complete removal of postnominals from the Register is necessarily the optimum solution and would prefer to see a carefully considered recognised list developed."

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