RCVS Council amends temporary policy on recognition of European vet schools

RCVS Council amends temporary policy on recognition of European vet schools

The RCVS Council has voted to amend a temporary policy on the recognition of European veterinary degrees, in order to give a firm deadline for finding alternative approaches for recognition.

While the UK was part of the European Union (EU), all EU veterinary degrees were automatically recognised by the RCVS as part of the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive.

However, since 2019, the RCVS has operated a policy that states that, following the UK’s exit from the EU, the RCVS would temporarily recognise those veterinary degrees accredited by the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE), with the caveat that this policy would be reviewed annually at every January RCVS Council meeting.

The temporary policy was developed in recognition of the fact that a large proportion of those joining the UK Register of Veterinary Surgeons each year  were graduates from EU vet schools, and therefore needed to take account of considerations over both educational standards and ensuring an adequate veterinary workforce.

Dr Kate Richards MRCVS, Chair of the Education Committee, said: “Thank you to members of RCVS Council for their consideration of how we resolve this issue in the long term, as this is a temporary policy that we brought in to mitigate some of the immediate impacts of leaving the EU and the end of the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications regime.

“The Education Committee understands Council members’ concerns over divergence of standards, particularly as the RCVS is taking such a world-leading role in developing an outcomes-focused approach to accreditation standards, ensuring that we are leading the way in international best practice and driving forward innovation and quality improvement in veterinary education.

“The decision made at RCVS Council sets a firm deadline for the end of this temporary policy, while giving sufficient time to work up proposals for alternative approaches, such as direct accreditation of individual European vet schools. Furthermore, the amended policy would allow any students currently enrolled in an EAEVE-accredited vet school who may be expecting to be able to register in the UK, to prepare accordingly.”