The RCVS Register – The Importance of Keeping Up To Date
Registration with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is mandatory for every RVN or Vet Surgeon wishing to practice. The RCVS register differentiates between whether the professional is working within the UK or overseas, as well as differentiating between being registered as non-practising. When circumstances change, it’s essential for veterinary professionals to update their status with the Register. Failure to do so carries stiff penalties, and can also be illegal.
Returning from Overseas:
With Brexit looming, there are a number of veterinary surgeons and nurses practicing overseas who are considering a return to the UK, or may have already returned. If this is you, it’s worth remembering that, once back in the UK, before you can start practicing veterinary medicine, you must ensure the registration and correspondence details held by the RCVS have been updated to reflect your current status. Any convictions must also be declared. The RCVS website has a form that should be filled in to declare a change in registration category. Failure to comply with these stipulations will affect such legalities as liability insurance.
Leaving to work Overseas:
Likewise, should you be considering a move abroad to practice veterinary medicine, you must amend the details held by the RCVS. Failure to do so may have legal implications, particularly pertaining to the signing of documents such as pet passports. Again, the form for the change in registration category can be found on the RCVS website here, and there is a reduced renewal fee for professionals registered as working overseas.
Career Break or Maternity Leave:
If you are planning on a career break, take into account how long you plan to not practice. It may be more financially prudent to remain on the register as non-practicing than to remove yourself completely, in which case the re-registration fee is higher. If you’re planning to take maternity leave, bear in mind that if you plan to carry out practice veterinary medicine during ‘keeping in touch’ days, you must be registered as ‘Practising’ and compliant with all associated requirements.
Longer Career Breaks:
For those who are not planning to practice for the foreseeable future, there is the option to voluntarily remove yourself from the register. Subsequent re-registration is less expensive than non-voluntary removal through non-payment of fees. Therefore, it is advisable to remove yourself from the register rather than simply allow registration to lapse (which will be classed as non-payment of fees).
Non-Payment of Fees:
Every year, a number of veterinary surgeons and nurses are removed from the Register through non-payment of fees. In fact, in June 2018, 308 vets were removed in spite of several reminders being sent through various methods. Without being registered, vets can no longer call themselves a Veterinary Surgeon, use the appropriate initials after their name or carry out Schedule 3 work. To do so is illegal, and the consequences severe. Subsequent re-registration is significantly more expensive.
Other Requirements for Registration:
In addition to paying a fee to remain on the Register, veterinary surgeons and nurses must also have proof of their commitment to continuing professional development (CPD). This requirement is mandatory, regardless of whether you’re working full time or part time, and must be up to date even through maternity leave. Additionally, the criminal disclosures form must be completed. Failure to comply with either of these components required for registration will also result in that surgeon or nurse being deregistered, with associated penalties.
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