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The Practice Standards Scheme

By Christine Ding
Jan 30, 2015 - 11:00:45 AM

The RCVS Practice Standards Scheme

There are many different types of veterinary practice - those dealing with all species or limited species, general or referral, large or small practices, corporate or privately run. It can be difficult to distinguish between them.

The Practice Standards Scheme is a voluntary scheme regulated by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons that aims to help owners make a more informed choice. The scheme also aims to promote and maintain the highest standards of veterinary care. Practices that are part of the scheme undergo a rigorous inspection every four years and are also subject to spot checks between inspections.
To become accredited a practice has to meet minimum standards relating to hygiene, 24 hour emergency cover, staff training, certain types of equipment and cost estimation procedures.

There are three standards of accreditation.
RCVS Core Standards are the most basic level and apply to all types of accredited practice. They signify compliance with legal and health and safety requirements.
RCVS General Practice Small Animal. These practices have to satisfy the Core Standards plus have systems in place to monitor the outcome of treatment, have policies for client communication and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to education and training of all staff. They also have to have access to laboratory facilities and keep the premises clean and well maintained.
RCVS Veterinary Hospital. These practices are required to comply with both core and general practice standards. In addition they have to ensure that nursing staff are on the premises around the clock and a veterinary surgeon available 24 hours a day to attend to in-patients if required. They also need to provide additional equipment.

Only practices that are part of the RCVS PSS scheme are allowed to display the logo - as shown on the home page of our website.

Evergreen Veterinary Surgery is accredited to RCVS General Practice Small Animal Standard. The most recent inspection took place in November 2014. This was our fourth inspection as Evergreen Veterinary Surgery has been part of the scheme since it began. Before this, Evergreen Veterinary Surgery was an accredited member of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association's Scheme that was the forerunner to the RCVS scheme. Being part of these schemes demonstrates the commitment of our staff to high quality care, good client communication and continuing professional education.

In November the inspector commented " Thank you for completing the evidence for your inspection so quickly and efficiently, it makes such a difference and reflects the willingness to move forward your practice demonstrated during the inspection."