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Between 2017 and 2020 our Legislation Working Party (LWP) undertook a wholesale, root-and-branch review of the legislation which governs the veterinary professions, as well as the role of the RCVS in interpreting and implementing this legislation as the veterinary regulator.

It was the most substantial review of the professions' legislative framework since the Veterinary Surgeons Act was introduced in 1966. It was launched to come up with recommendations for replacing the current Act, which was found to be archaic and no longer fit for purpose for the 21st century veterinary professions.

The LWP's resulting recommendations for what should be included in any future piece of legislation to replace in Veterinary Surgeons Act were published in 2020. They were subject to public consultation between November 2020 and April 2021. Some additional interim proposals for reform of our concerns investigation and disciplinary system which did not require new primary legislation were consulted upon at the same time.

RCVS Council decisions

In June 2021, the consultation responses were shared with RCVS Council who voted to adopt the recommendations of the Legislation Working Party’s final report on its proposals for future veterinary legislation.

These recommendations are designed to:
  • Strengthen the regulation of the vet-led team
  • Enhance the role of veterinary nurses
  • Modernise RCVS registration
  • Lead to a modern fitness to practise regime
  • Ensure the regulation of veterinary practices