RCVS was established in 1844 by Royal Charter to be the governing body of the veterinary profession in the United Kingdom. Its statutory duties operate under primary national legislation and are currently laid out in the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966. RCVS is also designated as the “Competent Authority” for the veterinary profession under European Union legislation. Under the RCVS Supplemental Royal Charter 2015, powers are granted for the setting of standards for the training and education of persons wishing to be entered in the register of veterinary nurses. The majority of RCVS’ income is derived from annual registration fees from veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses practising in the UK.
Setting and monitoring the standards for the education of veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses is a key responsibility of the RCVS. RCVS has the duty to assess the quality of courses of study followed by students training to be veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses in the UK. Under this provision, RCVS is able to monitor standards at UK universities on a regular basis, not just through the formal process of periodic accreditation visits.
RCVS’s most recent external review report can be found here.