Recent VSA activities

Our main activity remains communicating with the RCVS over the new guidelines to the Code of Conduct, Section 23.32 where it states that a vet may describe themselves as a Specialist even if they have no RCVS Recognised Specialist qualification, so long as they add the term “not an RCVS Recognised Specialist”. This is a bewildering layer of confusion to add the poor definition of Specialists, and we will continue to lobby the RCVS on this matter. 

Other areas include liaising with EBVS to discuss the impact or role of flexible pathways as a route to EBVS Specialisation – also an area of interest with the RCVS and we will continue to support EBVS and AVMA as the preferred route to Specialist qualifications. 

We have set up an easy link on the web page where you can report a vet advertising themselves incorrectly as offering specialist care and this has been very popular

We are also attending stakeholder meetings with the RCVS on Specialisation in primary care practice as well as the practice standards scheme. 

In response to member surveys, we have changed our name to Veterinary Specialist Association (although please note that this is our working name and the charitable organisation remains in the original name British College of Veterinary Specialists – this will not affect any payments you make), and updated the website with our new logo. 

We drafted a response to the CMA review to add our perspective to their information about the fact that the public cannot know what they are paying for, if the level of expertise is not defined or supported by the RCVS

Bringing us up to date with modern communications, we have now created a LinkedIn page – please connect to Veterinary Specialist Association and follow this page as it is the easiest way for us to update you on important news or issues that we hear about. We have not yet created other social media channels as they do depend on followers and regular posting, so until we can do this, we will continue to focus on Linked In. Should that change, we can communicate this via the LinkedIn page. 

We are also working on restarting our focussed meeting programme, hoping to plan a special session in October on clinical governance and consensus setting on management of brachycephalic dogs in the hospital. Please let us know of other non companion animal topics that we could plan for next year. We are also running surveys on early career Diplomates and resident training experiences and hope to set up a series of workshops on training and mentoring. 

Please contact us if you would like to get involved, particularly if there is a specific initiative you would like to take forward.

Davina Anderson


EBVS® European Specialist in Veterinary Surgery

RCVS Recognised Specialist in Small Animal Surgery (Soft Tissue)