RCVS Academy launches new course to support veterinary professionals with client confidentiality issues

The RCVS Academy, a free digital learning platform for the veterinary professions, has launched ‘Client confidentiality,’ a new course which offers support and guidance to the veterinary team for situations where they feel it’s necessary to disclose confidential information without a client’s consent.

Deciding to breach client confidentiality is often an uncomfortable and difficult decision for the veterinary team. Veterinary teams may encounter situations where they feel there is sufficient justification to breach confidentiality and disclose information to the relevant authorities. This could be due to public interest, animal health and welfare, or other legal reasons.

Designed with the RCVS Standards and Advice team, the ‘Client confidentiality’ course will help the veterinary team identify the steps to take when deciding whether or not to make a disclosure. The course will also demonstrate how veterinary professionals can apply the supporting guidance to the Code of Professional Conduct (www.rcvs.org.uk/code) and remain compliant with their professional obligations. Learners will explore three interactive scenarios throughout the course, giving some examples of situations where it may be justified to disclose information and how to go about this.

Senior Standards and Advice Officer, Victoria Price said: “I’m delighted that we can offer this course to help veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses exercise their professional judgement in relation to disclosing confidential client information. Deciding to breach confidentiality is often a difficult decision with no right or wrong answer. The course should help learners to feel confident about what to consider in order to make justified and well-supported decisions.”

The course takes around one hour to complete and, as with all RCVS Academy courses, is free to access via the RCVS Academy (academy.rcvs.org.uk) using My Account login details, where other useful courses in the ‘Client Connections’ category are also available. 

Learning on the Academy is developed by the RCVS and offers the ability to plan and track learning. QR codes and direct links make it simple to record and reflect on what has been learned in the RCVS 1CPD platform (onecpd.rcvs.org.uk), which all registered members of the profession must now use to meet the RCVS CPD requirements.