RCVS crackdown on CPD compliance: What do I think?

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

The RCVS have released a statement regarding Veterinary nurses who fail to fulfil their CPD requirements and the RCVS VN council vowed to “show its teeth” on non-compliance.

As the owner of a small but extremely passionate CPD provider for the veterinary industry, I could be rubbing my hands together at the prospect of 1000s of VNs running towards me to take advantage of my CPD offerings, but the reality is, I know this will not happen and this isn't because I work in an industry where there is apathy to learning, quite the opposite; but I do work in an industry where financial constraints either through salary of CPD budgets are a restricting factor.

I myself work part time in clinical practice and therefore am eligible for a part time CPD budget. I love where I work, I love who I work with and I love being a veterinary nurse, but the reality is that for a specialist nurse, my CPD budget without subsidisation by me is not enough to cover the cost of a course that will further my learning whilst meeting RCVS requirements.

Many VNs out in practice are still in a position where they receive no CPD budget at all and whilst there is a plethora of free CPD available (which we often share with you on our Facebook page) they may not meet the learning requirements for every individual. If lucky enough to receive a CPD budget many of the larger CPD companies provide fantastic, high quality CPD but well outside the standard VNs annual budget.

Whilst Ms Cox from the RCVS council observed how, to date, council had used “carrots” and “no sticks” . I would say that many VNs have carried out their careers with a lot more stick than carrot!

SynergyCPD has tried to offer many different platforms for learning. In house CPD can be a very economical and fun way to learn. The whole team can attend at a time that works for them, allowing team standardisation that helps implement change. The cost of the session can then be shared between the whole team with no additional travel costs to incur.

"We would rather you paid less but we get to see you more!"

We offer affordable webinars from leading professionals which all come with supporting reference material and we offer heavily subsidised evening and full day courses. Affordability is extremely important to us because we understand the financial constraints regarding accessing quality training and we want to see you as much as possible throughout the year.

So do I think all VNs should be complying with the RCVS CPD requirements of 45 hours over 3 years? Yes I do but I think it should not be a tick box exercise where we are forced to search out the availability of free CPD only to achieve hours. We need to look at ways that we can support VNs to meet these requirements whilst accessing the CPD courses that are right for them. The BVNA offer a range of bursaries and funding as does the RCVS. We can access free articles from magazines such as VN times and subscribe to ISFMs nurse and technician membership for free, which offers monthly newsletters, journals and webinars. Many of the drug and pet food companies deliver free sessions for us as well but this, in my opinion should not be an excuse for VNs to receive adequate funding.

If anyone needs help accessing good quality CPD and has genuine issues regarding funding, please get in touch and we will try our best to help

claire.roberts@synergycpd.com - 07739017367

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