RCVS gives green light to non-vet roles

Posted: 14 November 2018 at 3:51 pm

The RCVS council has approved changes to the college’s supporting guidance to allow non-veterinarians to support vet surgeons in the certification of products of animal origin for export.

Plans developed by the APHA to deal with potential post-Brexit labour shortages involve the creation of a new role of certification support officers (CSOs), non-vets who would support the work of OVs in the signing of export health certificates for products of animal origin, such as meat, dairy, processed products and animal by-products.

Under direction

Under the APHA’s plans, CSOs will work under the direction of vets and support their certification work, although the final certification will always need to be signed by OVs. The role will not involve certification relating to live animals or germinal products.

At the latest RCVS council meeting (1 November), council members agreed to facilitate the APHA’s proposals and make changes to the RCVS requirements to allow CSOs to support OVs in their certification work.

Increased support

Amanda Boag, RCVS president, said: “As we have stated in our recent statement on ‘no-deal’ Brexit, it has been estimated that there would be 325% increase in veterinary certification requirements if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, and with these proposals Defra and the APHA are preparing for this by increasing the support available for OVs.

“Furthermore, the proposal is in line with the concept of a vet-led team, with veterinary surgeons focusing on tasks only vets can do, whilst delegating some tasks to suitably trained and quality-assured members of our teams.”