Plans to open up the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ (RCVS) disciplinary committee to lay people have been welcomed.
Until now the RCVS’s three committees — the council, the disciplinary committee (DC) and the preliminary investigations committee (PIC) — have all been drawn from the same 40 council members.
Vet Richard Stephenson, who is on the RCVS council and the disciplinary committee, told H&H: “At the moment, the people who are making the rules are the same ones who are adjudicating on them.”
It has had to drop planned changes by going down this route, including revisions to the powers of the disciplinary committees, which would allow them to look at vets’ health and clinical performance and also offer advice or a caution as well as more draconian disciplinary action.
The consultation closes on 21 October and the document can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/consultations
This article was first published in Horse & Hound (6 August, ’09)