At the March 2022 meeting of RCVS Council, members agreed, in separate votes, to amend the rules around the Statutory Examination for Membership in terms of re-takes, and to expand the refugee support policy.
The Statutory Examination for Membership must be undertaken and passed by overseas-qualified veterinary surgeons holding degrees that are not recognised by the RCVS before they can join the Register and practise as a veterinary surgeon in the UK. The examination is held once a year and consists of two parts – a written exam and a practical exam. At present, if a candidate fails overall, they must wait until the next year and re-take both parts of the exam, even if they passed the written exam but failed the practical.
However, at the meeting on 17 March, Council members agreed to a proposal to amend the Statutory Instrument governing the Statutory Examination to allow candidates who pass the written exam but fail the practical exam to only re-take the latter exam in the following year. Should the candidate fail to pass the practical exam on the second attempt, they will then need to restart the whole process in the next year.
Now that the amendment has been approved by RCVS Council, it will need to be taken forward to and agreed by Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Privy Council before coming into law.
At the same meeting in March, RCVS Council members also agreed to amend our refugee support policy. The refugee support scheme was originally envisaged as being for refugees with veterinary qualifications which are not recognised by the RCVS and who would therefore be supported financially to undertake and study for the Statutory Examination.
However, in light of the situation in Ukraine where there is a veterinary school accredited by the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE), this financial support has been extended. All refugees whose qualifications make them eligible to register with the RCVS, but who may still need financial support to undertake an approved English language test as part of their registration process, now qualify for RCVS refugee support.