The RCVS formally welcomed six overseas-educated veterinary surgeons on to the UK Register this week as it held its first virtual Statutory Membership Exam admissions ceremony.
The ceremony was held on Thursday 25 February 2021 when RCVS President Dr Mandisa Greene and RCVS Chief Executive Lizzie Lockett welcomed the six individuals who had successfully passed the Statutory Membership Exam. The exam needs to be undertaken and passed by veterinarians with qualifications that are not recognised by the RCVS in order for them to join the Register and practise in the UK.
The successful candidates were Rafaela Cardoso from Brazil, Lu Chen, Bingqiu Lu and Yanan Wang from China, So Young Kwon from South Korea and Sujith Rajan from India who, joined by family and friends, all attended the ceremony over Zoom.
Before welcoming each of them to the Register, Lizzie Lockett (pictured) described the difficult conditions under which the candidates had undertaken the Statutory Membership Exam in 2020 and paid tribute to the RCVS Education Department for its efforts in running the exams despite the pandemic.
She said: “When today’s new members first signed up for this exam, they thought they would be travelling to London in spring to sit the written paper, followed by a trip up to Glasgow in the summer to take the practical examination. When Covid hit early last year, we had to postpone the exam and then set about trying to find alternative means of delivery which would allow the candidates to sit the examination that they had spent so much time and effort preparing for in a way that was safe and secure for everybody involved.
“As a result, in August 2020 these candidates were the first to sit the written component of the exam online, allowing them to take it from the security of their own homes. They turned out to be trailblazers, as our Education Committee decided recently that this mode of delivery would now be the norm for all upcoming diets of the exam.
“Today’s new members all passed this component and went on to sit the practical examination at Glasgow Vet School in December 2020. This posed a new set of unique challenges, as we had to run this face-to-face, practical exam in a way which was Covid-secure, which entailed new measures such as kitting out all of our examiners with full PPE, spacing the OSCE stations out to allow for social distancing and adding in extra time for the equipment to be sterilised between tasks.
“Despite all these challenges, the new members we have here today passed the Statutory Membership Exam, and I’m very pleased to be able to welcome you as new members of the College.”
RCVS President Mandisa Greene (pictured), after taking each of them through their professional declarations, then gave an address formally welcoming them to the UK veterinary profession. In this she said: “I am in awe of those of you who take and pass the Statutory Membership Exam. By passing it you have met the standards we expect of members of the profession practising in the UK and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are ready and able to work as a member of this wonderful profession in the UK.
“And it is not only what you have done to get to this point, but the conditions in which you have done them that are to be celebrated. None of us could have guessed a pandemic would be the circumstances through which you’ve had to navigate, but you were all able to do so successfully. It’s the context of your achievement that makes it so admirable, so well done!
“You are also amazing in another sense. As a daughter of parents who came to the UK from the Caribbean, I know how equally daunting and exciting it can be to up sticks and move somewhere new and unfamiliar and I admire you all for coming here and, like so many immigrants to the UK, being determined to make a positive contribution to your new home.
“I also know how important it is to be made to feel welcome, and this is why I want to emphasise that no matter your nationality, race, religion, or any other factor, you are a member of our veterinary community.”
More information about the Statutory Membership Exam can be found on our website.