Chris Tufnell and Dr Barry Johnson

Two new awards launched highlighting impact and inspiration in the professions

14 August 2017

We have launched two new awards for veterinary surgeons or veterinary nurses who are making a tangible positive impact on the profession and who are inspiring others by their example.

The RCVS Inspiration Award is for a veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse who has demonstrated the ability to inspire and enthuse others consistently throughout his or her career. It is open to those who have inspired and motivated individuals or groups or who have worked at a profession-wide level. The award would recognise those who have gone ‘above and beyond’ what may normally be expected from a professional colleague or tutor.

The RCVS Impact Award is for a veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse who has made a considerable impact that has affected the profession at large, animal health or welfare, or public health. Such impact could have been made through any field of veterinary endeavour, including clinical practice, research, education or veterinary politics.

Chris Tufnell (pictured rewarding the Queen’s Medal to Dr Barry Johnson), Senior Vice-President of the RCVS, said: “I am very excited to be introducing these two new awards for those veterinary surgeons and nurses who go above-and-beyond the call of duty for the benefit of their profession, animals and society as a whole.

“I am keen to emphasise that these two new awards are relevant for veterinary professionals from all walks of life and any stage of their career – these are not life-time achievement awards but are for those making a tangible difference whether that’s in their practice, their region or across the country as a whole.

“If you know someone like this then I would strongly encourage you to find out more on our website and fill out a nomination form.”

These two awards join the well-established Queen’s Medal and Golden Jubilee Award, which are for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses respectively who have made a significant impact on their respective professions over the course of a career, and Honorary Associateship for laypeople who have made a significant impact in the veterinary field.

Furthermore, at RCVS Day 2017, we also introduced our inaugural International Award for individuals who have worked internationally, from either within or outside the UK, to safeguard and improve animal health and welfare. The International Award this year went to Christophe Buhot, former President of the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe.

Nominations for all six honours are now open and the nomination forms and guidance forms are available to download.The deadline for making nominations is Monday 16 October 2017.

All nominations will be considered by the Operational Board for approval by RCVS Council at its March 2018 meeting. Awards will be made at RCVS Day in July 2018.

Those with questions about making a nomination can contact Peris Dean, Executive Secretary, on

illustration - of dog, cat and books with text - Want to do some research in your practice?

Ethics Review Panel trial extended and remit expanded

25 July 2017

We have decided to extend our Ethics Review Panel for a further year with an expanded remit to consider a greater diversity of applications.

The Panel, chaired by veterinary ethicist Professor David Morton CBE, was established last year on a trial basis as a means of offering an ethical review process for practice-based research projects that may not have the same access to resources as clinical studies in academia or industry.

Since its establishment at the end of July last year it has received 23 applications, mostly concerning small animal clinical studies. However, due to demand from the profession, it will shortly be considering applications for equine or farm animal-based research and will be recruiting new panel members to cover these areas.

Eleanor Ferguson, RCVS Registrar, commented: “Although the number of cases considered so far have been relatively small, the service has been very well received as a means of providing ethical review to those who might not otherwise be able to do so and so, therefore, might struggle to get papers published.

“Considering the importance of practice-based research we expect there to be an increase in the number of applications as word gets out about the service and so were happy to extend the trial for another year and for it to consider a wider range of applications.”

Further details about the Panel as well as guidelines for making applications and application forms are available.

For an initial discussion about submitting an application to the Ethics Review Panel, please contact Beth Jinks, our Standards and Advisory Officer, on 020 7202 0764 or

ViVet logo

College launches social media competition to find the best vet and VN innovators

21 July 2017

We have today (Friday 21 July 2017) launched a social media competition to highlight the best practice-based innovation from both veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses, with the opportunity to win tickets to the first RCVS Innovation Symposium, to be held at The Shard in September.

The competition, launched on Friday 21 July 2017, encourages vets and VNs to post pictures on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, using the hashtags #VetInnovator and #VNinnovator respectively, to showcase something innovative that they have done in their practice that has led, for example, to improved methods of working, a better service to clients or improved clinical outcomes.

Anthony Roberts, our Director of Leadership and Innovation, explains: “We’d love to hear about the latest technology being used in veterinary practice, but innovation isn’t only about high-tech equipment or scientific discovery, it can also be how business are organised, the services they offer and how they are marketed to clients.

“If you or someone you know has developed a new product or service, established a business model that provides a better serves to clients or accesses new client groups, improved processes or methods of working to make a practice operate more efficiently, or if you have found a novel way to market veterinary service, then we want to hear from you.”

The competition is run ahead of our inaugural Innovation Symposium, which takes place at The Shard in London on Wednesday 20 September 2017. Inspired by the Vet Futures research initiative, it is an invitation-only event that will bring together thought-leaders from the veterinary and veterinary nursing professions and those involved in innovative veterinary technologies or business models.

We are offering free tickets to the event to the top five social media competition entries made by veterinary surgeons and the top five by veterinary nurses. Entries should be submitted by 16 August 2017 and will be judged by Anthony Roberts, our Director of Leadership and Innovation, and Senior Vice-President Chris Tufnell.

Anthony adds: “The event will provide a launch-pad for an ambitious programme to put veterinary professionals at the centre of innovation in the animal health sector and to ensure our regulations further enhance animal health and welfare through fostering appropriate innovation.

“We want to engage with everyone involved in innovation, not just those working in start-ups or research institutions. If you’re at the forefront of innovation in your practice we know you’ll find the innovation symposium to be a useful and engaging event and we would encourage you to enter our competition and tell us how you are making a difference.”

More information about the Innovation Symposium including the provisional programme is available.