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Shape the future of the veterinary professions as an RCVS or VN Councils candidate in 2020

Veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses are being encouraged to help shape the future of their professions by standing as candidates for the RCVS Council and Veterinary Nurses (VN) Council, respectively, in their 2020 elections

29 November 2019, at 12:00pm

In next year’s RCVS Council election there are three elected veterinary surgeon member places available with successful candidates serving four-year terms. In the VN Council election there are two elected veterinary nurse member places available with successful candidates serving three-year terms.

The nomination period for both RCVS and VN Councils runs until 5pm on Friday 31 January 2020. In order to stand, candidates for either Council will need to complete a nomination form, submit a short biography and personal statement and supply a high resolution digital photo.

Each candidate will also need to have two nominators. For RCVS Council candidates, these should be veterinary surgeons who are on the RCVS Register but are not current RCVS Council members; for VN Council candidates, the nominators must be Registered Veterinary Nurses who are not currently on VN Council.

Nominations will be particularly welcome for VN Council as, due to governance changes, no election took place in 2018 and there was also no election in 2019, due to only two candidates standing for the two available places.

Racheal Marshall, Chair of VN Council, commented: “Although we are delighted with the two VN Council members who came on board this year, I think all would agree that it was a shame that there was no opportunity for the profession to exercise their democratic right and cast a vote for their preferred candidates.

“Being a member of VN Council and, latterly, its Chair has been a professional highlight for me – I have helped shape recommendations for how we can take the profession forward through the VN Futures project, have played a part in developing the postgraduate Certificates in Advanced Veterinary Nursing and have welcomed many new veterinary nurses to the Register by taking them through their professional declarations.

“We know that veterinary nurses sometimes feel that they struggle to be seen and heard – being a member of VN Council who can shape policy on education and professional conduct and attend events as an ambassador for the profession all helps give veterinary nursing the voice it deserves. So please consider standing for VN Council and I am very happy to talk to people about what it involves and how to fit it around your work and life.”

Veterinary nurses who wish to find out more about becoming a candidate for VN Council can arrange an informal conversation with Racheal by contacting Annette Amato, VN Council Secretary, on a.amato@rcvs.org.uk

Eleanor Ferguson, RCVS Registrar and Returning Officer for both the elections, added: ”As always, we would encourage those who are interested in having their say in some of the key debates in the regulatory sphere, such as our under care review, our policies around the impact of Brexit and our vision for new veterinary legislation, to become a candidate.

“RCVS Council is at its best when it encompasses a broad range of perspectives, experiences and knowledge, and so we encourage people from all areas of veterinary life and all levels of experience to put themselves forward and share their expertise and insight.”

The election period will start around mid-March and run until 5pm on Friday 24 April 2020. Ballot papers and emails with a secure link to a unique voting website will be sent to all registered veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses who are eligible to vote. Furthermore, prior to the launch of the election period, the College will be sourcing questions from members of the professions to put to the candidates, who will be asked to produce a video giving their responses to two questions of their choice. These videos will be published at the start of the election.

Nomination forms, guidance notes and frequently asked questions for prospective RCVS Council candidates can be found here.

Prospective candidates for RCVS Council are welcome to contact the Registrar, Eleanor Ferguson (e.ferguson@rcvs.org.uk) and the RCVS CEO, Lizzie Lockett (l.lockett@rcvs.org.uk) for more information about the role of the College and/or RCVS Council and VN Council members.

RCVS Council will also be holding its next public meeting on Thursday 23 January 2020, prior to the closure date for Council candidate nominations. Prospective candidates are welcome to attend the Council meeting as an observer. Please contact Dawn Wiggins, RCVS Council Secretary, on d.wiggins@rcvs.org.uk if you wish to attend.