Thewlis Graham Associates

Concerns Process

The RVCS investigates thoroughly all concerns, following a three-stage Concerns Process for Vets and Concerns Process for Veterinary Nurses, both of which are published on the RCVS website.

The Preliminary Investigation Committees (PIC and VN PIC)

PICs investigate allegations against veterinary surgeons or veterinary nurses, as appropriate, and decide whether they should be referred to DC or VN DC. In practice, the work of investigation is mostly carried out by RCVS staff. Decisions are made on the basis of documentary evidence and they meet (in central London or through Skype) to make decisions on the cases before them. The full membership of the committee does not take part in every meeting. PIC meets every month and the VN PIC meets approximately every 6 weeks.

The Disciplinary Committees (DC and VN DC)

The DCs have a quasi-judicial role and procedure. The respondent veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse appears before the panel, will normally be legally represented and is subject to cross-examination. DC and VN DC will normally hear oral evidence from witnesses and are advised on points of law by a Legal Assessor. The committee retires to consider its findings and decisions in private. Hearings take place in central London.

Members of the DC can be expected to be able to sit for up to 30 days a year, and those of the VN DC up to 7 days a year. Hearings can be of short duration (one or two days) or longer (two or more weeks).