Nominations open for elections to RCVS and VN Councils - Veterinary Practice
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Nominations open for elections to RCVS and VN Councils

Veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses can now put themselves forward as candidates in the 2022 online elections for RCVS Council and Veterinary Nurses (VN) Council

The nomination period for veterinary surgeons and nurses to themselves forward as candidates in the 2022 elections for RCVS Veterinary Nurses (VN) Councils respectively is now open. Elections will, once again this year, be held completely online.

Prospective members of RCVS and VN Councils have until 5pm on Monday 31 January 2022 to put themselves forward as candidates for the elections which will take place in March and April 2022.

The full eligibility criteria for veterinary surgeons who wish to stand for RCVS Council can be found online, where prospective candidates will also find further information about the role of the RCVS, RCVS Council and RCVS Council members. As well as guidance notes, and frequently asked questions about standing as a candidate.

All of the equivalent details for veterinary nurses, including the “job description” for prospective VN Council members, can also be found online.

Following the success of last year’s online-only election, the RCVS sought and gained permission from both the Privy Council and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) to allow candidate nominations to be submitted electronically, rather than in hard copy.

This also means that, when both elections start in March 2022, there will be no paper ballots but, rather, every veterinary surgeon and veterinary nurse who is eligible to vote in their respective elections will receive an email from Civica Election Services (CES), which runs the election on the College’s behalf, containing a secure link to a unique voting website.

Eleanor Ferguson, RCVS registrar and returning officer for the elections, explains: “Last year demonstrated that we are able to successfully hold our elections online, making the process more efficient and convenient for our members, as well as cutting out the financial and environmental costs that come with posting tens of thousands of ballot papers and booklets across the UK and, indeed, the world.

“Once again, for prospective RCVS and VN Councils election candidates, this will mean that, rather than having to send us hard copies of your nomination documents in the post, the forms can simply be emailed to the College along with the relevant digital photographs and electronic signatures.

“We look forward to hearing from prospective candidates and are happy to give further information about what being an RCVS Council or VN Council member means and what the role entails to those who may be considering standing for office.”

Prospective candidates for RCVS Council can also contact RCVS President Dr Kate Richards for an informal conversation on what it means to be an RCVS Council member, while prospective VN Council candidates can contact Matthew Rendle, VN Council Chair.

Kate said: “I’m on Council for my second term and can reassure any prospective candidates that it is a wonderful experience, both personally and professionally.

“You will learn new things not only about the College, but also the professions, policy and government; you will have fascinating discussions and debates with colleagues on issues of great importance and consequence; and you will make those important professional ‘connections that count’ with colleagues across the veterinary world and beyond. It is a career highlight.”

Matthew Rendle added: “This 60th anniversary year for the veterinary nursing profession has been a time to take stock about how far the profession has come and where it is going. One thing I have appreciated is the important role both VN Council and its committees will continue to have in this development process, by making key decisions on areas such as student training and well-being, continuing professional development, post-registration qualifications and statuses and registration of veterinary nurses.

“I would be happy to talk to anyone who might be interested in joining VN Council about its role and how you could contribute both to it and to the wider profession.”

There will be one meeting of RCVS Council taking place before the nomination period ends. This meeting, on Thursday 20 January 2022, will be held virtually and prospective candidates for both Councils are welcome to attend this as observers and should contact Dawn Wiggins, RCVS Council secretary.

Unfortunately there is no scheduled meeting of VN Council before the end of the candidate nomination period, but the agenda of previous VN Council meetings can be found on the council meeting page on the RCVS website for those who want to see examples of the kind of business it conducts.

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