Criteria for the approval of training practices are set by the RCVS to ensure parity of standards nationally. All training practices must complete an application form and be visited prior to approval so that the centre may evaluate and discuss the resources available to support training. The approval visit also provides an opportunity to discuss the general requirements for veterinary nurse training and assessment, the development needs of the new TP and the support to be offered by the centre.
When approving a training practice, centres must assure themselves that the practice is able to provide:
- a suitable and safe clinical environment in which to provide training
- a sufficient and varied animal case load in order that students may achieve the occupational standards
- suitable training, support and assessment
When approval of a training practice has been agreed, a memorandum of understanding between the centre and the TP will be established. This sets out the:
- role and responsibilities of the centre in relation to students, assessment, assessor/clinical coach support and verification
- role and responsibilities of the TP in relation to students, assessors/clinical coaches and record-keeping
- number of students to be supported and conditions for variance in this number
- requirements for reporting changes to premises, staff and students
- arrangements for visits and access to premises, staff, students and records
- fees payable
- terms of severance
Where a practice’s facilities or other required resources are deficient, approval and the memorandum of understanding must be based on tangible evidence of improvement e.g. photographs of improved facilities, purchase orders, new procedures. It is not acceptable to approve a TP on the promise of building work etc in the future. In such cases the practice may be approved in the first instance as an auxiliary training practice.
A training practice’s approval is valid only with the approving or “primary” centre. Should a practice wish to change its centre affiliation, the new centre must approve the practice and establish a fresh memorandum of understanding.