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Welcome to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons' website for animal owners

About the Practice Standards Scheme

Pets are often treated as members of the family and owners rightly want to be sure they receive excellent medical treatment.

Horse owners and farmers also want to ensure their animals are receiving the best possible veterinary care.

But how can you be sure?

Our regulatory function means that users of veterinary services can be assured that their veterinary surgeon or registered/listed veterinary nurse is properly qualified and fit to practise.

We can also offer reassurance that those practice premises which we accredit as part of our Practice Standards Scheme meet stringent standards.

Here's a short video to tell you a little more about the Scheme...


What is the Practice Standards Scheme?

Practice Standards Scheme logo

The RCVS Practice Standards Scheme (PSS) is a voluntary initiative to accredit veterinary practices in the UK.

Through setting standards and carrying out regular inspections, the Scheme aims to promote and maintain the highest standards of veterinary care.

It offers peace of mind to clients of accredited practices and a more informed choice to the animal-owning public.

To become accredited, practices volunteer for rigorous inspection every four years and will have met a range of minimum standards including hygiene, 24-hour emergency cover, staff training, certain types of equipment and cost estimation procedures.

Practices are also subject to spot-checks between inspections.

RCVS accreditation is not to be confused with a practice being included in the RCVS Register of Veterinary Practice Premises (RVPP).

We hold the RVPP on behalf of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, and only veterinary surgeons working from registered premises can supply veterinary medicines.

For more information on the RVPP, visit the Register of Veterinary Practice Premises section on the main RCVS website. (Please note that this link will open in a new window.)


Look for the logo

For peace of mind, look for the RCVS accredited practice logo, which indicates that the practice has passed an independent inspection.

This means high standards of care for animals and peace of mind for animal owners.

The logo was updated in 2011 (pictured left below), however you may see our old logo (pictured right below) in use as well.

Old and new PSS logos


Find a vet

Currently, around 55% of the UK’s practice premises are accredited under the Scheme, and this number continues to rise.

To check if a practice is accredited, or find one that is, use our Find a Vet service.


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