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

I want to make a complaint

We register veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses to practise in the UK, and regulate their educational, ethical and clinical standards. Our aim is to act in the public interest by safeguarding the health and welfare of animals under veterinary care and ensuring standards of conduct in veterinary practice.

There are millions of veterinary consultations involving clients and animals every year, and occasionally something goes wrong. We have a legal duty to consider every complaint we receive about a veterinary surgeon and a registered veterinary nurse.

Our jurisdiction is limited in law to cases of:

  • Serious professional misconduct
  • Criminal convictions that affect an individual’s fitness to practise
  • Fraudulent registration

 The sanctions we can impose are:

  • To remove an individual’s name from the appropriate Register
  • To suspend an individual from their Register


Steps to take

Step one

If you are unhappy about the treatment provided to your animal, or an aspect of your veterinary surgeon’s or registered veterinary nurse's professional behaviour, in the first instance, please contact the practice, so that they can address the issue.

Step two

If, following the practice’s response, you remain unsatisfied, it may be appropriate for you to make a formal complaint to the College.

  • Before you do this, please download and read our guide to the complaints procedure: 'Making a complaint to the RCVS' (about a veterinary surgeon or registered veterinary nurse), available to download from the 'Related documents' box, top right. These documents contain an introduction to what you need to know, information about our complaints procedure for veterinary surgeons and registered veterinary nurses, some frequently asked questions, a description of what the RCVS can or cannot do, and our complaints forms.
  • The complaint forms can be completed on screen and printed.
  • Please remember to sign the form before you return it to the College.
  • Any further information should be added on a separate sheet of paper and sent to us with copies of any clinical records, correspondence with the veterinary surgeon, registered veterinary nurse or practice, or any other relevant information.

Please note that to read and complete the complaints form, you will need the latest version of Adobe Reader.

More information about our complaints procedure can be found via the links on the left.


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