RCVS Practice Standards Scheme

We are delighted to announce that each of our three branches have been awarded PSS accreditation by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeries. We ask our senior vet Jill Crawford the importance of this award.

How does a veterinary practice become PSS accredited?
The RCVS have a set of standards which we have to meet. They cover every single area of the practice, in considerable depth. There are 17 sections, each with multiple standards within it. Preparation is key, and takes several months prior to the actual inspection day. Additionally the practice can be ‘spot checked’ with only 24 hours advance notice, so it is important that those standards are maintained consistently.

Why is being PSS accredited so important?
We joined the scheme in 2007, shortly after it was launched, because we felt it was important that people should have the reassurance that an external inspection can bring. In some ways it’s like OFSTED for vets, although not yet compulsory! We think it’s a good way of showing that everything is done to the highest standards, ‘behind the scenes’ so to speak. It can be a very stressful time bringing your family pet to the vets and we hope it reassures pet owners to know that a practice has been rigorously inspected. It also ensures that all our staff are aware of the standards which are required, whether they’ve been with us for years, or have just joined the Orchard House ‘family’.

What does it mean to the practice and to our clients that we are PSS accredited?
It’s quite a nerve racking experience preparing for the inspection, as we want to make a good impression, and every member of staff is involved, both our clinical team of vets and veterinary nurses and our admin team of receptionists, branch co-ordinators and practice manager. I think it really draws us all together to ensure we work well as a team. For our clients, I hope, it helps them to feel that their pet is coming to a practice where all the staff are working to the highest professional standards.