City & Guilds has announced plans to withdraw veterinary nursing from its portfolio of qualifications.

It means the awarding organisation will accept no new registrations from September 1, 2020, and cease certificating existing qualifications from September 1, 2023.

The specific qualifications affected will be as follows:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Small Animals) (7457-03) Ofqual Accreditation No: 600/6052/9;
  • Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Equine) (7457-13) Ofqual Accreditation No: 600/6052/9;
  • Level 3 Diploma in Small Animal Veterinary Nursing (7457-33) Ofqual Accreditation No: 603/5101/9;
  • Level 3 Diploma in Equine Veterinary Nursing (7457-43) Ofqual Accreditation No: 603/5102/0.

City & Guilds has also said it no longer intends to apply to become an end-point assessment organisation for the veterinary nursing apprenticeship end-point assessment.

According to City & Guilds, its decision not to continue these qualifications is "based on several factors".

A City & Guilds spokesperson said: “Due to significant external policy change, City & Guilds has been required to undertake a review of its provision across all sectors in which we operate.

"Unfortunately, this has led to the difficult decision to cease delivery of our Veterinary Nursing qualifications for Small Animal and Equine.

This decision has not been taken lightly and we understand the disappointment it has caused to both training centres and learners.

"We pride ourselves on the level of service we offer our customers and the quality of the qualifications we provide.

"We are therefore working closely with our centres to minimise any disruption and ensure that all learners registered with us have every opportunity to complete their qualifications.”

Susan Howarth RVN, chairman of The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Veterinary Nurse Education Committee, said: “We fully recognise this will be worrying news for many VN students, so our immediate priority is to provide as much information and reassurance as possible to those currently enrolled with City & Guilds-approved centres, or those who might be intending to enrol soon.

We have published a list of frequently asked questions on our website to help address what are likely to be the most immediate concerns, which we will add to as more information becomes available.

“Anyone with additional questions or concerns at this stage should speak to their Centre in the first instance, or contact the RCVS VN team at: [email protected], or call: 020-7202-0788.”

During the next days and weeks, the college will be liaising closely with City & Guilds to ensure the needs of their VN learners continue to be met and all commitments to them honoured up to September 2023.

It will continue to audit and monitor the City & Guilds programme and affiliated centres until August 31, 2023.

In the meantime, the college will also work closely with the two other awarding organisations – Central Qualifications and VetSkill – and with the Higher Education establishments that offer alternative routes to VN qualifications, to consider how best to prevent a shortfall in VN training places arising from City & Guilds’ decision to withdraw these qualifications.