If you need further information, guidance and support, please contact the Advice Centre.

All students

Message from the Principal 7th May 2020

Deferrals and interruption of studies

Emma Burchfield has posted the current situation with regard to how the RVC will be approaching the issues as they relate to those students who may find they need to defer or interrupt their studies. The information is available here.

Our research community

New messages were sent by Jonathan Elliott to the research community with important information regarding our approach to ensuring a proper process to accessing laboratories should the lockdown restrictions be relaxed in the near future – we await the Government’s announcement on Sunday.  Together with Kristien Verheyen, he also provided a briefing on scholarship extensions and a possible phased return from lockdown from the research student perspective, again dependent upon restrictions being relaxed.

AHEMS/EMS

We continue to work with the RCVS as they adapt their approach.  Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for the latest guidance on AHEMS

Virtual Rotations

Dan Chan has emailed information on the sign up options for the huge range of opportunities over the coming months for those engaged in rotations.

Message from the Principal 5th May 2020

Tuition fees

In common with other cognate institutions and following Government guidance, the RVC is not reducing fees for the 2019/20 academic year. Full details and a position statement on 2019/20 tuition fees, supported by the SU, are available in the FAQ. However, in recognition of the significant hardship that many will endure in the coming months, we are freezing our 2020/21 fees for undergraduate taught programmes at the 2019/20 levels. This applies to taught UG degrees and PGT where the RVC is the sole provider. We are in discussion with our partners where PGT is a shared provision. In the case of PGR fees, we are taking our lead from UKRI.

In addition to the fee freeze for current students, we are also fixing the tuition fees for new  students commencing 2020/21 at the 2019/20 levels.

Graduation

Further to recent communications and briefings, we are confirming that there will be a physical “in person” graduation celebration with all the pomp and ceremony that befits an RVC graduation. Given that the likelihood of large social gatherings taking place in the UK anytime this calendar year is close to zero and the pressure on suitable venues will be high given all the London based universities will be trying to reschedule, we are currently looking at a separate ceremony for 2020 graduates at our Graduation Day on 12th July 2021 in Royal Festival Hall. We will confirm this as soon as we can and certainly before the end of this month.

To mark this year, we will be running a virtual event for our 2020 graduands. We are looking to hold these on the following dates at a time to be decided to allow most graduates located in different time zones to take part in the celebration.

BVetMed
18th June 2020, afternoon                                                                     

FdSc and BSc Vet Nursing
7th July 2020, late morning

BSc, MSci, PGDip, MSc, MVetMed, MRes, MPhil, PhD
7th July 2020, afternoon

Again, we will confirm date and time but in this case by the end of next week once we have audited and built the necessary IT requirements and can provide you with fuller details.

For those students who will be registering with the RCVS, this will take place electronically and will be managed by the RCVS. The President will still provide an address at the relevant virtual celebrations described above. You will be receiving a letter from the RCVS, hopefully within the next week with further information regarding the membership registration process.

Message from the Principal 1st May 2020

AHEMS and Clinical EMS

The latest guidance can be found in the AHEMS panel of the Frequently Asked Questions pages.

Financial support

I remind you of the support available to RVC students in financial need.  Please apply if you feel you meet the criteria, particularly if you have been affected financially by the Coronavirus.

For more information visit our webpage or contact moneymatters@rvc.ac.uk or 0208 051 3500

Message from the Principal 27th April 2020

Veterinary Nurses C15

Hilary Orpet has drafted information regarding virtual placement activities.    

BSc3
Adam Osgood has issued a number of emails regarding exam arrangements.

Gateway
With emails from both Lisa Thurston and Bradley Cobb, information has been provided on formative assessments as well as exceptional circumstances and deferrals.

Academic researchers and Research Association
Jonathan Elliott has provided an important update regarding the Government’s Job Retention Scheme as it applies to different granting bodies.

Learning and Wellbeing
Michele Milner emailed all staff regarding Zoom and student support for remote learning. She also emailed all students, today, about remote learning, study skills and a guided relaxation webinar.

Veterinary Nurses C15
Hilary Orpet has drafted information regarding virtual placement activities.    

BSc3
Adam Osgood has issued a number of emails regarding exam arrangements.

Gateway
With emails from both Lisa Thurston and Bradley Cobb, information has been provided on formative assessments as well as exceptional circumstances and deferrals.

Message from Principal 20th of April

Rotation students
Dan Chan will be emailing an updated timetable for the schedule to rotations.

BSc Biosciences and Gateway students PDI module
Claire Russell has emailed regarding the forthcoming workshop.

Placements
Claire Russell has emailed with important information regarding placements to those students to whom it is relevant.

Message from Principal 17th of April

BVetMed5 Day One Skills Assessment

We are simplifying the process of gathering information about Day One Skills. This compulsory exercise is to address aspects of the programme that would, in part, have been assessed by the OSCEs which we have not been able to run this year. Details are in an email that Dan Chan is sending out today, with additional guidance and resources available on Learn on Monday next week.

Message from Principal 16th of April

Yesterday, again as promised, we sent messages to BSc1 and 2 on assessments, as well as an update on electives for BVetMed 4 and 5.

Today, BVetMed5 have received an email regarding their Finals Part 2 Written Exams.

We have posted additional advice on how to get the best out of online learning. It is available here:

Message from Principal 14th of April

Volunteering

A reminder to please check with your Head of Department if you wish to volunteer. We have a list of people and skills assembled and submitted with regard to laboratory activities – we now await the call from the authorities. In the case of NHS volunteering, we must ensure that higher risk activities do not subsequently place others at risk once a volunteer returns.  More guidance is on its way.

Local community

We are working in a number of ways to ensure we continue to support our local community, be that through provision of meat and eggs from our own farm through to continuing to assist the local planning authorities with regard to the Local Plan. More on this soon.

We need your feedback

Given the unusual circumstances, we hope that we are getting most things right in the ways we are working, in how we reach decisions and how we then communicate with the RVC community. But I do know that we have made and will continue to make mistakes and get things wrong and so we need you to tell us what things you like and what things you would like to see done differently.

To this end we will be sending out a short questionnaire before the end of this week so that you can let us know.

Message from Principal 9th of April

Timetable for updates (subject to change)

Please note that these are dates by which we will provide information. The update we provide may be that there is no new information.

BVetMed 4

Electives

15/04/2020

BVetMed 3

Exams

14/04/2020

All VN students

Placement information

20/04/2020

Bsc/MSci 1

Assessments

15/04/2020

Bsc/MSci 2

Assessments

15/04/2020

BVetMed 5

Folium reviews

17/04/2020

BVetMed 4

Rotations

23/04/2020

Bsc/MSci 3

Assessments

20/04/2020

MSci

Assessments

30/04/2020

VN and BVetMed

Arrangements for RCVS Registration

01/05/2020

All 2020 graduands

Alternative Graduation celebration

01/05/2020

Interns & Residents

Assessment deadlines

TBC


Students on taught programmes

Please read the following carefully; for the purposes of this communication:

  • Graduating year means you are due to graduate this year 2019/20.
  • Non-graduating year means that you are due to graduate in 2020/21 or later.
  • Formative assessment A “formative” assessment is an assessment that will help you to understand how well you are doing. Whatever the mark, it is not a barrier to progression in the course. You may receive a numerical mark and/or find out how you performed relative to your peers; if appropriate, you may be encouraged to seek advice on how you could improve your performance.
  • Summative assessment means an assessment that can be a barrier to progression unless the pass mark is achieved.

Non-graduating years

ALL face-to-face teaching is suspended until August 31st at the earliest.

  1. For those NOT in a graduating year ALL SUMMATIVE assessment is suspended. Wherever possible and sticking where we can to original schedules, we will provide FORMATIVE assessments.
    1. The formative assessments will be accessible remotely online.
    2. There will be no physical presence required on campus.
  2. This relates to;
    • BSc 1
    • BSc 2
    • Gateway
    • Graduate and Accelerated
    • BVetMed 1
    • BVetMed 2
    • BVetMed 3
    • BVetMed 4
    • All VN examinations in years 1 and 2.
  3. As we work through these arrangements, we cannot tell you exactly the format of the formative assessments. PLEASE DO NOT ASK OR EMAIL - we will contact you.
  4. We will be considering how the move to formative assessment will impact final degree classifications and the allocation of points for the award of honours at a future date. Please do not send queries about this.
  5. We will work with those of you who have issues with IT resources or connectivity.
  6. We will work with those of you who require additional support.

Graduating year - Final year BSc and some MSci

  1. We are planning to deliver online SUMMATIVE assessments that will determine whether or not the outcomes of the course have been achieved.
  2. Specific information about the format of these assessments will be provided on or before the 3rd April 2020.
  3. You will be expected to submit your written projects as per the original schedule – we will be writing to you further about this.
  4. We encourage you to continue studying towards your examinations with the assumption that they will be taking place.

Graduating year – (not including BVetMed)

  1. For other graduating students including FdSc veterinary nursing students, BSc veterinary nursing students (3rd and 4th year), taught MSc students, MSci students and MVetMed students, further information will be provided before April 3rd by your course director.
  2. You should assume that you will be undergoing summative assessment.

Undergraduate and taught postgraduate degrees with a research component

  • BSc year 3 students (including final year BSc VN students)
  • MSci students
  • BVetMed RP2 students
  • MSc students
  1. In order, to minimise risk, it is necessary for all prospective projects for which the gathering of data require either laboratory work, attendance at RVC campuses, travel or face-to-face meetings to cease for the remainder of this academic year. Projects that have already been embarked upon and for which partial data are already available should be written up as incomplete projects with an explanation of how further experiments or data-gathering would have been conducted. Projects that have not yet been embarked upon should be modified to a suitable desk-based or literature-based project.
  2. Students unsure about how to proceed should contact their supervisor, or if a supervisor has not yet been allocated, the relevant Course Director or Year Leader.
  3. Students, when submitting a project for assessment, should include a concise statement (that will not be included in the word count) outlining whether and how their project was altered as a consequence of these changes.
  4. Students can be reassured that this alteration will not adversely affect their chances of success. Disruption to projects and last minute changes to projects will be taken into account when they are being marked.

Resits

  1. If you are in a non-graduating year, you will progress to the next year. Where possible we will administer a formative assessment. Regardless of the formative assessment, those with resits in this position will need to understand that they will need to seek support to address performance in the coming year.
  2. If you are in a graduating year, there will be a summative assessment, but it will be delivered by remote access online. We do not yet know the exact timing or format.

Degree classifications

  1. We have not received guidance on this matter and have not decided how degree classifications will be decided.
  2. We have an emergency paper with Academic Board that will allow us significant flexibility in allowing people to graduate on schedule. 

Students in RVC accommodation

Guidance on staying at home and social distancing for  students in RVC accommodation

For students who remain in Halls, your accommodation room is considered to be your home during this period of lockdown so we would like to remind you of the need to comply with the guidance from the government on when you should leave your house (flat) and of the importance of social distancing at all times. See Staying at home and away from others (social distancing)

You should only leave the house (your flat) for very limited purposes:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.

These reasons are exceptions - even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

Your household is considered to be the students living within your flat. This does not include other students living on campus in other flats.

These measures must be followed by all students remaining on campus.

General accomodation arrangements

This has been one of the most complex issues given the range of contracts and circumstances and the need for consistency across the sector. These arrangements, approved by our Council, have been put in place having consulted with other universities and third-party providers following the changing advice from Government and the Office for Students. Wherever possible, we have tried to ensure consistency with other providers, and the arrangements outlined below take into account the duty of care placed upon the institution and our ongoing commitment to provide as supportive an environment for our students as possible.

  1. Students in NSV, College Grove, College Close (where relevant)
    1. If you have left your room and taken your belongings, there will be no charge for Term Three.
    2. If you have left your room but your belongings are still in the room, there will be no charge for Term Three on the condition that, should we need to use the room e.g. for key workers or NHS staff, you are content that we put your belongings in storage. If you are not willing to agree to this condition, we will regard the room as occupied and payment will be due at normal occupied rates.
    3. If you are still in accommodation, normal charges will apply to the end of the contracted tenancy period but any extended stay beyond this will be free of charge up until the start of the next session.
    4. While you are in residence, should there be any change in your personal situation or your health you MUST update us via the Advice Centre immediately.
    5. It is important for you to remember that we will continue to maintain our essential facilities and that we have a duty of care to you; when necessary deliveries of food and essential items will be available to you.
  2. Students in Other Halls (Mary Brancker, Mannequin, etc.) To the best of our knowledge, the same or similar conditions and arrangements are in place at these other Halls. However, for clarification you should contact your provider
  3. Students in Private Accommodation With respect to students in private accommodation, we are lobbying the Government regarding rent holidays and other contractual issues and are bolstering our hardship funds for those in most need.

There is no best solution and the impact on the RVC is substantial.

We remind all RVC students in any accommodation that we are committed to supporting all students who remain in Halls.

Again, a reminder: If you develop COVID-19 symptoms and need to self-isolate please inform the Advice Centre immediately so we can provide the appropriate welfare support.

I am aware that everybody’s financial status is different, whether with loans or self-funded, and that those with part-time jobs will most probably not be able to work currently. Hardship will be found in many quarters and to that end we are seeking to bolster our Hardship Funds in order to provide support where it is need most.

Student support

Learning and Wellbeing

On 4th May, Michele Milner emailed information on various aspects of wellbeing for everyone as well as details on additional support, through the Advice Centre, on financial matters. There was also information made available with regard to teaching continuity resources. 

The Advice Centre will also be distributing a survey to seek student feedback on the online and remote learning experience thus far. 

Learning and Wellbeing Student support services – here for you remotely  

We just wanted to take the opportunity to reassure you that all of our Learning and Wellbeing services remain open and available to you as RVC students. You can now access all of our services remotely.  

You can continue to book appointments with us via RVC Learn and your appointment will be held by phone or online to keep everyone safe, and to enable you to access support from wherever you are in the world. If you need to reschedule your appointment for any reason, please just let us know.  

You can reach us using the contact details below at the following times:

  • Advice Centre
    Monday – Friday 9:00-19:00 (GMT)
    Email: advice@rvc.ac.uk  Telephone: 020 8051 3500   
    All services are available including disability, housing, international student support, mental health, money advice and wellbeing.
  • Careers
    Monday and Tuesday 9:00-17:00 (GMT)
    Email: careers@rvc.ac.uk
  • Chaplaincy
    Monday – Friday 9:00-17:00 (GMT)
    Email: chaplain@rvc.ac.uk
  • Study Skills
    Monday – Friday 9:00-17:00 (GMT)
    Email: studyskills@rvc.ac.uk
  • Digital Learning
    Monday – Friday 9:00-17:00 (GMT)
    Email: learn@rvc.ac.uk    

For any further information about COVID-19 please keep yourself up to date by checking these pages and the COVID-19 section of the RVC intranet.

We also wanted to remind you that if you think you have symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have a concern about a fellow student, please report this to the Advice Centre. As you’d probably imagine, we’re experiencing a higher demand at the moment for assistance and support. We’re working through all your requests as quickly as possible and thank you for your patience and understanding as we do this.

Please take care and remember we’re only a call or email away.   

Self-isolation, shielding and protecting vulnerable people

  1. There is important guidance issued by government here.
  2. It relates to actions you are advised to take and arrangements that you should put in place if you belong to one of the groups considered to be extremely vulnerable on medical grounds.
  3. The definition of "extremely vulnerable on medical grounds” is laid out in the advice but the posting also makes clear that it is a decision for the individual.
  4. We cannot provide advice to you on this matter. If you have questions, they should be directed towards NHS 111 or your own medical doctor if they are providing advice.

Concerned about a fellow student?

If you have a specific concern for a fellow student, please do encourage them to read these pages and follow advice as appropriate to their circumstances. (NB: if you continue to have concerns, please report these to the Advice Centre as soon as possible. Your report will be managed with the appropriate confidentiality and we will liaise directly with the reported student. We will not share personal information obtained from or about reported students unless required to do so for statutory or vital interest purposes.)

Alumni and our friends and supporters

I realise that we are all finding this very tough, but we also need to be mindful that our alumni are in an environment where many of them will be seeing real and dramatic impact on their businesses and livelihoods. I will be writing to them in the next 24 hours and I encourage any of you who are in contact with former students or members of staff to provide moral and emotional support wherever possible.

Financial support

Support is available to RVC students in financial need.  Please apply if you feel you meet the criteria, particularly if you have been affected financially by the Coronavirus. For more information visit our webpage or contact moneymatters@rvc.ac.uk or 0208 051 3500

Additional info for Vet Med and Vet Nursing students

Message from Principal 17th April 2020

BVetMed5 Day One Skills Assessment
We are simplifying the process of gathering information about Day One Skills. This compulsory exercise is to address aspects of the programme that would, in part, have been assessed by the OSCEs which we have not been able to run this year. Details are in an email that Dan Chan is sending out today, with additional guidance and resources available on Learn on Monday next week.

Message from Principal 16th April 2020

Yesterday, again as promised, we sent messages to BSc1 and 2 on assessments, as well as an update on electives for BVetMed 4 and 5.

3. Today, BVetMed5 have received an email regarding their Finals Part 2 Written Exams.

Message from Principal 14th April 2020

VN Placement

Hilary Orpet will be writing to VNs with an update, as promised.

BVetMed3 Exams

Mike Hewetson will be writing today with an update for BVetMed3, as promised.

Volunteering

A reminder to please check with your Head of Department if you wish to volunteer. We have a list of people and skills assembled and submitted with regard to laboratory activities – we now await the call from the authorities. In the case of NHS volunteering, we must ensure that higher risk activities do not subsequently place others at risk once a volunteer returns.  More guidance is on its way.

Local community

We are working in a number of ways to ensure we continue to support our local community, be that through provision of meat and eggs from our own farm through to continuing to assist the local planning authorities with regard to the Local Plan. More on this soon.

We need your feedback

Given the unusual circumstances, we hope that we are getting most things right in the ways we are working, in how we reach decisions and how we then communicate with the RVC community. But I do know that we have made and will continue to make mistakes and get things wrong and so we need you to tell us what things you like and what things you would like to see done differently.

To this end we will be sending out a short questionnaire before the end of this week so that you can let us know.

Message from the Principal 8th of April 2020

Final BVetMed exams

  1. We promised you an update this week.
  2. BVetMed5 will receive, or will have recently received an email from John Fishwick.
  3. The email contains details of arrangements and will be followed next week with additional information.

AHEMS and EMS

The latest information on AHEMS can be found in the AHEMS section of Frequently Asked Questions

Veterinary Nursing

  1. We had a very productive meeting with the RCVS today.
  2. We will provide an update after the holiday weekend.
  3. There will be specific cohort mailings before then, so please look out for them and also refer to Learn.

BVetMed4

  1. The rescheduling of rotations involves the delivery of the electives.
  2. We will provide an update on the delivery, Tuesday next.

Timetable for updates (subject to change)

Please note that these are dates by which we will provide information. The update we provide may be that there is no new information.

BVetMed 4

Electives

15/04/2020

BVetMed 3

Exams

14/04/2020

All VN students

Placement information

14/04/2020

Bsc/MSci 1

Assessments

15/04/2020

Bsc/MSci 2

Assessments

15/04/2020

BVetMed 5

Folium reviews

17/04/2020

BVetMed 4

Rotations

20/04/2020

Bsc/MSci 3

Assessments

20/04/2020

MSci

Assessments

30/04/2020

VN and BVetMed

Arrangements for RCVS Registration

01/05/2020

All 2020 graduands

Alternative Graduation celebration

01/05/2020

Interns & Residents

Assessment deadlines

TBC

Message from Principal 7th of April 2020 including Letter to Veterinary Students from President of RCVS 

Almost predictably, the moment one decides to reduce frequency of updates, in comes a reason to honour the commitment to bring news as soon as we can.

As I mentioned recently, we have been in frequent and regular contact with the regulators.  In particular, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) sets standards for both veterinary medicine and veterinary nursing students.  The regulations they govern have been posing challenges to the already busy curricula in the current environment.  

This update relates to veterinary medical students and the issues of AHEMS and EMS.  It provides further relaxation and flexibility for students at different points in their studies. As I hope is evident, the RCVS are mindful of the issues and have been working with all the schools represented by the Veterinary Schools’ Council to find solutions to the challenges brought about by the pandemic, at the same time as maintaining standards and public confidence in the programmes we are offering and the quality of our graduates.

To this end, today we received a letter from the President of the RCVS to be sent to all veterinary medical students: The letter can be found appended to this message.

Please note that although less specifically mentioned, the challenges of AHEMS in veterinary medicine years 1 and 2 are still very much on the table for discussion. Similarly, we have a meeting in the next week to address the issues facing VN placements.

More tomorrow,

Stuart

7 April 2020 

E-mail: president@rcvs.org.uk Website: www.rcvs.org.uk

Dear Veterinary Student

Re:   Temporary suspension of EMS regulations, to support veterinary students during the Covid-19 pandemic

Further to my letter of 16 March, I am writing to update you on the situation regarding EMS regulations. In March, when the temporary changes to EMS requirements were first agreed in response to the emerging COVID-19 situation, the immediate focus was on supporting final-year students and removing barriers to graduation caused by the pandemic. We agreed to keep the situation under review for all students, and in light of the additional measures imposed by the Government on social distancing in the last few weeks, we have now considered the EMS requirements further. 

Consequently, I’m writing to inform you about the further measures now agreed by the RCVS which are intended to support students at this difficult time and which I hope will offer further reassurance. The suspension of EMS will of course continue during this period when social distancing measures are in place. 

First, the initial proposal to allow for a shortfall of four weeks for those of you in your final year of your programme has now been extended to eight weeks. Therefore, provided that you have undertaken a minimum of 30 weeks’ EMS so far throughout the five years of the degree course, you will not have to make up any further weeks prior to graduation.

We also recognise that even once the Government relaxes the current constraints, which itself could be within months rather than weeks, opportunities for students to catch up with EMS may be limited in the short term, as things begin to return to normal. Therefore, we have taken the decision that all current fourth-year students should not be prevented from graduating, providing that you have completed your 12 weeks’ pre-clinical EMS and at least 50% (13 weeks) of clinical EMS, in addition to also demonstrating that you have achieved all RCVS Day One Competences. 

Although longer term impacts on veterinary business are currently unknown, it is reasonable to assume that there may be longer term challenges around EMS placements. For those of you in your third year of study, it is envisaged that the impact for you is likely to be less than those in the fourth year. However, we recognise that there may still be challenges around meeting the full EMS requirement depending upon how quickly EMS opportunities return to normal. I would like to reassure you that, should this be the case, we will also consider changing the EMS requirements for students currently in their third year of study. We will actively review the position for third-year students once a timeline for relaxing the current lock-down constraints has been released from the Government and the long term situation around the COVID-19 pandemic becomes clearer. 

The longer term impact on students currently in their first or second year is likely to be less than for those in the latter years of study; it may be that opportunities for pre-clinical EMS return at an earlier stage than for clinical EMS, as the farming industry continues to operate. We will continue to keep the situation for these students under review, and be supportive.

Any further updates will be posted on the RCVS website www.rcvs.org.uk, and communicated to you via your school. 

I hope you are keeping safe and wish you well as this difficult period continues.

Dr Niall Connell President, RCVS

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Belgravia House 62-64 Horseferry Road London SW1P 2AF T 020 7222 2001 F 020 7222 2004 E info@rcvs.org.uk www.rcvs.org.uk Patron: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Message for BVetMed 5 3rd April 2020

Dear BVetMed Year 5 Students,

We hope you are all keeping well. As promised, we are updating you regarding what is happening in terms of your upcoming Finals assessment and requirements.

As you know Finals is split into a number of components and we will outline each of these below.

With regards to Finals Part 1 (EMS, IMR and OSCEs) for those students sitting Finals in June there are a number of points we want to emphasise.

With respect to EMS requirements, as you know the requirement for EMS for your graduating class has been reduced to 22 weeks by the RCVS. In the event that you still have outstanding paperwork from your completed placements, the EMS team has already been in contact with you about your situation. If you have uncompleted paperwork, please make every effort to get it returned to the EMS office as soon as possible.

Regarding Core and Tracking Rotations. For almost all of you, all your Core Rotations have been successfully completed and we have suspended the requirement for you needing to complete six weeks of Tracking Rotations. Individuals with outstanding core rotations will be contacted very shortly to discuss how we intend to address your particular situation and remember, if you haven’t finished your Tracking Rotation allocations it doesn’t matter, as you no longer need to have completed all six weeks.

As you know, because of the highly unusual circumstances we had to cancel last week’s summative OSCEs. We will, instead, be asking you to document and reflect on your Day One Competencies. This will be through the medium of Folium – further details will be available next week. 

A deadline to have your Folium entries regarding your Day One Competencies reviewed and signed off by your tutors is set for the 4th May, 2020. If you anticipate that you cannot meet this deadline, please contact the Exams Office.

The RP2 requirements remain unchanged.

You will be receiving a specific message regarding the upcoming written finals exam (Finals Part 2) from John Fishwick next week.

We will be in touch again next week to update you further and we will either have a conference call via Zoom or a recorded message to explain some of this in greater detail.

Thank you

Dan

Message for BVetMed Year 4 Students 3rd of April 2020

We hope you are all keeping well.

As promised in previous communications, we are updating you with regard to the remaining portion of your rotation year. I should preface this message by saying that we are working with a few assumptions and these may change; we will keep you informed of any such changes. 

Following the Easter break, during the weeks w/c 20th April, 27th April and 6th May – you will participate in a virtual conference style delivery of Electives. You will be joining the BVetMed Year 5 in these electives which will be delivered online.

You will receive specific communication about this programme from the Electives Director, Professor Jill Maddison. Following these weeks of Electives and until the end of August, 2020 – you will have the opportunity to engage with augmented virtual rotations. These will include most of our Tracking and Core Rotations.

These augmented Rotations will be formative in nature and you will have the opportunity to sign up for certain activities offered by these virtual Rotations. You will receive more detail of these augmented virtual Rotations by the start of Electives. 

You will also receive more detailed information with regard to your RP2 from the RP2 Director, Professor David Connolly, next week. You will essentially have the period from now until the submission deadline to work with your RP2 supervisor on your project. The submission deadline for RP2 for everyone has now been set for 7th September, 2020. 

On the assumption that face-to-face Rotations will restart on 1st September (Tuesday), we have redesigned your schedules to ensure everyone completes all Core Rotations and EMS placements by May 2021. You will remain in your previously assigned Rotation groups.

In your redesigned schedule, the Electives will have already been completed between April and May 2020, and you will have had opportunities to engage with learning related to many Tracking Rotations during the period of the augmented virtual Rotations before September. In this redesigned schedule, you will have opportunities to attend your required EMS placements.

The number of required weeks of EMS may well be subject to change but for the moment, we are assuming it is 26 weeks. The RCVS are reviewing this. We will send each of you your individualised revised schedule by the start of Electives (20th April). 

OSCEs will be scheduled for May 2021 and written Finals (Finals Part 2) are scheduled for June 2021. More detailed information will follow and it is possible some of these plans may change. We will be in touch soon and we will either have a conference call via Zoom or a recorded message to explain some of this in greater detail. Thank you Dan

BVetMed 4 and 5

You will be receiving an email from Professor Dan Chan, today or by Monday latest, regarding your specific situations.

Timetable of updates

Acknowledging that uncertainty raises anxiety levels and also how much we depend upon your patience, we are preparing a list of deadlines by which we have undertaken, or will undertake, to provide you with updates. As I say, it will not necessarily be complete and I am sure we will not hit every deadline, l but I want to provide reassurance that matters are in hand and do what we can to manage expectation and reduce stress. We will publish this by Tuesday of next week.

BVetMed Finals

Rumours surrounding the Finals being “harder” as they may be open book are nonsense. 

  1. We are working towards a SUMMATIVE assessment that will satisfy accreditation standards.
  2. As it stands, it is likely to include a remotely administered online open book assessment similar to the papers you would have taken in person in June.
  3. We are looking at ways in which we can provide portfolio and overall review performance to satisfy day one requirements.
  4. We cannot say more at present.

BVetMed4

  1. All rotations are now suspended until 1st September 2020.
  2. With clarity now emerging around travel restrictions, lockdowns and the likely extent of the epidemic, we are restructuring the year which will come into effect after the Easter recess (Monday 20th of April)
  3. We will be maximising the 30+ weeks of face-to-face rotations between September and May 2021 by rescheduling online electives RP2 and hopefully some EMS.
  4. Fuller details are in an email sent to all BVetMed 4th year students from Professor Dan Chan
  5. Our plans to have student volunteers in our hospitals has been suspended for at least next three weeks

VN placements

Hillary Orpet will be writing separately to spell out the changes we need to implement including:

  1. On line assessments
  2. Suspension of placements

We are also in contact with the RCVS.

See RCVS statement: Coronavirus: temporary suspension of requirements for VN students and training programmes

Graduation (RCVS declaration and registration)

  1. The RCVS have advised that the declaration and admission to the Register will be carried out remotely/online/digitally-enabled where necessary. 
  2. They are working with the Veterinary Schools Council which represents all the UK schools to establish a protocol suitable for each school.
  3. You will not need to attend in person to register.

NAVLE – testing 2020

The International Council for Veterinary Assessment (ICVA) have updated their information regarding the April schedule of the North American Veterinary License Exam (NAVLE) testing window.

  • The latest information can be found on the NAVLE website - www.icva.net/news-and-updates/
  • Students registered to take the NAVLE during the April testing window can defer taking the test until the 16th November – 12th December 2020 testing window at no additional cost.
  • Testing Centre’s worldwide will be closed from now until 15th April.
  • The ICVA have sent a message to all NAVLE candidates informing them of the current situation and students currently scheduled for 13th, 14th, or 15th April to let them know that they have authorised extensions of the testing window in order to facilitate rescheduling.
  • For queries or support with NAVLE contact studyskills@rvc.ac.uk

International students

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)

The Home Office issued a press notice on 25 March 2020 (Visas extended for those currently unable to return home due to COVID-19) which covers various visa-related issues:-

  1. Visa extensions - now available until the end of May (from end of March initially). An extension can be obtained by simply emailing CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk to provide the following information:
    • Full name (including any middle names)
    • Date of Birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
    • Nationality
    • Existing visa details
    • Reason that has required you to extend your stay (for example, the suspension of all flights to your place of permanent residence)
    • Please note this email must be in English
  2. In-country visa switching is now permitted across all routes for those who are currently in the UK and whose visa expires/d between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020
  3. Students and sponsors will not be found non-compliant if they undertake online provision. “In light of the current advice on self-isolation and social distancing, the Home Office is also waiving a number of requirements on visa sponsors, such as allowing non-EU nationals here under work or study routes to undertake their work or study from home
  4. Further independent advice can be obtained from the UK Council for International Student Affairs
  5. Please also email the Advice Centre if you have individual queries regarding your student visa as our International Student Advisor can also help.

US Federal Loans 

  1. We have received advice that those in receipt of US Federal Loans will have these loans honoured.
  2. We have received advice that tuition may be provided at distance and online.

Interns and residents

Thank you for all your efforts to help assist the RVC in this challenging time.

Whilst we are unsure at this time how long it will take for normal academic and clinical activity to resume, rest assured that there will be no consequences for failure to submit assessments for your respective courses at the published timelines. We would ask that you submit what you can for those timelines, and email Lisa Harber and Bernadette Dulko if you have anything outstanding.

For the PGDip and final year MVetMed students it is likely that, provided all submissions are made prior to the Exam Board in June, the qualification will be awarded this year. For the MVetMed progression through the years 1-2 and 2-3 will not be hindered by outstanding submissions, although they will be required to be completed at a date to be set in the future (but prior to graduation).

Please ensure that your emergency contact details are current and that you regularly check the information on COVID-19 on these pages. Please email the Advice Centre (advice@rvc.ac.uk) should you need to self- isolate and inform your supervisors (there might be additional forms that you are asked to complete).

Please do bear in mind that this is a fluid situation that is changing on a daily basis and we will therefore be reviewing all advice on a regular basis and communicate with you and your supervisors as and when appropriate.

Frequently asked questions

See also the Interns and residents section of our COVID-19 FAQ

There have been some questions sent to the PG Student Reps, please find attached replies to these. Many thanks again for all your help

  • What exactly is the specific situation at work for all of us since we are considered students (and not technically staff).
    We hope you are all keeping well, we realise this is a worrying and uncertain time for everyone. Please rest assured we are doing everything we can do support our entire community; students, staff and our clients. As all your programmes are almost entirely based in clinical environments, the current situation with COVID-19 presents additional challenges compared to other RVC students. Hopefully the answers below resolve some of your queries and as soon as we have further information, we will pass it on. Please contact Vicky or Dom with any concerns you still have and we will be happy to chat with you.
  • Could time away from clinics/diagnostics affect our ability to complete our residencies on time?
    Both interns and residents can work from home on non-clinical tasks and studies.Please discuss and agree with your supervisor(s) which activities can be done at home to maximise your productivity and progress towards completing your programme in a timely manner. We will be flexible and reschedule core/clinical activities to complement whatever information we receive from EBVS and ABVS to ensure as smooth and efficient progress as possible towards completing on time.
  • Not being able to complete DOPs etc for MVetMed by the deadlines. Will these be extended? Will this affect our progression? For example my MVetMed year moves from year two to year three in July. If we don’t complete our year two requirements does this mean we are not going to progress into your three? Will this affect finish date or pay?
    In discussion with the examination office, please submit all materials that you have (case reports, WPBA etc) by the timeline already specified and contact Lisa Harber or Bernadette Dulko if you have any outstanding submissions. Late submissions will not affect your ability to progress with the course (MVetMed). For the PGDip we hope that there is sufficient time for assessments to be complete prior to the Exam Board (June), though this date and graduation might be changed in lieu of the current situation. In the meantime, we are happy for you to send in your WPBA assessments (case reports PG Dip) as usual, if you are able to do them.
  • Will being sent home or sick leave or quarantine affect pay or finish date?
    Both interns and residents can work from home on non-clinical tasks and studies on usual pay. As above, please liaise with your supervisor(s) to agree on the most productive way to work from home. See above comment about completion of courses with regards to this affecting the finish date. Further information about the T&C’s for any extensions needed will be forthcoming, if needed, in due course. If you are off sick, the normal sickness policy (available on Learn) applies.
  • How will the above affect our credentials for sitting Boards? 
    We expect EBVS and ABVS are already discussing how to facilitate this as best they can and we will update you as soon as we receive any information, though it is likely you will receive information from your specialty College as soon as they have a plan.
  • Are we still expected to do the critical appraisal of a journal article by the deadline given that we are trying to minimise several people in a room together?
    We will extend this deadline and let you know the updated deadline as soon as we can. In the meantime, we have been successfully holding journal clubs of 10-15 people this week using Microsoft Teams meetings which is free to anyone with an RVC email and office account – go to your Outlook calendar and click on the Teams meeting icon. We are happy for the MVetMed Journal Club assessments to be held in this way and the assessment form submitted as usual to the MVetMed admin email address.

Research students

We have taken the decision that we need to close the research laboratories for all activities with immediate effect (24 March 2020).

I realise this will be difficult for a number of you who are in the middle of experiments you consider essential for completing your thesis work but this is a national emergency to which we must respond responsibly.  We do want to reiterate the reassurance we sent out last week to all research students regarding their degree programmes and advice we gave at that stage, much of which is still relevant.

  • Please continue to liaise closely with your supervisor over specific arrangements regarding your PhD and working from home as productively as possible. We fully appreciate that these restrictions will affect each student in differing ways, depending on the nature and stage of your project. 
  • As the labs are now closed, if you have outstanding lab work that is the only remaining aspect of your thesis work that needs completing, discuss how essential this work is to your thesis, how long it will take and how this fits in with the revised time line for your thesis
  • Contingency plans should be discussed with your supervisor and, where necessary, put into place to ensure that you complete your PhD within the stated studentship period. If productivity is impeded due to the current situation, it is imperative that any delays are well documented and the impact on progress clearly outlined. This should be shared with the Graduate school at the earliest opportunity.  The College will view such delays sympathetically and ensure that research students are helped to progress to completion and discuss possible options with the funding bodies where needed.
  • UKRI statement: Impact of Coronavirus on UKRI-supported research.
  • It is our intention that viva voces go ahead as planned. These will be conducted remotely where the student and examiners are in agreement.In addition to the information being supplied to you through your supervisors or direct from VP Research and Innovation, we have compiled some FAQS These FAQS are available here.

Please ensure that your emergency contact details are current and that you regularly check the information on COVID-19 here on the RVC website and Intranet, each of which is reviewed daily.

Please do bear in mind that this is a fluid situation that is changing on a daily basis and we will therefore be reviewing all advice on a regular basis and communicate with you and your supervisors as and when appropriate.

Please keep in regular contact with your supervisor over this period. 

Campus facilities

Restaurants and cafés

  1. All Campus Café areas are currently closed
  2. Restaurants remain open from 08:00 till 14:00 for take-away meals, snacks and hot & cold drinks.
  3. Given the increased risk of virus transmission on the surface of vending machines we are not replenishing their stocks and would advise that if you are required to come into work you should either bring your own or utilise the facilities in the restaurants
  4. We will be issuing guidance on prioritisation of cooked food services – those who are in accommodation and those required to attend work will be receiving first consideration.
  5. To keep interaction to a minimum you are advised to consider eating at home where possible but, should you utilise the services on site, please remember to maintain social distancing and consume food either at your work station or sitting singularly at the picnic tables around campus.

SAWC and Gym

The SAWC sports hall and gym will be open for residents of the Hawkshead campus only from Thursday 28th May. This will be in a reduced capacity, adhering to current guidelines relating to social distancing guidelines and will be reviewed on a regular basis. For more information visit the Sports and Wellbeing Centre section of the RVC intranet.

Hawkshead Bus

The bus service will continue to operate but at a reduced frequency - see Hawkshead Bus Timetable (PDF). The service will continue to operate seven days a week to allow you to purchase essentials. Keep alert to timetable changes which will also be updated on the RVC app and the intranet.

Building works at Hawkshead

RG Carter will be resuming construction work at Hawkshead from Monday the 20th of April. 

Following the latest Government Site Operations Procedures guidance, RG Carter have proposed a range of enhanced control measures which will protect construction teams and the wider campus community. 

These include increased health monitoring and cleaning of the site offices, staggered shift patterns, physical distancing on site and the use of additional PPE where appropriate.Carters’ operatives will continue to use the designated parking area at the west of the campus and will not be using any RVC facilities. 

After careful consideration by RVC Health & Safety and the project team, these new measures have been approved and work will resume next week. 

This will mean multiple daily deliveries of concrete and other construction materials arriving on site, so for those of you who have to be on campus, please take care around large vehicles around the campus. If you have any questions or concerns about work resuming, please contact: capitalprojects@rvc.ac.uk.  

Hawkshead Tennis Courts

The Hawkshead tennis courts will reopen from Wednesday 20th May but for the use of Hawkshead Campus residents only. Sessions will need to be booked, in advance, via the Security gatehouse, hhsecurity@rvc.ac.uk, and users will need to report to the gatehouse both at the start and end of their allotted time to collect the gate code, present their ID card as well as confirming that the courts are free after use. Security will conduct regular patrols to ensure that the courts are being used correctly and that users are following all necessary social distancing protocols whilst using the courts and moving around campus.

Social media channels and the contribution of the RVC to the wider community.

Keep an eye out for a number of posts and tweets on our social media profiles as we contribute our support to the local and wider communities with PPE, equipment, volunteering and scientific advice. If there is anything you would like highlighted, please do let me know.  

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