Professional Matters Hub
Professional Matters Hub

Professional Matters Hub

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IRVAP Code of Practice | Resources

Welcome to your Professional Matters Hub. We use this space to update you with relevant professional information. When you spend time reviewing the resources below, this represents your free professional CPD which you can log and put towards your annual CPD requirement.
Chair Open Office Hours: book your appointment with Barb Houlding in the first instance by email:


Professionalism describes the qualities, skills, competence and behaviours expected of those working in the animal health care industry and includes;

  • Working to defined standards and principles
  • Demonstrating clinical reasoning and sound decision-making with an evidence base
  • Managing sensitive information
  • Considering complex ethical and moral matters
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Demonstrating professionalism

  • Working within the defined regulatory framework of professional standards
  • Adhering to a moral, ethical and professional Code of Practice
  • Maintaining an awareness of individual limitations to scope of practice
  • Maintaining and developing professional expertise
  • Delivering a safe and effective service that is caring and compassionate
  • Being punctual and friendly
  • Abiding by current legal requirements
  • Confidentiality
  • Working with the MDT and obtaining a vet consent to see the animal

What is Duty of Care?

It is a legal duty to provide a reasonable standard of care to your patients and to act in ways that protect their safety. A duty of care exists when it could reasonably be expected that a person’s actions, or failure to act, might cause injury to another person.

This means that everyone working in animal healthcare; whether they are a registered professional or student – has a duty of care to their animal patients, owners, colleagues and employer.

Professional Duty of Care starts as soon as a patient is accepted into your service. This is when a referral is accepted / placed on a waiting list / appointment booked / one-to-one contact - virtually or in person - with your animal client / patient + owner.

Fulfilling your Duty of Care

This includes a range of actions;

  • Maintaining confidentiality at all times unless your duty of care requires and permits you by law to disclose the information to another professional
  • Engaging in CPD to keep your skills, knowledge and competence up to date
  • Delivering the best possible service to your patients
  • Raising concerns about duty of care with your manager promptly
  • Ensuring familiarity with workplace policies and procedures to support your safety, the safety of your colleagues and your patients (such as infection control policy)
  • Thinking critically about the tasks and activities delegated to others

Practice Ethos

This represents your clinical standards, mission, vision and values, helping to emphasise care and support to your clients.

Your practice ethos expresses your professional values and beliefs and is your ethical anchor and practice reference point.

Research shows that a client-centred service which is caring and friendly, is pivotal for longevity and health care business success.

Defining your practice ethos can help achieve clarity on your personal and professional goals, as well as visualise your career pathway.

Review the IRVAP Code of Practice

IRVAP’s code underlines your professional obligation to observe the relevant laws and regulatory requirements. It enables you to take responsibility for your decision making and actions and to fulfil your Duty of Care to those you provide a service for:

  1. Taking responsibility for your actions: act within your individual Scope of Practice and make informed decisions
  2. Behaving ethically: adhere to legal, regulatory and ethical requirements and act with integrity, honesty and openness
  3. Delivering an effective and safe service: put the needs of service users at the centre of all decision-making, communicate effectively and work effectively with others
  4. Striving to achieve excellence: seek to continuously improve, demonstrate innovation and leadership, support others’ learning and development



Professional Discussion

IRVAP Professional Discussion
December 9, 2020

To view, click on the file or link to open the document.


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