Overview of the Disciplinary Process 

This process is designed to accommodate the following situations: 

  1. The approval of registration for a person qualified to be a SQP to be listed on the Vetpol register. 
  1. Where the initial registration of a SQP is denied and the person appeals that decision. 
  1. A breach in the Code of Conduct for SQPs that triggers disciplinary action which could result in the removal of that SQP from the register. 
  1. Where Vetpol Ltd proposes removing a person from the register, and the person appeals that decision. 

Inclusion on the Register 

Candidates who have completed the Level 4 SQP qualification can apply to be added to the Vetpol register, provided they commit to Vetpol Ltd terms and conditions and pay the annual registration fee up-front and in full. 

Candidates who apply to be added to the Vetpol register but who have been removed from another SQP register due to disciplinary action or another reason that would require their removal to comply with the VMD code of conduct, may not be accepted onto the Vetpol register and they will be notified of this in writing within 14 days of application, with reasons. 

Candidates who are presently on the register of another regulator may apply to move to the Vetpol register although Vetpol reserves the right to examine not just the proof of qualification which led to inclusion in the originating register, but also the candidate’s CPD record.  Further CPD may be specified for completion by a given date or prior to registration as a condition of inclusion on the Vetpol register; the CPD requirement will be not subject to appeal however the candidate may come forward with further evidence of CPD to back up the original appeal within 28 days, or subsequently make a new application when the candidate has brought his or her CPD record up to date. 

Other than for the CPD requirement anyone refused from the register has the right of appeal, in writing, within 28 days, including any additional information to support their appeal. Appeals will be considered by 2 Vetpol Directors plus an independent, external assessor not previously involved in the assessment. As a consequence the candidate will: 

  • Be entered onto the Vetpol SQP register 
  • Be denied registration citing the reasons for the decision 

External Complaints and Disciplinary Process 

Where an external complaint is received about a SQP on the Vetpol register the following complaints and disciplinary process is followed: 

Acknowledgement of complaint received, including information about the complaints procedure sent to client/VMD. SQP about whom the complaint has been made is informed. Timeframe: 5 working days
One of three decisions is reached: 1. The info is unsubstantial and provided no basis for further investigation. the case is closed; 2. The info is sufficient to request further info; 3. the info is sufficient for the disciplinary process to be triggered. Timescale: Complainant and SQP informed within 5 working days
One of the Vetpol Directors will gather further written and oral evidence from both sides. Timescale: 5 working days
The Vetpol Directors will review all evidence and produce a written report outlining the evidence and recommending a course of action: 1. case to be dismissed as unsubstantiated or unproven; 2. a professional transgression has been committed which warrants a letter of rebuke, advice or guidance; 3. a professional transgression has been committed which warrants a temporary removal from the register for a fixed period, or until some compliance provision has been met; 4. a professional transgression has been committed which warrants permanent removal from the register. At the conclusion of this process the SQP will be notified of the outcome and any next steps. Timeframe: 15 working days
The SQP will have the right of written or recorded verbal reply to one of the Vetpol Directors in order to present any new substantive evidence or additional info that has not already been presented and considered. Timeframe: 10 working days
One of the Vetpol Directors will be responsible for communicating outcomes to the VMD and the SQP’s employer at the various stages where this may be necessary. Other registration bodies will be notifed in the event of removal from the register. Timeframe: Throughout the process.
Where an SQP is to be removed from the register, the SQP is entitled to object, requesting triggering of the IA Process, providing they do this within 14 days of the receipt of the removal notice and payment of a £50+VAT fee. Timeframe: 10 working days
The Independent Adjudicator will review all evidence and be given access to anyone involved in the process this far. Upon review they will decide whether the SQP should be removed from the register or have their appeal upheld and be restored on the register. The Adjudicator’s decision is final. Timeframe: 20 working days
The fee will be reimbursed where the Adjudicator reverses Vetpol’s decision to remove the SQP from the register. The VMD and other registration bodies will be informed of the outcome. Timeframe: 5 working days.