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Quality Improvement Awards

The RCVS Knowledge Awards for Quality Improvement showcase the implementation of Quality Improvement (QI) techniques which drive improvement within the profession.

What are the awards for?

For those from a practice setting, applications must demonstrate how recognised QI techniques have been used to achieve measurable improvements in their area of work. This could, for example, benefit

  • animal welfare,
  • clinical outcomes,
  • client satisfaction,
  • experience of the caregivers,
  • impact on workplace culture,
  • efficiency,
  • public perception of the profession,
  • environmental benefits,
  • financial effectiveness.

Applications could encompass a strategic approach across a large practice group or across a geographical area or be a very specific project for a team or individual.

The awards also recognise the achievements of students who show how they have used QI techniques as part of their education and educators who demonstrate how they are teaching QI techniques to better equip students for practice, and the impact this is having.

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Who is eligible for the awards?

The awards are open to anyone within the veterinary industry and veterinary education field. This includes those from a practice setting, for example, from the administration team, veterinary nurses, practice managers and surgeons at all levels.

Applicants can apply as an individual or as part of a team.

We encourage under- and post-graduate educators or learners/students who enhance the awareness and development of QI skills in the veterinary and veterinary nursing professions to enter.

We welcome applications from those who have previously applied for the awards, either with updates to previous QI projects, or details of new QI projects.

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What will my application be assessed against?

Winners will be assessed on their passion for continuous QI, and for encouraging and championing the use of recognised QI techniques to monitor changes and make improvements in their chosen initiative.

Applications are blinded and assessed by a panel of reviewers. The panel uses the following criteria to score applications:

The application should be well articulated, and should demonstrate:

  •  Good technical application of QI techniques (or in teaching/learning about QI techniques)
  •  How QI is embedded as part of business-as-usual (it is “the way we do things”, rather than an add-on to the day job).
  • The use of evidence-based approaches.
  • A culture that is conducive to improvement (or for education settings, teaching, or knowledge in this area), including
    • a learning culture which shows how the team work together for safer ways to deliver care.  
    • leadership for a whole team.

Students could show how they have used QI techniques as part of their education.

Educators could demonstrate how they are teaching QI techniques to better equip students for practice, and the impact this is having.

For those from a practice setting, applications should show evidence of improvement. We are particularly interested in applications that are on a different topic to previous submissions, or show a novel approach compared to one set out on a topic that has been submitted before.

The case example, which is included as part of the application, should inspire others within the veterinary professions towards a culture of continuous Quality Improvement.

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What happens if my application is selected as a winner?

Successful applicants will become Knowledge Awards winners and have the opportunity to work with RCVS Knowledge to promote and share their experiences in Quality Improvement. This promotion might include presenting at a conference, sharing experiences through our blog, podcasts and interviews, and even publishing their findings in a journal such as Veterinary Evidence.

Knowledge Awards winners will receive a £250 prize and are invited to attend an awards ceremony (either online or in-person) and will be reimbursed up to £200 towards reasonable travel costs to attend the event at which this ceremony is held. If a winning application was made for a practice/organisation – rather than an individual – then a representative will be invited to attend the awards ceremony.

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Applications and Nominations
Closing dates

Applications and nominations must be received by 13 January 2023.

Winners will be notified in July 2023. 

Previous winners

Read about our previous RCVS Knowledge Awards winners here.

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