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Our free resources will introduce you to different QI techniques, and help you understand the processes you can put in place to help improve outcomes.

Checklist CPD course

Our free to access QI Boxset, Series 5 will introduce you to checklists, where you will learn why they are important to help improve patient safety, how they can benefit communication and teamwork within your setting, and how to structure your own checklists to fit your practice circumstances.   

Access QI Boxset Series 5: Using QI tools for patient safety - Checklists and more.

This link will open in a new window and require registration with our free, dedicated online learning portal.

Tools to assist in checklists

A new resource detailing how surgical safety checklists can be used to improve patient safety within practice. This manual includes examples and testimonials from a variety of practices to help with the development and implementation of your surgical safety checklist [PDF 1529KB] (updated December 2019).

Take a moment before the start and end of the shift to discuss these questions with your team. The discussion can help improve communication between shift teams, to identify areas for improvement, to identify processes that have worked well and flag up required support for the team [PDF 615kb] (Published August 2020).

Use this poster to display your Quality Improvement projects, plan further projects and track their progress. You can use this poster as a focal point for your Quality Improvement discussions. This poster is designed to be professionally printed, and laminated, on A2 paper. [PDF 61KB] (Updated June 2024)

To order your professionally printed and laminated A2 discussion guide, copy and paste the URL into your internet browser or visit:

Adapted from the original IHI framework, this resource is intended to support leaders within the veterinary sector in introducing the Joy in Work concept to their teams. The conversation guide will support you in setting up initial and continuing conversations with your team to identify any workplace frustrations, or ‘pebbles in your shoes’, and to engage and empower the team to identify potential solutions. [PDF 37KB] (Published February 2022)

Contextualised care is an approach to cases which takes into consideration factors such as the animals circumstances and owner values. The ability to have a conversation around a challenging decision can help to evaluate such cases, reducing stress for veterinary teams and facilitate communication with owners. This conversation guide is to help the veterinary team identify any areas of support that the pet owner may require when diagnosing and treating their pet. [Word 53KB] (Published October 2022)

This document included examples of Quality Improvement principles and tools which can be implemented within your practice to form your clinical governance plan. You should adapt this for your own practice, or local circumstances. Once downloaded, please 'save as' and reopen from your saved location [Word Doc 174KB] (Published July 2021).


Case Examples

Checklist case examples

This case example details the implementation of a surgical safety checklist in practice [PDF 536KB] (Updated March 2019).

This case example shows how one practice implemented a peripheral catheter care checklist, and monitored its use and effectiveness through clinical audit [PDF 662KB] (Published September 2019).

This case example shows how the small animal theatre team at Animal Health Trust have successfully implemented and used a surgical safety checklist to improve patient safety in a number of different theatres and specialities. The theatre team became a Champion Practice in the 2020 Knowledge Awards for their dedication to making the checklist a part of their daily routine [PDF 1293KB] (Published March 2020).

This case example shows how the team at Newnham Court Equine implemented a surgical safety checklist to improve patient safety. Completion of the checklist is monitored through regular auditing. The team were awarded Highly Commended in the 2020 Knowledge Awards for their QI initiative [PDF 471KB] (Published July 2020). 

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Templates and Examples

Checklist templates

The checklists below have been developed by RCVS Knowledge for your use in practice.

This checklist has been designed to help you develop surgery-specific safety checklists for your practice. Download the template and adapt it in a way your team feels will be most beneficial. Surgery-specific checklists work best when used in conjunction with a Surgical Safety Checklist. Once downloaded, please 'save-as' and re-open from your saved location. [Word 73KB] (Published January 2023)

This checklist will help you understand your antibiotic usage. Once downloaded, please 'save as' and reopen from your saved location. Adapted from the Public Health England and Royal College of General Practitioners: TARGET Antibiotics: Self-assessment checklist [Word 76KB] (Published April 2021).

This checklist can be used to ensure that the correct steps are followed when new and repeat prescriptions are being collected. This document will need updating in line with any changes in legislation. Once downloaded, please 'save as' and reopen from saved location. [Word 112KB] (Published July 2022).

You can use this template to help create your own peripheral intravenous catheter care checklist. Feel free to download it and adjust it to your own requirements. Once downloaded, please 'save-as' and re-open from your saved location [Word 144KB] (Updated September 2019).

This peripheral catheter care checklist has been designed in combination with Sarah Hancill RVN and Anne Ward PGCertTLHE DipAVN(Surgical) RVN. It combines a catheter care checklist and the Ward Phlebitis Scoring chart [PDF 662KB] (Updated September 2019).

This surgical safety checklist template has been designed by RCVS Knowledge to help you get started with creating and implementing your own [PDF 56KB] (Updated March 2020).

This surgical safety checklist template has been designed by RCVS Knowledge in a differing format. Checklists can be designed in any way your team feels they will be most beneficial [PDF 446KB] (Updated March 2020).

You can use this checklist when performing a significant event audit to help find any factors that may have led to the event. Once downloaded, please 'save-as' and re-open from your saved location [Word 41KB] (Updated February 2019).

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Checklist examples

The checklists below have been developed by other practices and organisations. They can be used as examples and inspiration for you to develop your own checklists within practice. 

If you have a checklist you would like to share, please send it to [email protected]

This Anaesthetic Safety Checklist has been developed by the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists with permission to share on this website for use by veterinary professionals [PDF 39KB] (Updated 2020).

These surgical safety checklists include an ophthalmic checklist and have been developed by the team at Animal Health Trust [PDF 973KB] (Updated 2019).

A series of checklist examples from the team at Bell Equine Veterinary Clinic, including a catheter care checklist, pre-surgery checklist and a nurse theatre checklist [PDF 1280KB] (Updated February 2020).

The team at Bright Side vets use an end-of-day cleaning checklist and an in-patient checklist [PDF 1355KB] (Updated March 2019). 

This peripheral IV catheter care checklist is used by the team at Newnham Court Vets [PDF 666KB] (Updated March 2019).

An equine surgical safety checklist used by the team at Rainbow Equine Hospital [PDF 863KB] (Updated March 2020).

A series of checklist examples from the team at Vets Now, including a dystocia checklist and a trauma checklist [PDF 610KB] (Updated July 2018).

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Last updated April 2023.