Hospital inspections are carried out by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the governing body of the veterinary profession in the UK. Inspections are carried out every four years, but spot checks are also made regularly.
The RCVS gives hospitals notice of the inspection and sends a form to be completed and returned to them. The RCVS then allocates an inspector to carry out the inspection. The veterinary hospital can request a different inspector, but the RCVS has usually already taken care to make sure that the inspector is not involved in a competitor practice.
The Inspector’s report is submitted to the Practice Standard Scheme Review Group and this group decides whether a Hospital is approved or not. Practices may be passed as a Veterinary Hospital subject to certain conditions within set time frames. Depending upon the requirements the Hospital may be required to certify that the work has been undertaken (perhaps supporting this with photographic evidence), or a re-inspection may be required.
On confirmation of Veterinary Hospital status a certificate is issued by the RCVS, so members of the public should look out for the RCVS Veterinary Hospital Certificate or plaque which should be easily found. If not, then ask your vet.