VN Futures Board

VN Futures Board reports progress

The new VN Futures Board met for the third time at BSAVA Congress in early April where discussions included the formalization of working groups around key themes from the 2016 VN Futures report.

A spokesperson said:

“The Working Groups are where the real work and delivery of the VN Futures initiative lives. We are fortunate to be able to draw upon a breadth of talent and diversity of interests. This is a timely refresh of the membership of our Working Groups ensuring members are available and willing to help progress these important matters.”

Several vacancies have arisen and so the VN Futures Board is calling for interested and experienced nurses to contact them if they are interested in getting involved.

The VNF Board also discussed communications and keeping the profession up to date with progress on the VNF initiative, the work of the Board and the achievements of the Working Groups. Notable achievements to date include the emerging Post Registration Qualifications Framework.

A spokesperson said:

“It is exciting to hear exactly what is happening when you are so close to the project – but for many this is not the case. We have to let people know this has not gone cold or lost momentum and that real improvements are being worked on.”

Efforts discussed included: providing a calendar of forward activities and events, promoting the VNF work amongst students and staff art HE and FE institutions. The Board also recognized the importance of developing key messages and engaging through social media.

RCVS VN Council members

RCVS VN Council approves new advanced veterinary nursing qualifications

At its May meeting RCVS Veterinary Nurses Council gave final approval to two new advanced veterinary nursing qualifications that would allow members of the profession at all stages of their career to develop their professional skills and knowledge in designated areas of practice.

The proposals for a new post-registration qualification framework for the profession grew out of a key recommendation of the VN Futures Report and Action Plan published in July 2016, which said that the joint RCVS and British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) project should ‘canvas opinion on the scope, level and delivery of post-qualification awards for veterinary nurses’. This would aim to open up more and different career paths for veterinary nurses.

The proposals were developed by a Post-registration Qualification Working Group and consulted on last summer. The consultation received a large number of responses from the profession which then fed into further revisions that were approved by the VN Education Committee in April.

“This is a fantastic development for veterinary nursing in terms of professional development and showcasing the full range of skills and experience that we possess.”

Racheal Marshall, Chair of VN Council

VN Council approval was the final stage of the process which will now see two qualifications – a Level 6 Graduate Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing and a Level 7 Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing.

The two new qualifications differ from the previous Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing in that the qualification is smaller, more focused (being a 60 credit qualification rather than an 120 credit one) and specific to the veterinary nurse’s subject of choice, which makes it both more appealing and more manageable to fit around both professional and private life.

Commenting on the decision Racheal Marshall, Chair of VN Council, said: “This is a fantastic development for veterinary nursing in terms of professional development and showcasing the full range of skills and experience that we possess.

“The course criteria that we have approved have already received a great deal of interest from both Further and Higher Education providers. We hope to work constructively with them on developing their courses to ensure that they meet the standards we have set out and that they are maintained over time.

“By allowing greater focus on particular designated areas of practice I think these courses will really open up some significant opportunities for VNs, who can choose to go down a designated path, whether that is in, for example, anaesthesia, emergency & critical care, pharmacology or even non-clinical routes such as education and teaching, research skills and leadership.

“This is a great step forward for the profession and we look forward to working to develop the first Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing courses and seeing the first cohort of veterinary nurses sign-up to it.”

It is hoped that, in time, once the qualifications have bedded in and enough members of the profession have undertaken and completed the certificate, they may act as a pathway to a formal Advanced Veterinary Nurse status, similar to the relationship between the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice and Advanced Practitioner status for veterinary surgeons.

Both VN Education Committee and VN Council will be looking at the issue of this status over the coming years.

The full details of the framework for the new qualifications – including the candidate enrolment process, candidate requirements, assessment methods, guidance on curricula and the accreditation and reaccreditation standards – can be found in the committee papers for VN Council.

Any veterinary nurses or Higher/ Further Education institutions who are interested in the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing should contact the RCVS VN Department on or 020 7202 0788.

Vet with stephoscope around neck

RCVS Leadership Programme finalist in EFMD Excellence in Practice Awards

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), NHS Leadership Academy and FutureLearn have been announced as finalists in the prestigious EFMD (European Foundation for Management Development) Excellence in Practice Awards. The collaboration between the three organisations was recognised in the Professional Development Awards category for their RCVS Edward Jenner Veterinary Leadership Programme.

The leadership programme is a free-to-access Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for veterinary professionals, hosted on the FutureLearn online social learning platform and developed in partnership with the NHS Leadership Academy.

The RCVS launched the programme as part of the Vet Futures project to encourage and support the development of everyday leadership skills for all members of the veterinary team, addressing the importance of leadership in the veterinary setting, along with the art of good leadership and decision-making.

Working in partnership with the NHS Leadership Academy has also cemented the importance of the One Health initiative by bringing veterinary and human health professionals together. The Academy works tirelessly to support leaders at every level of the NHS to improve patient care and the collaboration has enabled the RCVS to harness the key elements of the Academy’s approach. It has also provided an important test-bed for innovative learning techniques which are now being adopted by the Academy’s own programmes to support leadership development across NHS-funded care.

The programme also actively encourages participants from the human and animal health fields to discuss and reflect together on leadership issues as part of their final assessment. The creation of this forum should enhance shared appreciation and engender greater understanding of the healthcare challenges that span both settings.

“The course is an invaluable learning resource that I believe could enhance the careers of both experienced and newly-qualified vets, whether in practice or in other roles in wider society.”

Andrew Smerdon, programme participant

“The EFMD Excellence in Practice Awards are prestigious awards recognising collaborative management and leadership programmes across the globe and we are honoured to be a finalist,” said Anthony Roberts, RCVS Director of Leadership and Innovation.

“The RCVS, NHS Leadership Academy and FutureLearn team have put a huge amount of work into developing the Edward Jenner Veterinary Leadership Programme to ensure that, whether you are a veterinary surgeon, veterinary nurse, practice manager or student, this programme will be relevant and useful for your professional career and development.”

The programme, initially piloted in summer 2018, grew from a need identified by Vet Futures which reported that “concerns have been articulated about the number and profile of vets and veterinary nurses stepping forward for leadership roles”.

The leadership programme has since aimed to change this and has already proved successful with well over 5,000 enrolments across the programme’s modules. Participants include veterinary surgeons and nurses drawn from over 130 countries, demonstrating its universal relevance.

“I would recommend this course to both vets and nurses in clinical practice – it’s a real eye opener, and as a result of doing the course perhaps we can see a less age-restricted approach to leadership within the veterinary profession.”

Simon Patchett, programme participant

FutureLearn’s Global Healthcare Lead, Helen Fuller, said: “We’re delighted that a programme that has seen such strong collaboration between all involved and received such positive learner feedback should be recognised by the EFMD Excellence in Practice Awards.”

“The success of the programme has evidenced the transformative power of online learning and is particular testament to FutureLearn’s social learning pedagogy. Over 14,000 comments have been posted by learners on the programme and it’s great that we can facilitate a global conversation on what is clearly such an important issue to the veterinary professions.”

Programme participant, Andrew Smerdon described the course as “an invaluable learning resource that I believe could enhance the careers of both experienced and newly-qualified vets, whether in practice or in other roles in wider society.”

“It has given me real insight into how to view myself and how others may view me as a leader. The examples demonstrated realistic challenges faced by vets at various stages of their careers and challenged the individual to reflect on, and thereby learn by, their own responses. I would definitely recommend it,” said Andrew.

The programme, which runs for 14 weeks, comprises two free-to-access online courses with an optional paid final assessment and is supported by the innovative audio drama, ‘The Glenvern Tapes: Vets in Practice’, which portrays the leadership challenges encountered in daily practice.

“This course really highlighted leadership qualities that are often taken for granted. The course demonstrates that you do not need a status position in order to demonstrate effective leadership even though status positions are often where we look for leadership,” said programme participant, Simon Patchett, adding: “I would recommend this course to both vets and nurses in clinical practice – it’s a real eye opener, and as a result of doing the course perhaps we can see a less age-restricted approach to leadership within the veterinary profession.”

Professor Stephen May

Future-focus for the RCVS at BSAVA Congress

The RCVS hosted a suite of future-focused presentations at the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) Congress this year, building on some of the key recommendations of the Vet Futures project.

BSAVA Congress, took place from Thursday 4 through to Saturday 6 April 2019 at the Arena Birmingham, where the College gave presentations on its graduate outcomes project and RCVS Leadership programme, as well as the VN Futures project.

On the morning of the first day, there was a split-session presentation from Professor Stephen May, RCVS Senior Vice-President, and Amanda Boag, RCVS President.

Professor Stephen May presented a talk entitled ‘Graduate Outcomes review – looking to the future’, which covered the future of the veterinary education Graduate Outcomes consultation launched by the College last year. The consultation, which asked for the views of all members of the veterinary team on the future of veterinary education, grew out of the joint RCVS and British Veterinary Association (BVA) Vet Futures research project, which found that there is often a mismatch between the expectations of graduates and the reality of veterinary practice.

Amanda Boag then presented a talk entitled ‘Leadership for all with the Edward Jenner Leadership Programme’ in the second half of this split-session.

Also inspired by Vet Futures, and launched at last year’s BSAVA Congress, the RCVS Leadership Programme aims to support the College’s strategic ambition to become an organisation with leadership at its heart. On 13 November 2018, as part of this initiative, the RCVS launched the Edward Jenner Veterinary Leadership Programme, a free-to-access Massive Open Online Course for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses.

“The programme is designed for all veterinary professionals and addresses the importance of leadership in the veterinary setting. Over 3,000 veterinary professionals have already engaged with the course and feedback has been exceptional, with 100% of learners in the last run saying they “would recommend the course to a colleague” and 95% saying they “felt the programme had equipped them to be more effective leader”, says Amanda Boag.

The programme comprises two online courses with a final assessment and is supported by an innovative audio drama, ‘Glenvern’, which faithfully portrays the leadership challenges vets encounter in daily practice. All the learning materials are free to access, although there is a small charge for those wishing to undertake the final assessment.

The last stream of sessions for the day focused on VN Futures, a joint RCVS and British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) initiative formed at the beginning of the 2016 in parallel with the Vet Futures project, to help the veterinary nursing profession prepare for its future.

Laura Black RVN, began these sessions with a talk entitled ‘A VN’s guide to wellbeing’. Black’s presentation focused on what veterinary nurses can do to improve not only their wellbeing, but also that of their colleagues.

Liz Cox, Senior Vice-Chair for Veterinary Nurses Council and RCVS Council Member, presented the second VN Futures talk, entitled ‘VN’s guide to Practice Standards Scheme’.

The Practice Standards Scheme, launched in 2005, is a voluntary initiative to accredit veterinary practices in the UK, aiming to promote and maintain the highest standards of veterinary care.

“More than half of veterinary practices in the UK are now accredited under the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme, with numbers continually increasing”, says Liz.

“This presentation will explain the scheme and associated awards, look at commonly asked questions, and, most importantly, examine how the scheme supports practice and quality of care.”

The third VN Futures talk, entitled ‘A VN’s guide to Schedule 3 and Delegation’, was presented by Julie Dugmore, RCVS Director of Veterinary Nursing.

This session examined Schedule 3 and its role in the profession today, particularly given the 2015 granting of the RCVS Royal Charter in which veterinary nurses became recognised as professionals in their own right.

“During the evidence-gathering sessions for the VN Futures project there was found to be a great appetite to increase the number of tasks that VNs are allowed to undertake”, says Julie.

“One of the recommendations of the VN Futures Report was to ‘clarify and bolster the VN role via a reformed Schedule 3’ which has led to the RCVS undertaking a review of Schedule 3.”

Susan Howarth, Chair of the VN Education Committee and VN Council member, presented the final VN Futures talk, entitled ‘A VN’s guide to Advanced Practitioner Status’.

Susan focused on the development of our post-registration framework for RVNs, which has been devised to allow access to advanced veterinary nursing qualifications from all registerable veterinary nurse qualifications.

“It is the intention that Higher Education Institutions and Awarding Organisations will use this framework to develop qualifications that offer specialist areas of interest, alongside academic progression. These RCVS accredited qualifications will allow candidates to gain an RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (RCVS Cert AVN) award”, says Susan.

Meanwhile, in Hall 7 on Friday, 5 April RCVS Director of Communications Ian Holloway joined a panel discussion entitled ‘Effective consultation: how to make clients your best marketing tool’ and, that afternoon, RCVS Chair of Standards Committee Kate Richards spoke in the Big Issues debate entitled ‘Telemedicine: patient care in the digital world’.

For the full agenda for BSAVA Congress 2019 visit

Vet with stephoscope around neck

Enrolments open for online leadership course

Enrolments are now open for the RCVS Edward Jenner Veterinary Leadership Programme, with the second public cohort of learners scheduled to begin the first of three courses on 15 April 2019.

Piloted in the summer of 2018, as part of the RCVS Leadership Programme initiative, the Edward Jenner Veterinary Leadership Programme is a free-to-access Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses, hosted on the FutureLearn digital education platform. Developed in partnership with the NHS Leadership Academy, the RCVS launched the programme to support our strategic ambition to “become a Royal College with leadership and innovation at its heart”.

“The programme encourages and supports the development of everyday leadership skills for all veterinary professionals, addressing the importance of leadership in the veterinary setting, along with the art of good leadership and decision-making”, says Anthony Roberts, RCVS Director of Leadership and Innovation.

“Participants in the programme can expect to learn how to be a more confident and effective leader, in addition to how to develop an inclusive leadership culture in your workplace.”

The programme has already proved successful with well over 3,000 veterinary professionals, including Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Nurses, from across over 130 countries having already engaged with the course.

“The feedback we have received has shown us that this MOOC has a far-reaching application, and is both educational and enjoyable. Whether you are a vet, veterinary nurse, practice manager or student, this programme will be relevant and useful in your professional career”, adds Anthony.

Almost all learners would recommend the course to a colleague and around three-quarters of learners feel the course equipped them to be effective leaders. Following course completion, 93% of learners said the course met their expectations, 94% said they had gained new knowledge or skills and 75% reported that they have applied their learning in practice.

“This course gives a very good foundation in understanding and developing leadership qualities. It is engaging and stimulating. It helps you see that you don’t have to be perfect to be a leader but that with some basic qualities and tools you can learn to lead in a more effective way. For me it has given me a framework which I believe I can build on in order to become a more effective leader to the benefit of those I lead and the organisation I work for”, says Rebecca Willby, Edward Jenner Veterinary Leadership Programme learner.

The programme, which runs for 14 weeks, comprises two free-to-access online courses with an optional paid final assessment and is supported by the innovative audio drama, ‘Glenvern’, which faithfully portrays the leadership challenges vets encounter in daily practice.

The first course, Your Leadership Self, introduces the concept of leadership, elaborating on why it matters and the types of issues faced by leaders, as well as exploring the leadership skills that those taking on the course already have. The main principle guiding this course is that all vet professionals are leaders.

The second course, Developing Leadership Foundations, helps learners develop the basics of leadership practice through understanding more about themselves and the impact they have on others.

After completing the two courses, participants are able to progress to the final assessment. Here learners create a portfolio consisting of four reflective blogs designed to demonstrate understanding of leadership through the impact it has on their veterinary practice.

All the learning materials are free-to-access, although there is a charge of £77 for those who undertake the final assessment. Sitting the final assessment rewards unlimited access to the course material as well as a professional credential.

To sign up for the programme beginning 15 April 2019, visit the FutureLearn Website to register.

“The Edward Jenner Leadership Programme has given me much more insight into different leadership techniques, a greater ability to reflect on leadership styles that I have encountered in the past and tools to improve my own skills going forward.” -Imogen Henderson Edward Jenner Veterinary Leadership Programme learner.

“This course has made me re-evaluate how I interact with staff currently and perhaps has altered the way I see my career progressing. I feel more capable of considering taking on more management responsibility than I did before this course. I have learnt a lot.” – Molly Varga, Edward Jenner Veterinary Leadership Programme learner.

Group of students at the ViVet Symposium

ViVet to host student innovation competition

The RCVS innovation initiative, ViVet, as part of the Vet Futures project, is to host its first student innovation competition this year titled, ‘What’s your big idea?’, ahead of the initiative’s second Innovation Symposium in October.

This competition is open to all UK-based undergraduate veterinary students and offers them the opportunity to work as a team to brainstorm, develop and present an innovative idea to a board of industry professionals.

Students can enter either as a single applicant or as a group (of roughly five members), with single applicants then being placed in a group with other applicants from their university. There can be more than one team representing each university. 

Each applicant will receive support from one of the Association of Veterinary Students’ (AVS) Vet Futures Ambassadors, as well as a mentor session with a chosen industry professional to guide them on their project. The AVS developed the idea for the Vet Futures Student Ambassadors programme.

Two students each from the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Nottingham, Surrey, and Glasgow, along with University College Dublin and the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) were selected to become Vet Futures Student Ambassadors who could champion Vet Futures within their schools and develop and deliver some student-specific projects in line with the Vet Futures ambitions.

The Vet Futures Student Ambassadors presented the proposals for the dragon’s den style innovation competition and ViVet has been supporting the students to deliver the project, with the aim to bring together the UK veterinary schools and other university departments to come up with innovative solutions.

Each student’s project can cover any aspect of veterinary health innovation. Potential projects might include; innovations within veterinary education, innovations to improve sanitation and hygiene, innovations to improve veterinary-public communication and innovations to improve patient safety, to name just a few.

These initiatives must show how they have improved upon – or extended beyond – current expectations of best practice in their chosen area. Themes chosen by the students as areas for focus have included; innovation, veterinary careers, communication with the public on animal welfare issues, mental health and wellbeing of veterinary professionals, and One Health.

Teams will need to submit three components for judging: a log of their progress throughout the project (which can include social media updates using the hashtag #ViVetStudentInnovation), mentor engagement and feedback, and a 5-minute video ‘business pitch’.

The 3 finalist groups of the competition will be invited to present their pitch to a board of industry professionals at a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event held at the RCVS ViVet 2019 Innovation Symposium on Tuesday 1 October 2019 in Manchester. The winning and runner-up groups will then be selected and will be presented alongside the ‘mentor’s choice’ award. The Mentor’s Choice award will be selected by the team mentors. The prize will be awarded to an individual who shows excellence and enthusiasm within their work on the project.

Anthony Roberts

Anthony Roberts (pictured right), RCVS Director of Leadership & Innovation, said: “This competition provides a great opportunity for veterinary students to engage with their fellow classmates across different fields of study and to work on projects that could genuinely make a difference to animal health and welfare and the way veterinary services are delivered.

“Teams will receive one-on-one mentoring and will be guided through the innovation process, developing skills that will be useful throughout their careers. We look forward to seeing the three finalist teams presenting at the RCVS ViVet Innovation Symposium in Manchester on 1 October.”

Zoe Skinner, Vet Futures Student Representatives Team Leader, added: “This competition is a great opportunity for veterinary students to receive mentoring from experienced veterinary professionals and form contacts within our profession. It gives students a way to work together as a team and allows them to learn how to produce and develop innovative, problem-solving concepts as well as skills in delivering presentations. These are all important aspects of our career ahead, which will look brilliant on our CVs.”

ViVet is now accepting registrations for the competition for the 2018/19 academic year. To enter, applicants must submit an online registration form. For further enquiries, please email the ViVet team.

VN Futures logo

RCVS speakers attending Clinical Coach Congress

Speakers from the RCVS will be attending the College of Animal Welfare’s Clinical Coach Congress to talk about VN Futures and the Mind Matters Initiative this month.

The Clinical Coach Congress takes place at the East of England Area and Events Centre in Peterborough on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 March and is aimed at clinical coaches and others who support the practice-based training of veterinary nurses.

On Monday 18 March, Kathy Kissick, current Veterinary Nurses Council member and former Head of School Veterinary Nursing and Farriery at Myerscough College, will be speaking on behalf of the College with a talk entitled ‘It’s not the job you do; it’s how you do the job’.

This talk will look at how clinical coaches can encourage their students not only to achieve their qualification, but also develop professional accountability, consider issues regarding fitness to practise and understand the links between professional, legal and ethical responsibilities and accountability.

The work of the VN Futures project is the topic of discussion on the next day, with a talk from RCVS Director of Veterinary Nursing Julie Dugmore and Jill Macdonald, VN Project Coordinator, who will be giving an update on the project’s current status and reporting on the work undertaken by its various working groups.

These working groups were set up shortly after the publication of the VN Futures Report in July 2016 to focus on areas such as retention and recruitment in the veterinary nursing workforce, Training Practices, developing meaningful career progression routes for the profession and developing ‘One Health’ links with other healthcare professions, including medical nurses. 

Julie Dugmore, Head of Veterinary Nursing
Julie Dugmore,
RCVS Director of Veterinary Nursing

Julie Dugmore (pictured right) commented: “Much of the work of the VN Futures project has been going on under the radar for the past few years, but with the appointment of Jill as our VN Futures Project Manager, and moving towards the deadline of the five-year VN Futures plan, we want to make sure the profession is aware of what has been happening and our plans for the next two years.”

More information about the VN Futures project can be found in the VN Futures section.

The final presentation, also on Tuesday 19 March, will be from RCVS CEO Lizzie Lockett who will be talking about the Mind Matters Initiative. She will discuss how the project is aiming to improve the mental health and wellbeing of those in the veterinary team by offering mental health awareness training, trying to break down the stigma associated with mental ill-health and developing support resources and courses to help members of the veterinary team flourish and, where needed, to get back on form.

She will also give an outline of current activities, provide tips on improving wellbeing in the practice and give information on how veterinary nurses can get involved in the project as well.

The full agenda and information about the Clinical Coach Congress can be found on the College of Animal Welfare website

Graphic of a cat on a grid structure

ViVet innovation workshop resources now available

The RCVS ViVet innovation initiative has published the resources used at its recent innovation workshops for the benefit of those who were not able to attend either event.

The first of the innovation workshops took place at the Moller Centre in Cambridge on 16 January and was led by professional innovation consultant Greg Dickens MRCVS from Innovia Technology who was also joined by guest speakers Andrew Francis, the founder of South Coast Cardiology, a visiting specialist referral service, and Adrian Nelson-Pratt, founder of the Emerge Veterinary Project, a coaching and personal development product aimed at improving veterinary wellbeing and performance.

The first workshop introduced tools and techniques to help individuals and organisations think creatively about how to identify needs and opportunities for innovation in the animal health/ veterinary sector, and how to turn an identified need into an idea. Attendees were given practical advice on how to find opportunities, brainstorming and assessing ideas.

The second session took place on 20 February and built on the theme of the first workshop with information on how to develop an idea and bring it to market. The first part of the day, led by Greg Dickens and fellow veterinary innovator Guen Bradbury, looked at how ideas and concepts could be tested to gain feedback and then refined.

The second part of the day saw RCVS Director of Leadership and Innovation Anthony Roberts talk to delegates about how to develop and refine business models to maximise your product or service’s success and the power and impact of business model innovation. This session addressed issues such as identifying and segmenting your customer-base, how to reach and communicate with your customers or clients, and how to best organise and exploit the resources at your disposal to provide a sustainable competitive advantage.

This session also covered the vital role of storytelling in winning support and funding for an idea, how to successfully pitch for funding and other forms of support.

Anthony Roberts (pictured right) said:  “I’m delighted that feedback from these inaugural innovation workshops showed that attendees found the sessions useful, informative and, most importantly, inspiring as regards developing their own ideas, services and products.

”The topics we covered, however, are relevant to all veterinary surgeons and nurses, and for this reason we’re sharing all the he resources from both events on the ViVet website”.

One of those who commented positively on the workshop was Rachel Dean, Director of Clinical Research and Excellence in Practice at VetPartners who said:

“Today was really interesting; I was encouraged to go to the event by my company. The best bit about today was meeting other people that also see that we need to innovate, and need to try and work out how we do that in various different settings.”

Another delegate, equine vet Malcolm Morley, added: “I came on the course thinking that I had some innovative ideas that I wanted to take further, but actually I realised that on the course I learnt ideas that would apply to other aspects of what I do. So I’m going home with take-home messages for other things too.”

The materials from the workshop are available to view and download from the resources section of the ViVet website.

Susan Dawson, Chair of RCVS Education Committee

RCVS to hold Graduate Outcomes student focus groups at AVS Congress

The RCVS is to hold focus groups for veterinary and veterinary nursing students at the Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) Congress this year, for its ongoing Graduate Outcomes consultation. 

The Graduate Outcomes consultation is one of the most extensive projects undertaken by the RCVS in the last 20 years and is looking at potential changes to a broad range of areas related to how veterinary students are educated and trained, and how recent graduates are prepared and supported into life in practice.

The main areas of focus are Day One Competences, The Professional Development Phase (PDP), Extra-mural studies (EMS) and Clinical Education for General Practice. The Graduate Outcomes consultation survey closed on 18 January, having received nearly 2,000 responses.

The consultation is now moving on to its second stage, which involves in-depth focus groups and interviews with a broad range of veterinary students and professionals.

The first in this series of focus groups is being held at AVS Congress at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in Hatfield on Saturday 2 February. This will involve two sessions, both taking place in the Social Learning space between 12 and 2pm, lasting one hour each. These groups will be run by Charlotte Flaxman from the Work Psychology Group (WPG), an agency specialising in business psychology.

WPG is conducting the Graduate Outcomes consultation on behalf of the College. Each focus group can hold a maximum of 10 participants and refreshments will be provided throughout. Participating in the focus group also automatically enters attendees into two prize draws for a £50 National Book Token.

Prior to the focus groups, it is advisable to read the Graduate Outcomes consultation document in order to process some of the key issues in question, and start to contemplate some suggested solutions.

After registering, each participant’s details will be shared with WPG who will then forward over a briefing sheet with further details of what can be expected during the session. For those interested in attending the focus groups, please sign up here.

ViVet logo

ViVet launches new Innovation Workshop Series

A new series of Innovation Workshops is being launched by ViVet – the veterinary innovation network run by the RCVS – to help provide veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses with the tools needed to turn ideas into innovations.

To be held in Cambridge in January and February next year, the innovation and creativity training programme will cover a broad spectrum of innovation methodologies across two one-day courses. Delegates can choose to attend one or both courses depending upon their experience and stage in the innovation process.

Guen Bradbury & Greg DickensThe courses will be led across two days by veterinary surgeons Guen Bradbury and Greg Dickens (pictured) both experts in supporting innovation.

The first course, on 16 January 2019, will introduce tools and techniques to help individuals and organisations think creatively and guide participants through the innovation process from identifying need, selecting an idea and developing it into a concrete concept.

The second course, on 20 February 2019, will cover how to test ideas and refine solutions, how to develop  business models, and how to win support and funding to maximise the chances of the innovation’s success.

Anthony Roberts, Director of Leadership and Innovation at the RCVS says: “Our ideation workshop is not just for entrepreneurs or innovators, it’s to give vets and vet nurses the tools and techniques to create new ideas or nurture existing ones. These could be ideas for starting a new business, a new product, new content, or even just inventive ways of talking about or marketing an existing product or service.”

Each full-day course costs £100, including course materials, certificate of completion, lunch, and all refreshments. Booking the full workshop, ie both courses, will attract a 10% discount.

To read further information about the course – including the programme, venue, timings and directions – and to register, please visit the event’s dedicated Eventbrite page.

ViVet: inspired by #VetFutures