The RCVS has made some adjustments to its requirements for practices for its new Veterinary Graduate Development Programme (VetGDP) in light of the worsening pandemic and associated restrictions and will be holding interactive workshops to explain the Programme and the changes that have been introduced.
The VetGDP is a new graduate development programme, replacing the Professional Development Phase (PDP), that provides a period of structured support to aid the transition of newly-registered veterinary surgeons from veterinary studies, to life in the workplace. VetGDP is being rolled out during 2021 and this year’s veterinary graduates will need to enrol on it.
A key feature of VetGDP is the requirement for a trained VetGDP Adviser to be available in the practice / working environment to provide their new graduate with one-to-one, meaningful support and guidance on a regular basis, to help develop their confidence and capabilities in their journey to becoming an experienced independent vet. In order for veterinary surgeons to become VetGDP Advisers they must undertake a bespoke online training package being developed by the RCVS and formally commit to supporting new graduates throughout the programme. Practices that have trained VetGDP Advisers and make this commitment will receive the status of an RCVS-Approved Graduate Development Practice.
While it was originally envisaged that practices who wish to employ this year’s cohort of graduates should have obtained RCVS-Approved Graduate Development Practice status by June 2021, this has now been amended in recognition of the additional pressures that veterinary practice teams are under currently and for the foreseeable future. Practices who employ graduates this year will have until December 2021 to achieve this status, provided they have started to work towards RCVS-Approved Graduate Development Practice status and commit to supporting their new graduate while they do so.
Dr Linda Prescott-Clements (pictured), RCVS Director of Education, said: “The ongoing pandemic restrictions, specifically changes made by the government to veterinary professionals’ key worker status on 13 January, means that there are now significant additional pressures on practice teams, particularly in terms of staffing, as many members of the profession will be balancing their work with caring responsibilities. We recognise this and, as such, we have updated the timeframe for the completion of our training for VetGDP Advisers.
“While we know that some people will be able to complete the online training required to become a VetGDP Adviser quite quickly if circumstances allow, we also know that some people have additional commitments that mean training may take longer to complete.
“Therefore, instead of VetGDP Advisers needing to have fully completed the online training before the new graduate joins the workplace, we now require that the training has been started and is being actively engaged with, and will be completed as soon as circumstances allow. For 2021, we therefore expect that VetGDP Advisers will have completed their training by the end of December 2021. We also expect that graduates will be supported during their first months in practice, while vets are completing the online training.
“I would also like to personally thank the 850 vets who have already registered their interest in becoming VetGDP Advisers. It is very reassuring to see so many members of the profession committed to supporting new members of the profession, and wanting to engage with the training and with VetGDP to help nurture and develop our future vets through their first few years in practice.”
The RCVS will be holding three workshops in February to provide the professions with the information they need about VetGDP. Each workshop will feature the same content, so there’s no need to attend more than one.
They take place on:
- Wednesday 3 February, 12:00 – 1:30pm
- Thursday 11 February, 12:00 – 1:30pm
- Monday 15 February, 7:00 – 8:30pm
The workshops are open to anyone in the veterinary team including veterinary surgeons who may be considering becoming a VetGDP Adviser, practice managers and others involved in graduate recruitment and anyone else who would like to find out more about VetGDP.
The sessions will be interactive and there will be a significant portion of time given over to Q&As. The RCVS Chair of Education Committee, Dr Sue Paterson FRCVS, and Dr Linda Prescott-Clements, will be available to answer any questions which can be submitted live during the event. You can also submit questions as you register for the workshop.
The full details about VetGDP, including the training requirements for VetGDP Advisers, can be found on the dedicated VetGDP webpage.