RCVS supports education reform

RCVS has endorsed a series of proposals that aim to improve the education and support of veterinary students and graduates. The recommendations were put forward to its council in a meeting last week.

The key areas covered by the proposals were day one competences, the professional development phase (PDP), extra-mural studies (EMS) and clinical education for general practice.

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These recommendations followed a “wide-ranging” consultation launched in 2018. The consultation, which itself was a recommendation of the joint RCVS and BVA ‘Vet Futures Action Plan’, garnered 3,686 individual responses and 38 organisational responses in the first stage. 

The RCVS Council has now approved the “direction of travel” for a “number of reforms” amongst these four key areas, which aim to “update and improve the education and support of veterinary students and new graduates”.

Dr Susan Paterson, chair of the RCVS education committee, said: “A completely new programme of support for graduates will be developed. This will be centred on the provision of feedback and guided reflection against professional activities which are relevant to their role as identified by the graduate, and supplied by their workplace mentor.

“The RCVS will develop an online training package to support mentors in their roles, and, as a result of feedback from the profession, we will develop a mechanism to accredit practices delivering the new programme, and quality assure it to ensure graduates receive the support they need.”

Stephen May, chairman of the Graduate Outcomes Working Group, said: “We owe it to our newest veterinary surgeons to find better ways of preparing them for the complexity of clinical practice, and primary care in particular, as well as supporting them through the early stages of their careers and ensuring they are ready for what awaits them.

“We now look forward to carrying out further work and developing proposals on the future of EMS and clinical education for general practice, as well as supporting the education team at the RCVS in developing the new model for day one competences and the replacement for the PDP.”

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