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Professional outcomes review

We're currently undertaking a major project, looking at the outcomes that the veterinary profession requires of new graduates.

Vet student ambassadors group photograph from RCVS innovation Symposium

This review is a key aim within the RCVS Strategic Plan and Vet Futures Action Plan and it also draws in strands from the Veterinary Schools Council Strategic Plan.

It's a significant piece of work for the RCVS and its partners over the next two years, the outcomes of which could have far-reaching consequences for veterinary schools and for the veterinary profession.

Who is involved?

The project is being led by a Working Group, chaired by Professor Stephen May, and representative of the whole profession, and is being guided by a set of principles.

These principles have been developed to act as a ‘touchstone’ throughout the life of the project against which each recommendation/decision can be checked. The principles are intended to guide emerging policy and also to help to identify commonalities and shared objectives across partners who may hold very different views about some of the issues under consideration.

The Working Group agreed from the start of this project that it wished to take a collaborative approach to the work and that consultation with the profession would be important at key stages of the project. So there will soon be a chance for everyone to engage with this work and to have their say. We expect the consultations to start in the second half of this year.

What is being discussed?

The Working Group is looking at three main themes:

  1. the skills and competences that will be needed by veterinary professionals of the future, and what this means for the structure and content of the undergraduate veterinary degree and any postgraduate implications. There is a particular focus on non-clinical skills
  2. the transition between veterinary school and work, including the purpose, requirements and breadth of extra-mural studies (EMS) and its financial sustainability and the shape of the Professional Development Phase (PDP)
  3. recruitment of veterinary students and retention of qualified vets within the profession

The Big Picture

It's easy to think of issues such as careers advice to schoolchildren, the content of the degree and the PDP as separate strands of work with no particular connection. However, all of these areas are part of an inter-connected continuum, or ‘big picture’ and changing one part of this picture will have knock-on effects to others. Our aim is to ensure that all the parts of the continuum dovetail together, each building on the previous stage. We are also aiming to clarify where responsibilities lie at each stage, so that the whole profession has an understanding of the part that it plays at each point.

Continuing Professional Development

What are the next steps?

The Working Group is working on a series of options and ideas and we expect consultations to start in the second half of this year. We will be using this page to add more information as the project progresses.