February 27th 2020

RCVS Suggests Educational Reforms

Following on from the Graduate Outcomes Project launched in 2018, the RCVS council has recently approved a variety of proposals that seek to improve both the education and support of veterinary students and new graduates. The wide-ranging consultation was launched to gather information around the following four key areas:

  • Day one competences
  • The Professional Development Phase (PDP) – including an identified need for a more structured PDP programme for new graduates
  • EMS – including how EMS placements should best be implemented, to achieve a more consistent quality and value for veterinary students
  • Clinical education for general practice – including how the veterinary degree can ensure an appropriate balance between general practice and specialist experience

The day one proposals related to education and focused on the implementation of a new conceptual model to better understand the skills and experience required of new graduates and highlighted the need for a greater focus on non-clinical competencies. As the guidelines continue to be developed, they will be supported and implemented by veterinary schools.

The RCVS has also examined how to better support graduates and those new to the profession through a series of programmes that will focus on the provision of feedback and guided reflection against professional activities relevant to their role, as identified by each graduate, and supplied by their workplace mentor. Through an online training package, members will be supported as their roles develop allowing for feedback from the profession to help shape the programme.

On the new initiatives, 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.’

For more details and to download the Graduate Outcomes consultation document, visit the RCVS website.

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