RCVS Council bids to enhance career pathways

RCVS Council bids to enhance career pathways

Proposals to develop enhanced veterinary career pathways have been backed by the RCVS.

The scheme has been developed following a review of the sector’s advanced practitioner (AP) status and a stakeholder event held by the college last year.

Three new workstreams are planned within the project, including the development of both a speciality training programme in primary care and more flexible and accessible routes to specialist training.

It also commits the college to developing clearer guidance for both the profession and public on available career statuses, potentially including a new name for the current AP designation and the roles that status may prepare its holders for.

RCVS education committee chairperson Kate Richards said: “These exciting and progressive proposals are visionary as far as the career and development structure of the veterinary clinical profession is concerned. With around 75% to 80% of veterinary professionals working in clinical practice, this project will deliver a substantial positive impact.”

VN Council chairperson Belinda Andrews-Jones added: “This is making the profession much more inclusive.”

The project, approved by Council encompasses three highly progressive workstreams which will lead to new career routes and roles in the future for veterinary surgeons in general practice. The workstreams are:

  • The development of a veterinary specialty training programme in primary care: over the next two years, this will see the development of a comprehensive plan for the delivery of a new training programme for veterinary general practitioners that will, in turn, lead to a new ‘Specialist in Primary Care’ status. The workstream encompasses the development of a new curriculum, including appropriate teaching and assessment methods, and an implementation plan for this training. The training will be comprehensive, and five years’ duration, in line with that for specialist training in other clinical areas.
  • The definition of veterinary clinical roles: this will see the RCVS develop clear guidance for the profession and wider public on the different clinical career statuses available to veterinary surgeons and what the focus and responsibilities of those statuses typically entail. This will include consideration of a new name for the current ‘Advanced Practitioner’ (AP) status for vets and the role that this status may prepare people to take.
  • The development of flexible and accessible routes for specialist training: under this workstream, the RCVS will identify different ways in which vets can access the teaching and learning opportunities, clinical experience/cases, supervision and support that is required for them to complete specialist training and obtain RCVS Specialist status. This will include looking at how access to specialist training can be widened beyond the typical internship/residency model, to include training models more accessible from primary care practice, and for those at different career and life stages.