21st anniversary celebrations for Improve International - Veterinary Practice
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21st anniversary celebrations for Improve International

Global veterinary training company Improve International has started celebrations to mark its 21st anniversary

Founded in 1998 by veterinary surgeon Mr David Babington and a group of colleagues, it now has operations in more than 20 countries around the world with plans for further expansion this year.

Improve is marking the milestone by fundraising for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Its staff will also be volunteering at the Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre, close to its Swindon HQ. The company will host a special event at the London Vet Show in November to end its anniversary year in style.

David Babington explains: “When we started, there were few opportunities for vets to develop their skills in specialist areas. To meet this need, we created our first structured, modular training programmes and launched “Interactive Modules for Progressive Veterinary Education” – or “Improve”. In 2003 we launched our first range of GP Certificates and created the European School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ESVPS) to provide the necessary accreditation. As our programmes proved popular with delegates from the UK and from other countries, we started our international expansion in 2008 and renamed the company Improve International. The rest is history.”

Improve International, now part of Benchmark Plc Group, provides high quality CPD in a range of formats and covering a growing range of disciplines, to help veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses to develop their skills and knowledge.

Led by global experts, its programmes blend review lectures, case-based discussions and hands-on practical sessions. Each is supported by an online learning platform providing notes, additional learning resources and the ability for delegates to discuss clinical cases in a closed forum. It works closely with its assessment partner, the ESVPS and Harper Adams University in the UK, which provides the higher education body quality assurance.

In 2014, Improve was awarded the contract for the training and revalidation of Official Veterinarians (OVs) in England, Scotland and Wales. The contract is managed by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), part of Defra. In 2016, it launched operations in the US, a market in which it is pioneering the introduction of “middle tier” training for veterinary professionals.

In 2017, it unveiled a state-of-the-art practical training facility in Sheffield and, in 2018, it started to prepare for its launch into China later this year. It is working with a licensee, Chongyike, a company that owns a popular online learning app for veterinarians in the country. Improve has also recently announced a move into the Nordic region.

Commenting on the anniversary celebrations, Mr John Douglass, General Manager of Improve International, said: “Improve has been on a remarkable journey over the last 21 years. From a small company, set up for vets by vets, our operations now span the globe and play a key role in up-skilling veterinary professionals, helping them to improve the profitability of their practice to take increased satisfaction from their work.

“Reaching this milestone is an opportunity for us to thank everyone who has worked with Improve since our formation and all those veterinary professionals who have entrusted their CPD to us. We are looking forward to celebrating during our anniversary year and to raising funds for our chosen charity, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.”

“In this 21st anniversary year for Improve International, we are absolutely thrilled to have been selected as its Charity of the Year,” said Nigel Madge, Fundraising Manager at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. “Improve’s fundraising will help to support the important bumblebee conservation work which we are undertaking in order to safeguard our bees and their humming which is the soundtrack of our Summer.”

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