RCVS publishes new guidance document to help practices prepare for VetGDP this summer - Veterinary Practice
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RCVS publishes new guidance document to help practices prepare for VetGDP this summer

The introduction of VetGDP means that practices that wish to employ new graduates will need to commit to becoming an RCVS-approved Graduate Development Practice

A new, comprehensive guidance
document
setting out what practices need to know about the forthcoming RCVS
Veterinary Graduate Development Programme (VetGDP) has been published ahead of
its rollout in summer 2021.

The VetGDP
replaces the previous Professional Development Phase (PDP) and aims to support
new graduates in the further development of their clinical and professional
capabilities, resilience and confidence, and to establish a fulfilling career
as a veterinary surgeon. It will do this through providing a meaningful and
effective period of support during the early years of a graduate’s career.

The introduction
of VetGDP means that practices that wish to employ new graduates will need to
commit to becoming an RCVS-approved Graduate Development Practice, with a
VetGDP Adviser in place who can provide one-to-one support for new veterinary
graduates to further develop their knowledge, skills and confidence in the
workplace. Although VetGDP officially starts this summer, practices who employ graduates this year will have
until December 2021 to achieve the status, provided they have someone who has
started and actively engaged with VetGDP Adviser training and that the VetGDP
Adviser and practice have committed to supporting their new graduate.

In preparation for
this, the new guidance includes information practices need to know in order to get ready for VetGDP,
including the programme structure, how to implement the scheme, further
information about the online e-portfolio graduates will need to complete and
the process for completion of the programme.

Particularly
important are the details about the critical role of the VetGDP Adviser, as
each participating practice will need to have one in place. The guidance
includes information for prospective VetGDP Advisers on the types of support
activities they should be prepared to provide for their new graduate, and
details about the e-learning which all VetGDP Advisers will undertake to
prepare them to do this.

Following feedback from the
profession, the guidance also introduces a new locum VetGDP Adviser role. This
role will provide support to graduates in practices or workplaces in
exceptional circumstances, for example where the VetGDP Adviser has left
unexpectedly and cannot be replaced straight away. When prospective VetGDP
Advisers start the e-learning they will also have the option to volunteer to
become a locum VetGDP Adviser to provide support to graduates in that
situation, within their local area.

At the meeting of RCVS Council
on Thursday 18 March, members also approved changes to the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct to
reflect some of the new obligations for veterinary graduates, VetGDP Advisers
and other veterinary colleagues under the programme. This guidance makes clear
that the programme is led jointly by the graduate and their VetGDP Adviser who
has agreed to be the primary person providing support to the graduate(s)
enrolled in the VetGDP in their workplace. The practice/workplace, via the
senior veterinary surgeon, also has a responsibility for allowing the
graduate and VetGDP Adviser protected time for support activities.

Dr Sue Paterson
FRCVS, Chair of the RCVS Education Committee, said: “VetGDP builds on what we
all do in practice every day when we have a new graduate – we build their
confidence by starting with simple, straightforward tasks, and move through to
more complex tasks as their knowledge and experience grows. The VetGDP will
support graduates through that process while also providing the VetGDP Advisers
with the appropriate skills and knowledge to maximise that support.

“The transition
from being a student to a veterinary graduate can be truly daunting and I
certainly remember in my first few months of practice how important the support
of a more experienced colleague was, to help me reflect and learn from my
mistakes, as well as celebrate my successes.

“Working with
their VetGDP Adviser, new graduates will be able to decide where they want to
focus and where they need support. It will enable the graduates to hone their
skills in all the day-to-day activities they need to do in practice. Building
their confidence means they will develop more quickly into competent, resilient
members of the veterinary team.

“This new and
comprehensive programme guide will provide practices with an overview of what
they need to do to prepare for their veterinary graduate recruitment this
summer and demonstrate how VetGDP will benefit all parties – the graduate, the
practice, the wider profession and the animals we care for.”

To complement its publication,
the RCVS will be holding an interactive workshop on the VetGDP guidance, with
time dedicated to answering any questions that practices and members of the
profession may have. This will be held online at 12pm on Wednesday 31 March
and will also be recorded for those who are unable to attend live.

You can register for the event online and will be able to submit questions in advance
during the registration process, as well as asking questions during the event.

The guidance can be downloaded
in PDF format from the RCVS website.

Those with any questions about
VetGDP should contact the RCVS Education Team on vetgdp@rcvs.org.uk.

Veterinary Practice

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