New awards to recognise veterinary workplaces that prioritise team wellbeing

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has launched new awards to recognise and platform the veterinary workplaces which go above and beyond to support and enhance the wellbeing of its team.

It has been over two years since BVA launched its Good Veterinary Workplaces campaign, and the association will now celebrate those workplaces which have embraced its ethos by launching the inaugural BVA Wellbeing Awards in 2023.

The BVA Wellbeing Awards are an evolution of the Vet Wellbeing Awards, which were originally founded by SPVS and run in partnership with RCVS Mind Matters Initiative. The BVA Wellbeing Awards will continue to recognise veterinary workplaces that go above and beyond to support staff wellbeing, based on BVA’s Good Veterinary Workplaces Voluntary Code.

New for these awards is a non-clinical category, which gives staff working outside of clinical practice – such as in animal charities, government, industry or academic teams – the opportunity to share the impact their workplace has made in supporting wellbeing. The entry process has also been streamlined to make it simple for teams to nominate workplaces which have embraced the ethos of Good Workplaces.

The awards will assess workplaces in the following categories:

·       Small/Medium Practice (Up to 25 employees)

·       Large Practice (Over 25 employees)

·       Non-Clinical Workplace

Veterinary teams are now being invited to nominate their workplaces for the awards, detailing the ways in which the team’s wellbeing has been supported. Entrants must show evidence in their workplace of:

·       A positive workplace culture where mental and physical wellbeing is prioritised, and workplace stress is proactively managed.

·       Good communication between the team ensuring all staff members are heard and valued.

·       Clear processes in place for making suggestions and enabling change.

·       Flexible working is supported, and regular breaks encouraged.

It is strongly encouraged for nominations to be a team effort, so everyone has the opportunity to share their views and experiences. Entrants will also be required to submit photos showcasing team culture, demonstrating initiatives to aid staff wellbeing or moments of positivity – creativity in submissions is encouraged.

BVA Junior Vice President Anna Judson, who will also be one of the judges for the awards, said: “The culture in a workplace has an impact on every aspect of a business, but most especially when it comes to building a happy, healthy and resilient workforce. That’s why it’s so important that staff feel heard, valued and supported. BVA’s Wellbeing Awards are an important opportunity for teams to shout about innovative practices that are going the extra mile to support wellbeing. After all, good veterinary workplaces are good for people, good for animals in their care and ultimately good for business.”

Previous winners of the original Vet Wellbeing Awards highlighted how their workplace had really made a difference to their employees. Winner of 2019’s Medium Practice category Vets4Pets Northampton, embeds wellbeing in the day-to-day life at the practice. It introduced Mental Health First Aiders, a Wellbeing Committee, a subscription to a wellbeing magazine and participated in the Mind charity’s Time to Talk Week. 

Large Practice category winner for 2018 Drove Veterinary Hospital’s “Thriving in Practice” scheme, helps keep staff connected, as well as raising awareness for mental health and wellbeing. The hospital organised regular activities for staff, including yoga courses, dog walks and social barbecues. It also supports campaigns such as Mental Health Awareness Week, and encourages teams to celebrate successes and achievements.

The awards are open to the entire veterinary profession and there is no requirement to be a BVA member. Winners will be announced at BVA’s Gala Dinner during the London Vet Show in November. Nominations close on Monday, 11 September 2023. To nominate a veterinary workplace, and for more details on the entry criteria, plus full terms and conditions, visit:

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