RCVS news: Online platform launched to support graduates during their first veterinary role

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has launched its Veterinary Graduate Development Programme (VetGDP) e-portfolio platform.

All new veterinary graduates and their VetGDP Advisers will be able to use it to record and monitor the graduate’s progress as they work through the programme. The e-portfolio is intuitive to use, and functionality includes:

  • Separate sections for each of the overarching activities carried out by the new graduate in their role, ie Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs);
  • An online area to upload documents and record text to capture reflections and feedback;
  • Easy-to-view progress for individual cases / tasks across all activities identified as being relevant to the graduate in their role;
  • The ability to upload photos to record case-specific information.

Feedback opportunities are also built into the system, and new veterinary graduates and their VetGDP Advisers are encouraged to leave comments and suggestions to help the RCVS enhance the platform’s functionality.

From this summer, all new veterinary graduates have had to be enrolled on the VetGDP when they start their first job as a qualified vet. This means that veterinary practices and other workplaces wishing to employ new veterinary graduates will need to become, or be working towards becoming, an RCVS-Approved Graduate Development Practice or Workplace. To date, over 1,800 VetGDP Advisers around the UK have registered for the training to help develop their new graduate colleagues and support them at this crucial time as they begin their working lives. Further information about becoming an RCVS-Approved Graduate Development Practice or Workplace can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/vetgdp 

Dr Linda Prescott-Clements, RCVS Director of Education, explained: “We recognise how important it is to support new veterinary graduates as much as possible during their first job as a fully-qualified veterinary surgeon. The transition from study to work can be a daunting one, and we wanted to create a resource that would help new graduates record and reflect on their journey through the programme and provide a space for the VetGDP Adviser to monitor and support their graduate as they progress.

“We believe the VetGDP programme will have a positive impact on graduates’ development and their confidence during their first role. The new e-portfolio will be a key resource for employers to help them support the professional development of the newest cohort of veterinary professionals.”

Richard Burley, RCVS Chief Technology Officer, said: “We’ve had excellent feedback about our 1CPD platform which we launched in 2020, and hope that the VetGDP e-portfolio will be just as helpful to veterinary graduates and VetGDP Advisers as they progress through the programme. We will be constantly working on and improving the VetGDP e-portfolio, and we are keen to hear the thoughts of graduates and practices using it. We will use any feedback we get to inform future changes or improvements.”

The RCVS will be holding two online workshops to provide VetGDP Advisers and veterinary graduates with support and advice about using the e-portfolio. The workshop dates and times are:

  • Friday 17 September 1 PM – 2 PM
  • Monday 20 September 7 PM – 8 PM

The workshops will be interactive and include a demonstration of how to use the platform most effectively. There will be a significant portion of time devoted to Q&As from those attending the workshops. Further information and the online booking form can be found at https://www.rcvs.org.uk/vetgdpworkshops/

Some graduates may have completed forms to record their activities and progress as part of the VetGDP platform launch interim measures provided earlier this summer. Anyone who has manually completed any forms is encouraged to get in touch with the VetGDP team by emailing vetgdp@rcvs.org.uk who will be able to help transfer the data onto the e-portfolio if required.

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