Working Group formed to oversee development of new veterinary clinical career pathways

Following the announcement of the pioneering Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) veterinary clinical career pathways (VCCP) project at the end of last year, the College has now established a working group to oversee the project’s delivery and appointed its members.

The VCCP Working Group will oversee the project’s three workstreams, which are: developing a curriculum for specialty training in primary care/ general practice; providing greater definition around veterinary clinical roles and ‘statuses’ including that of Advanced Practitioner; and, developing more flexible routes to specialist training and status.

Composition of the group, which is chaired by renowned medical educationalist and retired GP Professor Nick Cooper, includes a wide-ranging mix of practitioners and academics from different areas of veterinary practice as well as a new graduate and a veterinary nurse representative.

Professor Cooper, whose clinical career has been in paediatrics and primary care but has also been involved in undergraduate and postgraduate clinical education for more than 30 years, said: “I am both delighted and grateful to have been appointed to chair this group and to have the opportunity to work alongside my veterinary peers on this very important project which could prove transformational in terms of diversifying and expanding the career options and pathways available to veterinary surgeons. I hope to bring useful insight from the medical professions and my experience as a general practitioner, a medical educator and from my involvement with postgraduate training development.”

A full biography for Professor Cooper can be found in the Notes to Editors.

Dr Kate Richards MRCVS, Chair of the RCVS Education Committee, added: “We’re delighted to have Professor Nick Cooper on board and this working group up and running with a broad range of members bringing a great deal of expertise and insight to the table. Nick brings a vast amount of experience and useful insights from across multiple health professions and is also currently president of the Academy of Medical Educators.

“The group already has a big programme of work ahead of it, for example, in determining some of the fundamental principles and learning outcomes for the GP specialty training, overseeing the development of clear definition statements for different clinical career statuses, and examining the existing pathways available for reaching specialist status and developing the proposals for more flexible routes for training.”

Dr Linda Prescott-Clements, RCVS Director of Education, also added: “We’re very fortunate to have the vast wealth of experience and varied perspectives that the various veterinary surgeons on the working group will bring to this important work and grateful to have Professor Cooper’s experience of postgraduate training developments over many different years and health profession contexts.”

The working group will have its first meeting in spring and the VCCP project is also planning to hold focus groups with members of the profession in April, May and July this year, in addition to a presentation on the project being held at this year’s BSAVA Congress on Saturday 23 March. Further details about the focus groups will be published in due course. Veterinary practitioners who are interested in joining the stakeholder events or providing feedback on the developments in due course should email .

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