The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Charitable Trust is to focus on the needs of new veterinary graduates starting out in practice, through a project jointly funded by the Higher Education Academy and JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee). These funders have agreed to provide a maximum of £25,000 for this project.
Called 'Open Educational Resources to help new practitioners cope,' the project will identify the key needs of today's new veterinary graduates, and review what available ('open educational') resources already exist or can be adapted to meet those needs. The project will also encourage the sharing of these resources, and other ways of making these more accessible to new veterinary surgeons.
"New graduates moving from university to veterinary practices can face significant challenges, whether these come from long hours, demanding clients or finding that limited supervision may be offered by their employers," says Nick Short, RCVS Trust trustee and Head of eMedia Unit at the Royal Veterinary College. "Veterinary practice by its nature can be emotionally fraught as well as intensely rewarding, as it involves, for example, helping clients make decisions about the treatment or euthanasia of pets, or advising farmers about valuable livestock. This means it's important that appropriate support is available to new practitioners."
The Trust will work in partnership with UK veterinary schools and other organisations on this project (see Note for Editors), and will aim to complement the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons' Professional Development Phase (PDP) for new graduates, and in particular the set of 'Year One Competences' that new graduates are expected to achieve within approximately their first year in practice. Supervision during the PDP is provided by the vet's employer and progress towards achieving the Year One Competences is monitored by their RCVS-appointed Postgraduate Dean, so the Trust's project will look at what other resources are available or could be adapted to support new graduates as they attain this level of competence.
A project co-ordinator is being recruited to work until September on the project, after which the findings will be disseminated through a report and associated workshop. Further details about the project and the project co-ordinator role can be found at www.rcvstrust.org.uk/graduateoer
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