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New Veterinary Graduate Development Programme Launched

1 year ago

6th August, 2021 12h36


New veterinary graduates can now sign up to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Veterinary Graduate Development Programme – known as VetGDP – which has been specially designed to provide new graduates with direct workplace support, to help with the transition from vet school to their first role in the veterinary workplace.

The RCVS has designed VetGDP to help develop graduates’ clinical and professional capabilities, ensure that graduates can progress into a confident, competent member of the workplace team and set them on the right track for a fulfilling career as a veterinary professional.

All new graduates will work closely with a VetGDP Adviser; an experienced workplace professional who will provide support during the early stages of a graduates’ career. They will work in the same veterinary practice as the graduate and provide holistic advice and guidance in areas that the graduate feels they need support with, as well as feedback on their progress and professional development.

Unfortunately, one element of the VetGDP, the new e-portfolio, is not yet available, so some interim measures have been put in place [see 'Getting started with VetGDP'] to enable new graduates and their VetGDP Advisers to start the programme this summer as planned. Instead of using the e-portfolio for the time being, all graduates will be supplied with forms to use to select their Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) in discussion with their VetGDP Adviser, and to record their activities, progress and reflections, as well as feedback and comments from their VetGDP Adviser.

The RCVS has kept VetGDP registered practices up-to-date with the programme developments, and all VetGDP Advisers have been contacted with the steps they need to take to get started on VetGDP, and practices and workplaces have been reminded of the arrangements they also need to put in place.

It is expected that the e-portfolio will be available soon, and graduates will then be asked to send their completed forms to the RCVS so their information can be transferred across to the online platform for them to avoid any extra work, although they can of course do this themselves if they prefer.

Chair of the RCVS Education Committee, Dr Sue Paterson FRCVS, said: “I’m delighted that the VetGDP is going to be available for our new graduates this summer, especially after the extremely difficult year they have all faced during the pandemic, in particular, the challenges of remote learning.

“We have over 1,800 VetGDP Advisers around the UK who are registered and engaging in the online training, ready to help develop their new graduate colleagues and support them at this crucial time as they begin their working lives.

“I’m certainly sorry that our e-portfolio isn’t available just yet and I appreciate this will be disappointing for those who were looking forward to seeing it and getting started, but the good news is that this delay will not affect graduates’ ability to start the VetGDP this summer and progress through the programme, nor does it impact the support they will receive from VetGDP Advisers.”

As more and more veterinary practices become RCVS-Approved Graduate Development Practices, there will be an update to the online Find A Vet service will mean that graduates can search for practices around the country that have a registered VetGDP Adviser available.

Veterinary practices and workplaces are encouraged to make use of the new VetGDP digital assets, which are made available to them once the declaration is complete. Practices and workplaces will receive an email including information about how to access the assets once they are an RCVS Approved Graduate Development Practice/Workplace.

For any queries about the new VetGDP, or the current interim measures, please email

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