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Professional Development Phase Website Updated

16 years ago

1st September, 2006 00h00

Veterinary surgeons graduating from 2007 onwards are required to complete the RCVS Professional Development Phase (PDP), and in preparation an updated website has been launched with more detailed guidance for both graduates and their employers. The PDP is an online system for recording clinical experience that supports new graduates as they attain their Year-one Competencies - the set of skills they are expected to acquire during their first year of practice. Although graduates qualify with Day-one Competencies, additional, structured support during their first year of work pays dividends in terms of reducing stress, improving performance and enabling experience to be gained across a balance of clinical areas. The need for the PDP was backed up by the RCVS 2006 Survey of the Profession, which asked those graduating since 2000 if they had been given training in their first year of practice: nearly one in two new graduate respondents was left without any formal training in this crucial formative period. The PDP is self-assessed via a password-protected website where graduates can log their experience and case histories against a set of Year-one Competencies for small animal, equine or farm animal practice, or a combination of the three. It is also possible for graduates to benchmark their progress against the rest of their year group. The new website, which can be previewed at (click the preview button), includes a detailed Frequently Asked Questions section on how the PDP works, together with sample graphs and charts to give an indication of how records are stored and presented. The requirement to complete the PDP, which was agreed by RCVS Council in November 2005, includes all new graduates registering with the RCVS, regardless of where they qualified. It is also open to this year's graduates on a voluntary basis. "The PDP has been piloted successfully for four years and forms the first phase of the RCVS's lifelong learning framework, linking with compulsory CPD, the new modular postgraduate certificate and other postgraduate qualifications," according to Dr Barry Johnson, RCVS Council Member and Vice-chairman of its Education Policy and Specialisation Committee. "It offers a structured way for new graduates to consolidate their university learning with their day-to-day experiences and should also prove a useful tool for those returning to work or wishing to move into a new area of practice," he concludes.

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