RCVS publishes Workforce Action Plan: how can the veterinary sector work together to mitigate the workforce crisis? - Veterinary Practice
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RCVS publishes Workforce Action Plan: how can the veterinary sector work together to mitigate the workforce crisis?

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has published its Workforce Action Plan, setting out the key areas in which the veterinary sector can work together to mitigate the impact of the ongoing workforce shortages

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has published its Workforce Action Plan, setting out the key areas in which the veterinary sector, including representative organisations, employers, charities and other stakeholders, can work together to mitigate the impact of the ongoing workforce shortages in the professions.

Via its seven ambitions, the Workforce Action Plan presents what the College is doing to tackle the issue and details how collaboration, culture change, career development and leadership (among others) could help with workforce shortages.

This will be done by improving retention of current members of the professions, encouraging more people to join and making it easier for those who have left the professions to return.

The seven ambitions are:

  • Shape leaders at all levels: this includes promoting inclusive everyday leadership, ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion considerations are embedded at all career stages, and launching more opportunities for free and accessible learning resources
  • Confidence, culture and recognition: this includes ensuring that there is a welcoming and supportive environment for the whole veterinary team, and continuing to deliver to raise awareness and signpost mental health support
  • Greater responsibility for veterinary nurses: this includes demonstrating the capabilities of the veterinary nursing role, ensuring clear career pathways for veterinary nurses and continuing to progress the need for legislative change which would see veterinary nurses gain more autonomy and responsibility
  • Welcoming a modern way of working: this includes promoting return-to-work support for both clinical and non-clinical veterinary roles, continuing to strengthen relations between the UK and overseas regulators and representative bodies and encouraging the use of innovation and technology to tackle some of the sector’s major challenges
  • General practice – a chosen pathway: this includes encouraging confidence in pursuing a career in general practice and the opportunities it offers, encouraging shared training where appropriate between vets and vet nurses at undergraduate level and learning and modelling against other professions
  • An attractive career for everyone, including those who’ve left: this includes continuing to promote direct RCVS accreditation of overseas veterinary degrees, launching an Extra-Mural Studies (EMS) policy that leads to a more consistent high-quality experience for students and providers and ensuring employers understand the re-entry process, and the importance of welcoming people back after career breaks
  • Improving client interaction and communication: this includes elevating and driving the status of communication and other interpersonal skills in the professions and developing clearer and more easily accessible explanations of the veterinary role and the scope of vet and vet nurse roles to the general public

The full list of actions, with context about what has fed into ambitions, can be found in the Worforce Action Plan which is downloadable via the RCVS website.

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