Gemma Fisher, RVN, head nurse at The Animal Clinic in Blackheath, London, has been awarded the first Level 5 Diploma in Veterinary Leadership and Management (DVLM) from the Veterinary Management Group (VMG).
In achieving the Diploma, she demonstrated an impressive range of knowledge and skills from modules including mental health in the veterinary workplace, practice finance, coaching and mentoring and workplace culture, according to the VMG.
The latest cohort of awardees for the Certificate in Veterinary Leadership and Management (CVLM) also includes:
- Emma Boyd, animal husbandry EMS director and exotic animal teaching facility manager at Edinburgh Vet School, who achieved the CVLM with distinction
- Catriona Young, practice manager at Vets4Pets in Carlisle, who also achieved the CVLM with distinction and has been promoted from customer service manager as a result
- Dr Piera Ceschi, who has become the first veterinary surgeon to complete the CVLM. Working for the South Tyrol Health Authority in Italy, Piera completed the course in her third language
The VMG Award, certificate and diploma are modular qualifications with an emphasis on flexibility, accessibility, and real-world relevance. The qualification is accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).
In addition to the core modules of the course studied by all participants, learners select an additional topic specifically tailored to the needs of their current role – or the role they aspire to. Specialisation options include practice finance, HR, mental health and leading change.
Commenting on the achievement of the Diploma, Gemma Fisher said: “I wanted to study for the full qualification because I’m very interested in the whole subject of practice management and I really love learning. I experienced a few lightbulb moments, especially early on in the course when I was trying to work out what kind of leader I was. This section of the course opened my eyes to different leadership styles and the type of leader I wanted to become.
“I put this into practice over time, so when I came to study the team management section towards the end of my course, I could see my development over the past two years.”
Gemma Fisher added: “Overall, I found the course very enjoyable. There is time to really dig into each topic and many different modules to choose from. The support on offer from the tutors is also excellent.”
Launched by the VMG in 2021, the CVLM already boasts 151 Award holders; 39 Certificate holders and, now, one holder of the Diploma. 144 veterinary professionals are currently studying for the CVLM, including learners from the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
Dr Hannah Perrin, VMG/ILM Qualifications Course Director, added: “As leadership roles within the veterinary sector – and the careers of those taking them up – become ever more diverse, our priority in developing these courses was to create a suite of qualifications which was practical and engaging.
“It also had to be flexible enough to accommodate a range of career interests and aspirations, while retaining a core focus on leadership knowledge, skills and behaviours.
“Providing effective leadership for today’s veterinary world can be demanding but so rewarding.
“The ongoing positive results from the CVLM and DVLM show that current and future veterinary leaders are determined to ensure they can motivate and inspire their teams successfully through the challenges, while opening up new opportunities for both themselves and their organisations.”
The VMG is the professional association for all those in leadership and management roles in the veterinary sector. It empowers and equips veterinary leaders and their organisations to learn, share and grow.
The ILM is a professional membership body for leaders and managers and is the UK’s leading provider of leadership qualifications. Its purpose is improving leadership development, both in the UK and worldwide, ensuring businesses and individuals are equipped for the working world now and in the future.
More information about the qualifications is available on their website. The deadline for registration for the Winter term is 31 October 2023.