BVA unveils Great Workplaces accreditation scheme - Veterinary Practice
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BVA unveils Great Workplaces accreditation scheme

Scheme will support well-being, while boosting recruitment and retention

The British Veterinary Association launched Great Workplaces by BVA, an innovative new workplace accreditation scheme designed to help build a thriving veterinary workforce by recognising and rewarding positive workplace cultures. It is the latest step in BVA’s support for the profession as it tackles ongoing workforce challenges around recruitment and retention.

Underpinned by BVA’s Good Veterinary Workplaces initiative, the scheme is open to all veterinary professionals and all workplaces – clinical and non-clinical. Celebrating excellence, it spotlights workplaces that prioritise staff well-being and professional development and where staff feel valued and empowered.

The scheme launches as concerning new data from BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession Survey reveals that 62 percent of vets working in clinical practice across the UK don’t always get breaks during their working day to eat and rest. Furthermore, 98 percent of vets say a workplace’s commitment to work-life balance is important when considering what makes a great workplace, while worryingly almost two-thirds of UK vets say they only sometimes or rarely have good work-life balance.

British Veterinary Association President Dr Anna Judson said: “As well as attracting more people to join our veterinary profession, ensuring we retain the incredible talent we already have is critical to building a resilient and sustainable veterinary workforce. Positive workplace culture is central to achieving this and Great Workplaces by BVA is an innovative new approach that puts the well-being of vet teams front and centre. The knock-on impact will be good for vets and vet practices, good for clients and ultimately, good for animal welfare.

“Workplaces accredited under this new scheme will be seen as employers of choice, attracting top talent who seek fulfilling careers and a healthy work-life balance. For existing team members, working in a recognised Great Workplace could enhance job satisfaction.”

How it works:

Securing Great Workplaces by BVA accreditation is a collaborative assessment process. Each workplace will have a dedicated, experienced accreditor from a veterinary background, who will work with leadership teams and employees to gather a full picture of their workplace.

Workplaces will be assessed against an accreditation framework covering four key themes: health and well-being; leadership and management; culture; and learning and development.

Successful workplaces will achieve either gold or silver accreditation. Those that don’t meet the criteria yet will be recognised as working towards accreditation and will be supported to make the changes needed to achieve success next time around. Successful workplaces will hold their accreditation for three years, and at the end of that period, they will be required to undergo reassessment to retain their accredited status. 

Anna added: “We’ve set out a vision for how a good veterinary workplace should look, created resources and highlighted the core principles that every workplace should follow. Now, with Great Workplaces by BVA, we’re going one step further to recognise and celebrate workplaces where vet teams thrive.”

Trailblazer workplaces 

A number of trailblazer workplaces have undertaken Great Workplaces accreditation during a series of pilots in 2023. We’re delighted to announce that Westport Veterinary Clinic in Linlithgow and South Moors in Devon are the first veterinary workplaces to receive Great Workplaces by BVA Silver accreditation.

Commenting on the achievement, Fiona Leathers at Westport Veterinary Clinic, said: “At Westport Veterinary Clinic, our collaboration with the British Veterinary Association and its Great Workplaces accreditation scheme has been transformative. It has given us invaluable insights into how this initiative positively impacts workplace culture and employee well-being.

“The simplicity of the accreditation process and the approachable nature of BVA’s accreditors facilitated seamless integration of the scheme’s principles into our daily routines. The tangible impact of the Great Workplaces accreditation has been profound. It’s fostered a more inclusive, supportive and cohesive environment, elevating employee satisfaction and bolstering team morale significantly. This experience extends beyond personal growth; it solidifies our belief in cultivating healthy work cultures.”

To find out more about Great Workplaces by BVA and to register your interest in taking part in the scheme, visit our website.

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