Vet with stethoscope

RCVS launches leadership initiative at BSAVA Congress

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons officially launched its new Leadership Initiative on Thursday 5 April, the first day of BSAVA Congress in Birmingham.

The initiative was introduced by RCVS Vice-Presidents Amanda Boag and Chris Tufnell, and RCVS Director of Leadership and Innovation, Anthony Roberts, at a session titled ‘New initiatives to support veterinary leadership and innovation’.

Inspired by the Vet Futures and VN Futures projects, the initiative is part of the RCVS Strategic Plan 2017-2019 which had as one of its ambitions “to become a Royal College with leadership and innovation at its heart, and support this creatively and with determination,” and will be run in parallel with the College’s innovation project, Vivet, which was launched in September 2017.

The initiative’s goals include integrating leadership into veterinary professionals’ continuing education, in part by creating a Massive Open Online Course (or MOOC), leading by example in the College by developing Council and staff members’ leadership skills, and highlighting more diverse leadership opportunities.

We are now taking registrations for a pilot version of the MOOC starting in late June, for which preview materials are available on the RCVS website. The MOOC, called the Edward Jenner Veterinary Leadership Programme, was developed in conjunction with the NHS Leadership Academy and also includes an audio drama featuring veterinary professionals living in the fictional county of Glenvern, which provides a substrate for reflection and learning about the diverse leadership challenges veterinary professionals face on a daily basis.

Anthony commented: “Leadership isn’t just about grand, heroic actions – it’s about exercising judgement, and leading yourself and your team on a daily basis. Many members of the veterinary team will be doing this already without necessarily thinking of it as leadership, and with this programme we hope to help people to identify and build upon their own abilities.”

Amanda added: “Having strong veterinary leaders is ultimately all about animal welfare. We know that practices with well-supported, confident staff are often the ones that are best-equipped to respond to both the expected stresses of the job and the unexpected emergencies, allowing the team to provide the best care for the animal.”

To be part of the first pilot group for the MOOC, listen to the first two episodes of the audio drama, and preview content please visit the leadership page, or contact Anthony Roberts, RCVS Director of Leadership and Innovation, for more information.


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