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When does VetGDP begin?

We introduced the VetGDP in summer 2021.

When new veterinary graduates begin their first job, they will need to get a commitment from their employer that they are signed up to VetGDP, and that there will be a VetGDP Adviser in the workplace to support them.

When veterinary graduates join the workplace, the vet who will be their VetGDP Adviser must have completed the online training. 

You should begin your VetGDP as soon as you start your first role.

Related FAQs

  • VetGDP will count towards your CPD requirement. We view undertaking and completing the VetGDP as a year’s worth of CPD and it is therefore equivalent to 35 hours of CPD. VetGDP will cover your first twelve months of CPD but if you take a bit more time to complete it, you can add 35 hours to any calendar year or split the hours across years during that time period.

  • One of the downsides to the PDP was it was one size fits all, whereas one of the key benefits of VetGDP is that it is personalised. You will be able to work through the aspects of your job and what’s relevant in your workplace which might be different to somebody else’s in a different job. In mixed practice your Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) would cover different aspects to those for, say, a government role or in equine practice.

  • There are more fully trained VetGDP Advisers than there are yearly graduates.

    These vets are located throughout the four nations, and they have been on the Register for an average of 15 years, so new graduates will benefit from their experience. We will be recruiting on an ongoing basis to ensure that we have a sufficient numbers of vets on board, in both small independent practices and larger corporate practices.

  • Yes, the VetGDP replaced PDP for new graduate vets from summer 2021. Any vets who are currently on the PDP will continue on that path. VetGDP applies to any graduate vets employed from summer 2021.

  • There isn’t a cut-off date, and we deliberately haven’t designed it to be time-bound, but in a similar way to the PDP we would expect it to take around a year. However, some will progress more quickly and if you and your VetGDP Adviser both feel you have reached that stage you may submit your portfolio for peer review more quickly than that. Equally it is no problem if you take longer, particularly if part of your role has an unusual element that doesn’t happen very often.

  • When you start looking for a job, some employers may indicate that they are an RCVS Approved Graduate Development Practice, either on their website, social media or other channels. If you don’t see this however, please don’t assume they’re not an approved practice, as they may be working towards it or just may not have advertised it yet. If they are not, ask them if they are happy to do so because you will need to complete VetGDP.

    You can find RCVS Approved practices by using our Find a Vet website.

  • Your practice should be an RCVS Approved Graduate Development Practice, meaning that they have at least one VetGDP Adviser within the practice. The training for the VetGDP Adviser is 20 hours of free, flexible, online training and they may begin this after they have given you a job offer, as long as they complete the course and the declaration before you start your role.

  • The Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) are the framework that describe activities in your role and the vast majority will be very similar in different roles, but there will be some roles that are very specific in one area but have more depth, others in mixed practice may be broader. It is personal and self-directed so you can design your own programme to suit yourself and continue to do it until you are confident.

  • If your role does not require you to be MRCVS, then you can apply for an exemption. However, if your role includes areas which require the knowledge that you have gained in your veterinary degree, then it is likely that the VetGDP can be adapted to support you.

    You will need to participate in the VetGDP if you are in a Government veterinary role, working for the food standards agency, working as an OV, working for the APHA, in animal welfare, as an inspector, in veterinary audit, meat hygiene inspectors, policy writers, epidemiologists, research roles, and so on.

    If you need assistance in finding EPAs to suit your role, or in crafting your own EPA to suit your role, then please do contact us at

  • If you are continuing in education, studying towards a PhD for example, you can apply for an exemption but if you are taking on another veterinary role at the same time, such as being a locum, you will need to participate in the VetGDP.

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