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Adding additional EPAs to the VetGDP programme

Before completing the form in the VetGDP e-portfolio, please read this webpage and the examples.

What is an EPA?

EPA’s are meaningful descriptors of the work of an everyday vet integrated to ‘real’ case situations involving dealing with clients, a range of unique clinical contexts and practice.

Is it already included in the bank?

The EPAs in the bank are deliberately high level so that they can be adapted for all species and scenarios. You will probably find that there is already an EPA which can be adapted for your needs. The subcommittee is not willing to add additional EPAs which overlap with those already in the bank. If you are unsure, please email [email protected] for feedback.

You may adapt the EPAs in the bank to reflect your role.

Examples of requests which have been declined


  • Request: Being able to use evidence based veterinary medicine to elicit change in farmer practices by using language and techniques that are tailored appropriately to the individual farm staff. This will encompass individual on-farm discussion alongside structured group training sessions.
  • Response: DECLINED The subcommittee have considered this relevant to EPA 8 with reference to different degrees of client support as this would include the farmer.


  • Request: Assessment of nutritional status and ration sufficiency for the age and stage of production of a herd/flock group. Understand the role of nutrition in the incidence and nature of disease/sub-optimal production seen in a group of animals.
  • Response: DECLINED These activities could be recorded under EPA 3 - develop a treatment/management plan and if there were welfare issues EPA 11.


  • Request: Conduct rectal examination for reproductive and diagnostic purposes. Be able to identify relevant structures by rectal palpation.
  • Response: DECLINED These would fall under EPA 1 - perform an examination


  • Request: Sheep and cattle caesareans for obstetrics. Judge if a caesarean is required. Communicate with the owner of the animal.
  • Response: DECLINED The Subcommittee felt that this activity would be covered under EPA 6.


  • Request: Rectal ultrasound of reproductive tract Medical management of NSB, cystic cows, endometritis Fertility data (uniform, interherd, herd companion)
  • Response: DECLINED These activities can be recorded between EPA 1 - perform an examination and EPA 2 - interpret test results.


  • Request: Demonstrate ability to triage wildlife casualties, including appropriate analgesia. Appreciate relevant legislation and recognise situations requiring euthanasia for the protection of indigenous species. Recognise situations requiring further knowledge, referral and/or transport to facilities better catered to look after wildlife.
  • Response DECLINED wild life cases should be treated the same as any other animal casualty and could therefore be incorporated into existing EPAs.


  • Request: Perform an equine orthopaedic examination including detailed history taking including the athletic use of the horse and performance expectations. Demonstrate the ability to perform static and dynamic lameness evaluation, diagnostic anaesthesia and appropriate imaging techniques. Demonstrate the reasoning behind the selection of advanced imaging techniques when appropriate. Formulate a differential diagnoses list and devise a treatment plan in collaboration with colleagues including surgical treatment where appropriate. There should be knowledge of relevant anatomy and common orthopaedic conditions with a broad knowledge of the equine industry and conditions specific to the athletic use of the particular horse. Communication with veterinary professionals and paraprofessionals such as farriers and physiotherapists, in addition to other stakeholders should be considered in relation to a rehabilitation plan and the ethics and welfare of the animal taken into account.
  • Response All the EPAs are designed to be applicable for all species: equine, farm, small, exotics, etc. The VetGDP subcommittee felt that this could be recorded under EPAs 1 and 2 and 3 Gather a history, perform an examination and create a prioritised differential diagnosis list and EPA 2 Develop a diagnostic plan and interpret test results and 3 Develop and implement a management / treatment plan. Communication is a part of all of the EPAs.


  • Request: Knowing when offering/conducting euthanasia is an acceptable option and then continuing the consult appropriately. Having a structured approach including what euthanasia is and gaining informed consent as well as empathetically explaining how the animal may react during the/after the process. As well as discussing the clients wishes for their pet post-euthanasia in a sensitive manner.
  • Response: DECLINED Euthanasia comes under EPA3 Euthanasia is an important part of Veterinary work and requires an understanding of both the legal, ethical issues and the practicalities. The primary purpose of euthanasia is to relieve suffering. The decision to follow this option will be based on an assessment of many factors. These may include the extent and nature of the disease or injuries, other treatment options, the prognosis and potential quality of life after treatment, the availability and likelihood of success of treatment, the animal’s age and/or other disease/health status, the owner’s wishes and the ability of the owner to pay for private treatment. Discussions with owners about the difficult decision to euthanase their pet show compassion and empathy.


  • Request: Performing a non routine surgery such as cryptorchid castration, cystotomy, exploratory laparotomy etc.
  • Response: Please include these activities in EPA 6.


  • Request: Integrate identification of appropriate diagnostic testing into clinical cases, gathering informed consent and making the client aware of any changes to this. Take into account financial and personal constraints when forming a relevant diagnostic plan. Being sure to identify case specific tests that could produce useful information. Acting within my professional competence and seeking guidance when necessary. Performing tests in a safe manner for the team, the patient and client, and myself.
  • Response: The subcommittee felt that all examples involving diagnostic testing could be recorded under EPA 2: Develop a diagnostic plan and interpret test results


  • Request: Communication with the client during difficult situations. Working as part of a team.
  • Response: DECLINED Communication and team work would be expected to be include in most EPAs.


  • Request: complete a case study/clinical conundrum or/and get involved in a research project.
  • Response: This example should be recorded under EPA 5: Formulate relevant questions and retrieve evidence to advance care. This EPA focuses on evidence-based veterinary medicine, looking at wider information resources, and asking you to reflect on the quality of the evidence given and if it is applicable to the clinical situation that you are dealing with. It is asking you to show that you know when and how to get further evidence or assistance and what questions to ask, and encourages a habit of lifelong learning and reflection.


  • Request: Carry out routine fertility work on dairy farms to include: a) scanning for pregnancy and accurately dating age of foetus b) scanning non-bulling cows and advising treatment c) oestrus synchronisation d) assessing fresh cows to see whether they have cleansed and are fit to serve.
  • Response: All the EPAs are designed to be applicable for all species: equine, farm, small, exotics, etc. The VetGDP subcommittee felt that this could be recorded under EPAs 2 and 3 Develop a diagnostic plan and interpret test results and 3 Develop and implement a management / treatment plan.