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VetGDP information for graduates and students

When you start your first veterinary job after graduating, the priority will be to further develop your clinical and professional skills in the workplace. The VetGDP will provide structured support as you gain experience and confidence, laying the ground for your fulfilling veterinary career. 

This short animation covers the need-to-know information about the VetGDP. Underneath this you will find a checklist providing straightforward ‘how-to’ guidance so you can get started with VetGDP.

Video Transcript

The Veterinary Graduate Development Programme – VetGDP - is designed to help you develop your professional and clinical capabilities by providing you with dedicated, one-to-one support in the workplace. 

When you start your first role as a qualified vet you’ll enrol onto the VetGDP.

There will be a VetGDP Adviser in your workplace supporting you to become a fully competent, confident and independent veterinary surgeon, setting you up for a long and fulfilling career.

You can enrol (or apply for exemption) onto the VetGDP on the RCVS website.

The step by step guide takes you through this essential first stage in the process.

Your employer must be a VetGDP Approved Graduate Development Practice or Workplace.

They can choose to become one before you start work with them – but you won’t be able to join until they have completed this process.

Look for the logo - and if you don’t see it, ask!

Your VetGDP Adviser is committed to supporting your professional development, and you’ll meet regularly.

You will take the lead and request the support you need. This might include asking for advice on clinical consultations or feedback on a case, and scheduling monthly meetings to obtain feedback and discuss your development.

The progress you record in your e-portfolio will include your journey from your first few weeks through to becoming a more experienced professional working independently.

Your VetGDP Adviser can also add their feedback on cases or the discussions you have together.

At the start of the programme you and your VetGDP Adviser will meet to review which activities, known as Entrustable Professional Activities, or EPAs) are relevant to your role – you’ll find more information on our website.

You’ll then upload them into your e-portfolio where you will record your progress with each activity.

You must demonstrate that you can perform all activities within your role without support – that you have become a competent, confident vet.

You’ll agree with your VetGDP Adviser when the time is right to submit your e-portfolio to the RCVS for peer review and sign off. We expect it to take around 1 year but may take more or less time than this.

Need further help? Feel free to get in touch.

VetGDP checklist for your first graduate role

  • Before you start your first graduate role, confirm that the practice or workplace you will be working at is a VetGDP Approved Graduate Development Practice. This means they have at least one vet who has completed the VetGDP Adviser online training and has completed their declaration.
  • If you secure a graduate job with a practice, they can become VetGDP Approved before you start work with them, but you won’t be able to join before they complete this process. You may see the VetGDP logo displayed on their website or other digital channels - if you don’t see it, ask!
  • When begin work, you will complete your VetGDP declaration. Most graduates will enrol onto the VetGDP, but a small minority of graduates will apply for exemption from the VetGDP for example if you are going on to study for a Masters of PhD, or are working overseas.
  • Please ensure you login to your MyAccount and update the ‘relationship’ tab with your workplace and role.
  • Your employer and your VetGDP Adviser must complete their VetGDP declarations too.
  • Once you have started your new role, you will discuss your role with your VetGDP Adviser and agree the Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) that are relevant to your role. You can find out more about the EPAs.
  • Once you have agreed your EPAs with your VetGDP Adviser, you should add them to your e-portfolio. You can find guidance on how to use the e-portfolio.
  • You will meet regularly with your VetGDP Adviser regularly as you progress through the programme. You will take the lead and request the support you need. This might include asking for advice on clinical consultations or feedback on a case, and scheduling monthly meetings to obtain feedback and discuss your development.
  • The progress you record in your e-portfolio will include your journey from your first few weeks through to becoming a more experienced professional working independently. Your VetGDP Adviser can also add their feedback on cases or the discussions you have together.
  • You must demonstrate that you can perform all activities within your role without support – that you have become a competent, confident vet. You’ll agree with your VetGDP Adviser when the time is right to submit your e-portfolio to the RCVS for peer review and sign off. We expect it to take around 1 year but it may take more or less time than this.
  • If you have any queries along the way please contact a member of the VetGDP team by emailing vetgdp@rcvs.org.uk.