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VetGDP information for vets returning to the UK Practising Register after 5+ years away

If you’re a vet returning to the UK Practising Register after five or more years, you must enrol onto the VetGDP. The programme is designed to help you update and refresh your professional and clinical capabilities by providing you with one-to-one support in the workplace. In certain circumstances, if you’ve been working as a vet abroad for example, you may be able to apply to the RCVS for exemption. If you’re returning to work after a shorter period away from the Register you may also request to enrol onto the programme if you feel it would be beneficial.

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

If you’re a vet returning to the Register after five or more years, you must enrol onto the programme. You may be able to apply to the RCVS for exemption, for example if you have been working abroad during this period.

If you’re returning to work after a shorter period away you may also request to enrol onto the programme if you feel it would be beneficial.

There will be a VetGDP Adviser in your workplace supporting your return to practice.

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 focusing on refreshing skills or updating your knowledge and scheduling monthly meetings to obtain feedback and discuss your development.

You’ll record your progress in your e-portfolio, reflecting on your current skills and experiences and acknowledging areas where you may need guidance.

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 and experience – 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 – and can work as an independent, 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.

Need further help? Feel free to get in touch.

VetGDP checklist for vets returning to the UK Practising Register after 5+ years

  • If you’re a vet returning to the UK Practising Register after five or more years, you must enrol onto the VetGDP. The programme is designed to help you update and refresh your professional and clinical capabilities by providing you with one-to-one support in the workplace.
  • In certain circumstances, if you’ve been working as a vet abroad for example, you may be able to apply to the RCVS for exemption. If you’re returning to work after a shorter period away from the Register you may also request to enrol onto the programme if you feel it would be beneficial.
  • Before you start your first veterinary role in the UK, 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 job with them, 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 you start your UK veterinary role, you will complete your VetGDP declaration.
  • 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 focusing on refreshing skills or updating your knowledge and scheduling monthly meetings to obtain feedback and discuss your development.
  • You’ll record your progress in your e-portfolio, reflecting on your current skills and experiences and acknowledging areas where you may need guidance. 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 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.