|Every year, around 600 vets from Europe register with the RCVS to work in the UK. Just two years later, almost a third have returned to their home countries.1 This is often due to struggles finding employment, difficulties fitting into UK working life and/or misunderstandings about laws or culture. As well as severely affecting the morale and confidence of the foreign vets concerned, this rapid turnover of people means that hundreds of UK practices lose money in training and employee replacement costs every year. In some cases, practice reputation can even be affected and often managers and owners struggle to understand what went wrong. The primary aim of VetAbroad is to change this.|
Through its ‘Working As A Foreign Vet In The UK’ e-learning course, VetAbroad gives European vets practical advice about the expectations and differences that life in the UK will present. Split into modules, the course covers everything from registering with the RCVS and searching for the right job to the legalities of the UK veterinary profession and perhaps most importantly, advice on how to effectively interact with UK colleagues and clients. Provided entirely online, each module features a self-assessment test that examines for thorough understanding of the course material. Fully supported by the RCVS and with linguistic accuracy assured, the course facilitates a smoother and faster integration of vets from Europe who want to work in the UK, allowing them to reach their full potential quickly.
In addition to the e-learning course, VetAbroad can also arrange supervised UK veterinary placements in gold standard practices, allowing foreign vets to experience first-hand the things that the course teaches. A coaching and consultancy service is also available, offering unlimited e-mail contact with an experienced personal tutor to discuss any concerns or problems.
The brains behind VetAbroad, Luis Sainz-Pardo, trained as a vet in Spain and moved to the UK 20 years ago, immediately after graduating. After progressing in his career to the point where he owned his own successful practice, Luis had to return to Spain and took a role developing veterinary e-learning courses. Through this work, he became acutely aware of the differences between the veterinary profession in many European countries and the UK – something that he saw many vets going to work in the UK were oblivious to. “To me, it is simple – if vets are fully prepared, then the common problems can be avoided. The services that VetAbroad offer don’t just help those who will be perfect for UK working life, but also allow those who aren’t to realise this fact and not make a potentially expensive and personally damaging mistake” he says.
Luis is speaking twice at the 2013 BSAVA congress; first providing an insiders guide to being a successful foreign vet in the UK and then his second talk, aimed at practice owners and managers, offers advice about helping non-UK employees become a practice asset. For more information, visit www.bsava.com.
Successful chain, Companion Care Vets, now insist that all their prospective non-UK graduate vets have completed the VetAbroad e-learning course and Vets4Pets are recommending the same. They recognise the peace of mind that employing a VetAbroad trained vet offers, with those individuals presenting a lower risk of potential problems and being able to contribute to the success of a practice from day one.
To sign up for any of the services on offer from VetAbroad or to just find out more, visit www.vetabroad.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the VetAbroad forum (http://www.vetpol.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?7-VetAbroad-forum) or Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/VetAbroad) to ask any questions.
1. RCVS facts 2011 and 2012, both available at http://www.rcvs.org.uk/publications/