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New graduate development
programme for veterinary surgeons


Veterinary surgeons graduating from 2007 onwards will take part in a new programme to help them adjust to practice work and build their clinical competence.

The Professional Development Phase (PDP) helps new graduates put theory into practice during their critical first year. It was introduced by the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the regulatory body for veterinary surgeons in the UK.

Comprising an online system for recording clinical experience, the PDP for the first time provides a structure to help support new graduates as they attain the set of skills they are expected to acquire during their first year of practice. Although all veterinary surgeons are competent to practise on graduation, additional support during their first year or so of work pays dividends in terms of reducing stress, improving performance and enabling experience to be gained across a balance of clinical areas.

“The PDP is good news for new veterinary surgeons, their clients and their animals, and their practice colleagues, as it will help new graduates to develop their skills and knowledge in a structured way,” according to Stephen Ware, RCVS Council Member and one of the College’s new Postgraduate Deans with responsibility for assisting new graduates through the PDP.

“The PDP should give new graduates the confidence to carry out those tasks required of them competently and help plant the seeds for good habits in terms of record keeping and reflection,” he says.


The PDP is also required for veterinary surgeons who graduate abroad and come to the UK without first working in clinical practice in their home country.