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Posted: 2019-05-28

Survey seeks views on graduate employment
In the 2017 survey, employers praised the communications skills and empathy of graduates while rating them lower on financial and business management.
Results will provide key information about graduate outcomes 

A new survey for employers of recent graduates has been launched by the RCVS and the Veterinary Schools Council (VSC).

The survey follows the VSC’s inaugural survey of veterinary employers in 2017 and gives employers an opportunity to provide insights on recent graduates. It aims to cut the number of surveys employers receive from veterinary schools and give key information about graduate outcomes, such as preparedness for practice.

In the 2017 survey, employers praised the communications skills and empathy of graduates while rating them lower on financial and business management. The new survey will allow veterinary schools to see any shifts since that time. The RCVS notes that previous feedback on the survey’s format has been incorporated to make it simpler and clearer for employers.

A survey for recent graduates will run alongside the employer survey. This aims to provide further insights into how veterinary education can respond to the needs of the workplace and will support future educational development work carried out by the RCVS.

Professor Ewan Cameron, chair of the VSC and RCVS Council member, said: “Two years ago we made a commitment to an improved and ongoing conversation with the employers of our graduates. Since conducting that first survey we’ve met with employers’ groups to discuss the findings, the veterinary curriculum and the complexities around areas such as emotional resilience.
 
“Vet schools and employers working together is part of optimising the transition for new vets into the workplace. Another key voice is that of the recent graduates themselves, which is why we are introducing a new national survey for three-to-five-year graduated vets as well.
 
“This desire to listen and adapt is how our vet schools became ranked among the very best in the world. We look forward to continuing the dialogue and helping to create the profession of tomorrow.”
 
Professor Susan Rhind, chair of the VSC Education Committee, said: “As educators we want our decisions to be evidence-based, so this survey will be invaluable to informing our work in readiness for practice. Over time we are hoping to build a full picture that reveals trends. This will provide a strong basis for the allocation of resources to certain areas, as well as direction for conversations with employers.
 
“As the workplace evolves so too must veterinary education. We’re very pleased to make the voice of employers a part of this process. The more people who respond to the survey, the more meaningful the insights will be.”
 
Professor Susan Dawson, chair of RCVS Education Committee, added: “A key component of the Graduate Outcomes project has been that the RCVS as regulator should work very closely with the vet schools so that they are working towards the common goal of making sure that veterinary graduates are the right fit for the profession and the improvement of that transitional stage. We are very glad to be working with the VSC on this survey, to ensure that we have relevant information against which the impact of future educational interventions can be measured.

“The honest and frank feedback of employers and graduates on how veterinary education is working – and where it is not – is vital for our aims.”



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