The RCVS has launched the Edward Jenner Veterinary Leadership Programme, a online leadership training course for all members of the practice team.

The programme, which was developed in collaboration with the NHS Leadership Academy, is designed to teach a number of skills that underpin good leadership, including decision-making, resilience, implementing an inclusive culture and encouraging reflective learning approaches. It comprises two free-to-access courses and an optional paid for assessment.

The College says that one of the programme's most popular aspects is its audio drama, which follows the lives of veterinary professionals living in the fictional county of Glenvern. The stories that depict the characters’ working lives seek to reveal the diverse leadership challenges that veterinary professionals face on a day-to-day basis. This in turn prompts the listener to reflect, consider how they would respond, and learn from their own experiences as well as those of other people.

The first course was piloted this summer, with over 550 veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses, students and practice managers helping the College to develop and refine the material, whilst a group of learners are currently piloting the second course in the series.

Sally Coles, an RVN qualified for 17 years said: “This has been a great experience; I have looked forward to spending the time out to do it. It hasn't felt like a course but an interactive learning exercise that has given me time to reflect on myself and how I can impact on others, it has also help me accept who I am and am how I am developing in my role. I would recommend this course to someone who really enjoys deep thinking and self-awareness. I agree with the comments that it has taken me longer than 4 hours a week as you really will benefit from having a journal and reading all the extras. Looking forward to more.”

Given the overwhelmingly positive feedback received on the first course the RCVS has now opened the programme to all veterinary professionals.

The programme is now accepting registrations for a new cohort of learners to begin the first of three courses on 26th November.  A ‘sign-up’ email will be sent out to all veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses ahead of the course starting.

Director of Leadership and Innovation at the RCVS, Anthony Roberts, said: "I am very pleased to be able to announce the launch of this programme. I would urge anyone with an interest in developing their leadership skills, as well as those looking to refine their longstanding leadership skills, to take part. The feedback we have received on the first course in this programme [please see Notes to Editors] has shown us that this MOOC has a far-reaching application, and is both educational and enjoyable. Whether you are a vet, veterinary nurse, practice manager or student, this programme will be relevant and useful in your professional career."

For more information, visit: www.rcvs.org.uk/leadershipmooc or email: leadership@rcvs.org.uk