Support  for our members

Whether you're studying to become a vet or planning to retire, BVA offers support at every step

As a BVA member you have access to:

Free legal support services

We understand that legal disputes can be costly and stressful. That’s why we've sourced free legal support for our members as part of their membership package.

Legal services include:

Terms and conditions

BVA’s legal helpline is a member benefit that is available to all paid-up members. You will not be charged for the advice that you are given. However, your phone provider may charge you for the cost of making the call.

BVA’s additional legal support services including our free mediation, representation and letter writing services are only available to members who have been a paid-up member for at least three continuous months at the time of use.

To receive mediation and representation support you must be an employee. Sole traders (self-employed, locums etc) and partners are not eligible.

BVA’s legal helpline and letter writing service is provided by our partner Law Express. Our mediation and representation service is provided by our partner Prospect.

When using BVA’s legal support services, our partners Law Express and Prospect may share your details with BVA in order to verify your membership status. In certain circumstances details of your case may also be shared with BVA, for example if additional legal costs are required. BVA will not retain these details.

    • Free legal helpline

      BVA members can access a free legal helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days, a year to speak to a team of specialist legal advisors about any professional or personal subject.

      If you are member please log in to view the helpline number.

      All calls require your BVA membership number.

      They can guide you in the right direction by giving professional and completely confidential advice on issues including:

      • contracts of employment
      • maternity rights
      • working time regulations
      • boundary disputes

      The majority of issues are resolved using the free legal helpline. However, if it becomes clear that further action is required for an employee-related issue, the legal helpline may refer your case for BVA's mediation and representation service. In this instance, the details of your case will be considered and our mediation and representation partner will then contact you directly with confirmation that your case will be taken forward or with clear reasons for your case not being taken forward.

  • Free mediation service

    If appropriate to your case, mediation could be suggested to try and resolve the matter amicably.

    Mediation involves bringing the parties of a dispute together and helping them to reach agreement. It is a voluntary process and issues discussed during mediation are confidential. Parties are free to say things that they would not be able to say in court and can do so in a relatively safe environment.

    In mediation, our partner's appointed mediator will set out your concerns, explain how those concerns arose and suggest steps that may lead to an amicable resolution.

    Mediation can allow parties to achieve resolutions that are beyond a court’s power to award and whilst mediation does not aim to produce winners and losers, more often than not, it's substantially better, less expensive and less stressful, than litigation.

    Free representation service

    Employee members can benefit from our free legal representation service. Legal representation is primarily to help resolve issues that arise in the workplace.

    Our appointed partner can help you with pre and post disciplinary and grievance meeting advice, accompaniment to disciplinary hearings, and support at employment tribunals. In the case of employment tribunals, our appointed partner will seek settlement, where reasonably possible, prior to tribunal.

    Thorough case preparation, careful drafting of tribunal claim forms and witness statements will maximise the chance that the case is settled at the earliest stage possible. If the case cannot be settled reasonably, our appointed partner will see the case through to a tribunal hearing.

    Further BVA support for employee members

    Support for employer members

    As well as advice over the telephone, employer members can receive assistance with: 

    • Drafting 'disciplinary hearing' invitation and outcome letters
    • Drafting 'grievance hearing' invitation and outcome letters
    • Drafting 'capability hearing' invitation and outcome letters
    • Drafting an 'at risk' letter regarding redundancy
    • Drafting 'consultation meeting' invitation and outcome letters
    • Drafting a 'termination' letter 
    • Drafting a 'restrictive covenant' letter 

    Worried about a claim of professional misconduct against you?

    Speak to the RCVS Advice team for advice and support through the process. Please note that the RCVS has no jurisdiction to adjudicate on claims of negligence and no powers to award compensation or damages. Any claims of negligence must be dealt with via your Professional Indemnity insurance provider.

    Professional guides and resources

    BVA members can access a range of invaluable guidance available to download for free. These provide guidance on the following areas:

    View all guides and resources