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5 reasons why you should apply to be on a BVA Committee

27 Jul 2018 | Matthew Erskine


With the opening of applications for new members of BVA Committees, BVA Scottish Branch Council Recent Graduate rep, Matthew Erskine, tells us why vets across the profession should seize this opportunity to get involved. 

I have been lucky enough to be involved with the BVA since my student days as an AVS representative, and then as a fully-fledged member attending CPD events. In the past year I have had the opportunity to become more involved with the BVA by attending the annual Scottish Branch Dinner, held at the Scottish Parliament, as a new graduate representative.

Throughout all this the BVA has been a great source of knowledge, support and fun. So when the opportunity arose to join the Scottish Branch as a new graduate representative I jumped at it. There are many reasons for joining and everyone gets something different out of the experience but these are my top 5 reasons.

Have your say

It is a great chance to give feedback and opinions on a huge range of important veterinary matters that shape the future of the profession. This is of particular importance for first opinion vets and new graduates, that often may not get an equal opportunity to voice their experiences and opinions but whom makes up a large proportion of the veterinary community.

Have an impact

Many of the policies, discussions and legislation made on animal welfare are directly shaped by the input of the BVA and their branches. It is vital that this expert opinion is fed into the process as it is often the first opinion vets that it will affect most and that will be implementing it and therefore it is important to make sure that policy is fit for purpose, representative and evidence based.

It's fun!

It’s not all work! BVA is a great chance to network, socialise and meet fantastic people that all have a common goal to improve animal welfare, and champion the role of the vet. Having been to the annual Scottish Branch Dinner I can personally attest that they are a pretty fun bunch.

Give something back

It is really rewarding to know that you are part of the process to shape the future of animal welfare and the veterinary profession.

Be inspired

Every now and then it’s really refreshing to get out of the practice bubble and see the bigger picture. Being part of the BVA Branch gives you the opportunity to gain knowledge and experiences that are often very different from your day to day work.

It is great to see the BVA really engaging with new graduate veterinary surgeons that will make up the future of the veterinary profession, as well as practicing first opinion vets that are often left feeling like the silent majority.

Hopefully adding these vital voices to the huge debates and discussions that exist within veterinary medicine at the moment will help strengthen and guide the profession and it is for this reason I would urge anyone interested in being involved to apply or get in touch about the upcoming positions.

This nomination and awards period there are a variety of roles open for applications that will be of interest across all areas of interest, practice and area in the UK.

BVA is looking for:

  • Policy Committee (5 vacancies, including one recent graduate) – members are selected for their skills and experience in policy development, evidence gathering and research, decision making, and problem solving.
  • Ethics and Welfare Advisory Panel (2 vacancies) – members are selected for their expertise in animal welfare science, ethics and/or law. 
  • BVA Council (1 recent graduate) – members are selected for their commitment to representing the views of recent graduates.
  • CPD Committee (5 vacancies, including one recent graduate) – the committee is responsible for developing our national multi-species clinical and non-clinical CPD programme. 
  • Member Benefits Committee (3 vacancies, including one recent graduate and one student) – members are selected for their skills and experience in analysis and interpretation. Candidates must have excellent oral communication skills, as well as the ability to engage positively in debate and discussion. We're particularly keen to hear from large animal practitioners.
  • BVA Branches – there are also be a number of opportunities to get involved with our Branch Councils in Wales and Northern Ireland, in particular for recent graduates and general practitioners.


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