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Good veterinary workplaces - introducing BVA's new policy position

22 Sep 2020 | Megan Knowles-Bacon


Megan Knowles-Bacon, BVA Policy Officer, introduces BVA's new policy position on Good veterinary workplaces and guides you through how to use the Good workplaces voluntary code and workbook.

Good veterinary workplaces - introducing BVA's new policy position Image

Since the VetFutures report was released, we’ve been working to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by the veterinary profession. Our ground-breaking research with the University of Exeter and our discrimination report are just two examples of our work in this area.

Over the past year, our Good Workplace Working Group (GWWG) has drawn together the available research and listened to members’ views with a view to addressing some of the issues being faced by employers, employees, and managers across all types of veterinary workplace.

We are now proud to present our findings and helpful resources to help make all veterinary workplaces ones to be proud of.

What have we launched?

We’ve published our full policy position on good veterinary workplaces. This substantial document sets out all of the elements we found to be important for creating a happy and healthy workplace. It explains what the issues are, why they need to be tackled and, most importantly, what employers and employees can do to help. We’ve made 64 practical recommendations covering:

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Diversity, equality and fair treatment
  • Workload and flexibility
  • Reward and recognition
  • Personal and career development
  • Management and HR process
  • Workplace culture

We’ve also included 36 case studies which showcase examples of how our vision can be achieved, and a list of useful resources that can help individuals and teams to achieve our recommendations.

How do you use it?

The position is in clearly defined chapters, designed to make it easier to work through one section at a time and refer back to whenever you need.

Every member of the profession has a role to play in creating and maintaining good workplaces, so there are many recommendations which individuals can put into practice straight away. However, to truly create a good workplace, it is important that the whole team is on board, and employers or managers have specific roles to play in supporting individuals and fostering a good workplace culture. So, we’d expect everyone to work through the position together, identifying where their workplace needs to improve and agreeing actions they can take to collectively make their workplace better.

To help make this easier to work through, we’ve developed the Good veterinary workplaces voluntary code. The code comes in the form of a poster, showcasing the fundamental principles from the position, which all good workplaces should have. You can display this at work and ask the whole team to sign in the space provided, to show that your team is committed to creating a good workplace.

To accompany the code, we’ve also produced a workbook, with space to write notes on what your workplaces does well, what can be improved, and your next steps. Your team should work through this book together, referring back to the relevant chapter of the policy position when you need more information.

What next?

It is vital that the UK veterinary profession retains a thriving, engaged and sustainable workforce. For this to happen, it is essential that, as a profession, we take steps to recognise and address the workforce issues we’re facing.

You can help by downloading the BVA policy position on good veterinary workplaces. Members should also download our voluntary code and workbook.

This is just the beginning of our work in this area. We are committed to producing more resources and guidance to help you work towards creating good workplaces.

We’ll be sharing more positive case studies on our blog and social media, and we’d love to hear about your examples. Please get in touch details about your experiences by emailing [email protected] or tag @BritishVets in your #TimeToChange #GoodWorkplces social media posts.


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