Good veterinary workplaces

Good workplaces: How to get started

Our Good workplaces policy position helps you to identify how you and your colleagues can improve your workplace. Our resources help you on your journey towards a good veterinary workplace, but with so much to do, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start.  

Everyone’s journey will be different, and there is no right or wrong way to begin. Follow the steps below to help take the first step towards creating a happier, healthier place to work.

Step 1: Gather the team and work through the voluntary code

The BVA Good workplaces voluntary code has been designed to help you work through and implement the BVA position on good veterinary workplaces. It highlights the core principles and key resources every workplace should have.

To truly create a good workplace, it is important that the whole team is on board. So, start by getting everyone together and make sure they have read through our voluntary code.

As a team, you should then work through our workbook, identifying what your workplace does well, and where it needs to improve. Make a note of these in the spaces provided in the workbook.


Top tips:

  • Display our poster and ask everyone to sign it. This shows that everyone is committed to the same vision for a good workplace
  • Refer to the relevant chapter of the full position for more information on each point
  • Consider a survey or suggestions box to gather anonymous feedback, as some team members may be nervous about sharing their thoughts or ideas
  • Keep talking to each other. Good communication is key to improvement

Step 2: Pick an area to improve on first

Once you’ve identified where you need to improve, think about what your next steps are.

We recommend focusing on one chapter at a time. Every workplace will be different, and it doesn’t matter where you start as you can focus on the other aspects later. It might be the topic with the most areas to improve, the one you think is most interesting to learn about, or the one you think you can make progress in most quickly.

Top tip:

  • If you are really stuck on where to start, try getting the team to vote

Step 3: Decide on actions for everyone to take

Once you’ve picked an area to focus on, identify some actions you can all take. Be realistic with your goals. We recommend choosing 3 actions to take first.

There are lots of recommendations in our position which you can put into practise straight away, but the specific actions you take will be specific to your team. Use the Good workplace resources available within this hub to help you come up with ideas.

Top tips:

  • Find the relevant page on our Good Workplaces hub
  • Read the section of our policy position, as this has lots of ideas, case studies, and links to useful resources
  • Get everyone to watch the webinar on that topic and read some of the blogs


Remember this is a team effort, so ask everyone to make suggestions on what would work for them. Everyone has a role to play – so all team members, whether employer or employees, needs to take responsibility.

Don’t forget to keep talking to each other – open, honest conversations will help everyone to feel included and make it easier to improve.

What next?

Congratulations – you’ve started your Good workplaces journey! Make sure you congratulate yourself and the team for all their work.

Once you’ve completed those actions, go back to steps 2 and 3 and choose some more.

Remember, this is an ongoing process. Creating good workplaces is a worthwhile ambition and every step you take makes a difference.