The BVA has called for time-based EMS requirements to be scrapped in a radical shake-up of veterinary education.
A new policy paper from the organisation, published today (20 April), instead advocates the development of a Student-led Work Placements (SWP) system, which, it believes, will offer more personally fulfilling experiences for students.
The launch of the paper comes days after the Veterinary Schools Council launched a survey of placement providers as part of a new cost assessment of the present framework.
Reform plans outlined by the RCVS last year, and due to be implemented from the autumn of 2024, will reduce the length of time students are expected to spend on EMS placements.
The new rules will require students to spend 10 weeks doing animal handling work, instead of the present 12, while time on clinical placements will be cut from 26 weeks to 20.
The college argues its approach, which also includes the development of a new placement database, will provide a more consistent quality of experience and greater flexibility for students.
But while senior officials have stressed they see the reduction in weeks as a positive step, the 18-page BVA paper argues an approach based on completed weeks is an “anomaly” within an outcomes-focused degree programme.
It claims the SWP format will also offer students greater flexibility, while also giving them more control over the development of their own professional veterinary identities in conjunction with their vet schools.
The report said: “Many activities that would prove beneficial to the professional development of a future vet cannot be measured in weeks.
“To align requirements with the clear outcome of supporting the development of professional identity, the RCVS should have no set time commitment within the accreditation standards.”
The paper also advocates evolution of the college’s planned database to become a placement “matching” service.
Credit to: BVA calls for student-led work placements system in EMS overhaul proposal (Vet Times)
Vet Times. (2023). BVA calls for student-led work placements system in EMS overhaul proposal [online]