Graduates programme group

Vets4Pets Graduate Programme

Applications for our 2020 Graduate Programme are now OPEN! Don’t miss out, apply now, and enrich your veterinary career.

  • Over 180 hours of CPD
  • Competitive salary and package
  • Career development
  • Dedicated mentor
  • Bespoke wellbeing programme
  • Tailored personal development programme
  • Graduate community hub
  • Growing network of practices nationwide

To help you start to realise your potential

Vets4Pets Graduate Programme

 

Our two-year Graduate Development Programme, designed by vets with extensive practice and industry experience, puts you at its centre. It helps develop your medical, surgical and professional skills with one aim: to help you start to realise your potential. We remain focused on continually improving our programme to best meet your needs. 

With a role in one of our Graduate training practices:

  • You’ll train on the job at a pace that works for you. 
  • You’ll have support from day one from your graduate buddy, the 1,000+ vets within our online, clinical community and your dedicated mentor who will guide you through every step of your professional development.
  • You’ll build - at your pace - your own client base and see the continuity of cases with the support of your wider team. You’ll only be sole charge when you’re ready.  

We aim to find you a role that fits you, in terms of location and culture fit. There are Vets4Pets and Companion Care practices across the country of all shapes and sizes, owned and run by our Joint Venture Partners (JVPs). 

Our Joint Venture Partnership model is special, and it gives everyone, including our JVPs, the best of both worlds: 

  • You get to work alongside and learn from experienced vets who own and run their own practice with complete clinical freedom and the autonomy to do things their way.
  • Complementing this, you get the benefits that come from being part of a large, respected organisation.

Click here to apply for our 2020 programme

Once you have submitted your application, including your CV, our graduate team will be in touch by phone within 48 hours to learn more about you!

We hope this webpage answers your questions about our Graduate Development Programme. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact our graduate team via vetgraduates@vets4pets.com.

Meet our Graduate Practice of the Year 2019 award winning team, Vets4Pets Northampton!

Q & A

A: Once we receive your application, we’ll invite you to a short telephone interview to find out more about you and what makes you get out of bed in the morning. We want to learn about your experiences and understand what type of role you’re interested in. Our priority is to find out about you as a person so we can help our Practice Partners best support you. We’ll also tell you more about our programme and answer any of your questions. 

From there, we’ll match you to practices we think are a good fit for you. The next stage will be interviews with the Practice Partners. These could be face-to-face interviews or virtual interviews or both. No two practices are the same so these interviews are an ideal way for you to find the best fit for you and of course, for our Practice Partners to find the right grad for them. If you’d like any support with your interview, our graduate team are on hand to help.

A: Yes, absolutely! As long as you are eligible to register with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and can work in the UK as a vet, you can apply to the programme. We currently employ vets who come from 43+ countries and counting! We love the diversity our vets bring and actively encourage vets of all nationalities to apply. 

If you’re from outside the EU, you will need to apply for a sponsorship visa. We have lots of experience supporting vets with sponsorship applications. Feel free to contact us on vetgraduates@vets4pets.com with any questions.

A: You will be employed directly by the practice. The two-year programme is provided by the Group and is designed to support and complement your role in your practice. Importantly, there are no financial tie-ins for you, and if you chose to leave your practice, you will work your notice period the same as any other vet. We hope that doesn’t happen, but we’re on hand to support you if you are considering moving on.

A: We try our very best to match you with the location and type of practice you request. We take all factors into consideration, including your preferences (location, type of practice, etc.) and the preferences of each of our practices looking to have a graduate join their team. Ultimately, we aim for all matches to be successful from everyone’s perspective, and we want you to be in a practice where you will be happy and thrive.

We have a growing number of practices across the UK of all shapes, types and sizes, and each one is individually owned and has complete clinical freedom and the autonomy to do things their way. No two practices are the same.

There’s a great chance we can place you where you want to be in an environment that suits you and that you’re the right person for the practice as well; however, as with many things in life, we may not be able to meet all of your preferences. 

A: Yes. Everyone who is part of our graduate development programme receives paid release to attend the programme’s CPD.

A: We offer a really competitive graduate package. Because of the nature of our business model, no two graduates have identical packages as it’s down to each individual Practice Partner. However, all graduates on the programme will receive a salary of at least £31,000 p.a. when they start, and this rises to £33,000 p.a. after year one and £35,000 p.a. after year two. You get at least 28 days holiday (including bank holidays), a competitive pension contribution, income protection and a number of other benefits that come with being part of a large group such as 20% off at Pets At Home stores after you’ve completed three months of work with us. 

A: You will be assigned a clinical mentor from within your practice who is dedicated to supporting you with your clinical development. You also have regular ‘development sessions’ with your Practice Partner and additional ‘check ins’ with a member of the graduate support team.  

A: We have an online clinical community of more than 1,000 vets, which means you’re never more than a click away from clinical support and advice, an extensive mentoring network, which lets you tap into clinical and non-clinical expertise, and you’ll be assigned a ‘buddy’ who will be in year two of the programme.

You’ll also be placed in a small graduate support group, which we call a ‘home group’ so you can connect with other graduates in your area.

We also run a closed Facebook group for our graduates so you can ask questions, share information and virtually network with your fellow grads on the programme.

If you ever find that you need additional support, we have dedicated colleagues able to help you no matter what support is needed. You will always have the confidence of the graduate team as well so you can reach out to them whenever you need to. 

A: We’re really passionate about wellbeing, and it’s one of our core priorities for all colleagues. We have developed a bespoke wellbeing programme just for our graduate colleagues. This includes CPD specifically focused on managing your wellbeing, a wellbeing journal to help you reflect on the good things, your successes and accomplishments and a bespoke wellbeing coaching programme. We’re always looking at what else we can do, and we sometimes host a summer celebration (for our grad colleagues who have just completed their first year in practice) that involves clinical education and having some fun. 

A: You will only work sole charge when you and your Practice Partner both feel you’re ready to. One of our programme commitments is that this must be a mutual decision. Generally, this is agreed around six months into the programme, but for some of our graduates, it happens sooner or takes a little longer.

A: Vets4Pets and Companion Care are both part of the Pets at Home Vet Group. Prior to 2014, they were two separate businesses, but in 2014, Pets At Home (who already owned Companion Care) bought Vets4Pets, and they became part of the same group. Since then, all new surgeries have been Vets4Pets surgeries.

If you join our programme, you may work in a Vets4Pets practice or a Companion Care practice, but you’ll receives the same CPD, support, benefits, etc., regardless of where you work.   

Our Graduate Testimonials

Why did you chose the V4P Grad Dev Programme? 

I liked the fact I could be part of a bigger community so I wouldn’t feel that I was alone. It turns out that many of my practice colleagues are older than me so it’s good that I’m part of a programme where there are people I can talk to who can relate. 

How has the programme helped you to develop your vet skills?

The CPD is really good, and you’re guaranteed to do it so you’re not running around at the end thinking you have lots of hours that you need to catch up on. And, the courses are always really relevant.  

How has your mentor and/or JVP supported you during your first year as a qualified vet? 

I have two JVPs, and I’m the only recent graduate at the practice. They are both really nice, and they’re really good at cheerleading when you’re doing really well, but at the same time, they look at my mistakes in the context of my experience, which I find is really helpful. They’ll say, “OK, I wouldn’t have done that, but I can see why you did that. So, next time, do, X, Y and  Z.” I find that approach really helpful. 

What has been your most memorable day so far? 

Recently, one of the senior vets in my practice came to me to ask me my opinion on a case. That made me feel that my opinion was valid. 

Why did you choose the Vets4Pets Graduate Development Programme?

With the number of practices, you have the option to stay local and work where you want to work.

What would you tell someone about the programme who is considering applying? 

I’d probably advise people to apply, go to the assessment day and find out more. It’s a good programme. There’s also another newly qualified vet at my practice who is part of the graduate programme so we can discuss cases and learn from each other, which is really good.

What has been your most memorable day so far? 

I don’t have a most memorable day, but the best thing so far has been to realise how much I’ve improved and how far I’ve come compared to my first day. Now, a surgery that when I started, I would have found really, really hard and stressful, is more routine. That’s a nice feeling. 

Why did you choose the Vets4Pets Graduate Development Programme?

It’s very daunting being a new vet grad so being supported and having a team around you that you can speak to, and relate to, is very helpful. It’s also great to have the chance to meet and get to know other, newly qualified vets.

What would you tell someone about the programme who is considering applying? 

I think it’s a well thought-out programme. The CPD programme looks at day-one competencies and what you need to know. It’s very useful, and you learn a lot. It’s also good that many of the courses include a social aspects and cover non-clinical topics like work-life balance. 

How has your mentor and/or JVP supported you during your first year as a qualified vet? 

My JVP has been very good. Three vets in my practice are part of the Vets4Pets graduate programme. Two of us are in the first year of the programme, and one is in the second year. 

We work at a busy practice, and every time we’re scheduled to attend a CPD course, our JVP and the other vets are always happy to cover for us and to make sacrifices to allow us these opportunities to learn. Also, we’re provided with enough time off to travel to and from the events.  

In addition, two of our graduate vets are attending the BSAVA Congress this year, and two have also started doing post-graduate certificates, which requires extended time away. This is all worked into the rota without hassle. 

Our continued development and growth is always considered and encouraged, and it does make the daunting first year of being a vet considerably easier. 

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