The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is appealing to veterinary settings across the UK to commit to its vision for good veterinary workplaces, to help ensure that all working environments are supportive and welcoming to everyone.

Launching today (September 21) to coincide with the start of 2020’s International Week of Happiness at Work, the Good Veterinary Workplaces Voluntary Code sets out clear criteria for what makes a good workplace.

The code is accompanied by a workbook which veterinary teams can work through together to look at how they can meet a range of criteria.

The Voluntary Code is being published today as part of the launch of the BVA’s Good Veterinary Workplaces policy position.

This is a paper offering 64 recommendations for employers and staff on how to offer a fair and rewarding work environment where everyone feels valued.

The policy, which has been developed with input from a working group formed in April 2019, also includes 36 case studies showcasing successful changes and initiatives implemented in the veterinary profession and more widely in the world of work.

The BVA decided to develop the Good Veterinary Workplaces policy off the back of a body of work looking at key workforce issues in the profession, including recruitment and retention challenges, a lack of diversity across the workforce and general high levels of stress and burn-out in veterinary teams.

Maximising potential

The joint BVA/RCVS led Vet Futures project identified the need to explore the work-related challenges facing vets and take action to create a sustainable and thriving workforce that can maximise its potential.

As well as the workbook, veterinary teams will also be able to download, sign and display a Voluntary Code poster signalling their commitment to working towards being a good veterinary workplace.

Gudrun Ravetz, Chair of the Good Workplace Working Group, said:

"I’m absolutely delighted to see the launch of our valuable and comprehensive policy, which sets out a vision of the good veterinary workplaces that we should all be striving to create across the profession.

This vision has been shaped by valuable contributions from across the veterinary community, and it’s also been really useful to draw on good practice in the wider world of work.

"Each and every one of us deserves to work in a setting where we feel valued, supported and fairly rewarded for the contribution we make, but sadly this isn’t the reality for all veterinary professionals.

"By setting out the steps that all veterinary workplaces can take to offer a more welcoming and inclusive environment, with measures in place to help them address issues and continue to improve.

"This means we hope to see more workplaces where staff can thrive and enjoy a fulfilling career," Ravetz concluded.