The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), Veterinary Schools of Australia and New Zealand (VSANZ) and the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC), have been closely monitoring the impacts of the pandemic on this year’s cohort of veterinary students, and have written to veterinarians to assure them of the confidence that these professional bodies have, that this cohort of students has the requisite skills and knowledge to be practice ready on graduation.  

This comes after students have expressed concern that potential employers may view them as underqualified compared to previous cohorts, due to them not being able to undertake clinical placements in veterinary practices. 

In their joint statement the AVA, VSANZ and AVBC said that all veterinary schools have continued to deliver learning experiences that ensure students meet program and accreditation requirements and competencies at graduation. 

“The AVBC has reviewed each modified curriculum and continues to communicate regularly with VSANZ and with Schools on all matters related to the accreditation of veterinary degrees. Throughout the year AVBC has been able to assure the veterinary boards of Australia and New Zealand that Australian and New Zealand veterinary degrees continue to be accredited and that final year students are on track to achieving all of the Day One Competences necessary to register and practise.” 

“In addition, the graduating class have shown considerable flexibility and resilience adapting to the many changes that COVID has ushered into their program; they are resourceful, self-directed learners and skilled in using online resources. These are important characteristics of a successful veterinarian”.

The AVA, VSANZ and AVBC has advised that veterinary employers can assist in the following ways:

  • Where able, assist veterinary schools and the broader profession by providing student placement opportunities (as COVID-19 allows).
  • Encourage graduating students in their search for potential places of employment, especially if you consider your practice/industry ‘graduate friendly’.
  • Where possible welcome new graduates with open arms and provide moral support, whether through virtual webinars, email, or other forums of online communication.
  • Make use of the various resources provided by the AVA to guide potential new graduate employees.