Recruitment and retention in the veterinary profession

15 May 2019

The current situation of the veterinary workforce in the UK is a hotly debated topic. Issues such as Brexit, the shortage occupation list, legal roles of veterinary nurses, work-ready students, feminisation of the profession, work-life balance, and mental health have all been highlighted and discussed in the ‘debate’, ‘news/reports’ and ‘position’ parts of the Veterinary Record over the last year.

BEVA and BSAVA have collaborated with the RVC to conduct a new study to update our understanding of veterinary recruitment and retention. The study consisted of a questionnaire which was approved by the RVC’s Ethics and welfare committee. It was promoted through the media channels of BEVA and BSAVA and through social media and it aimed to hear opinions from employed and unemployed veterinary surgeons and registered veterinary nurses from across the UK and from across all veterinary disciplines.
The questionnaire covered three sections:

1) ‘Current employment’ – including information on job applications and reasons for leaving/staying in the profession.
2) ‘About you’ – including participant demographics.
3) ‘You as an employer’ – including information on challenges recruiting individuals from all professions/occupations and with different levels of experience.

A total of 5,597 responses were received, including 2,934 veterinary surgeons and 1,170 veterinary nurses.

View the survey results below, including videos discussing topics such as ‘Are there too many vets leaving the profession?’, ‘Is recruitment tougher than it ever was?’ and ‘What can we do to keep vets in practice?’ Analysis of demographics and subjects including finding a job, salary and working hours and postgraduate training, are also featured in the results.

View the results