Study of BSAVA PDP Resources Wins Psychology Award

30 October 2018

Organisational psychologists, Work Psychology Group (WPG), have won a business award for their research work on the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Professional Development Phase (PDP).

WPG worked with the RCVS and the BSAVA last year on a project to evaluate the impact of the PDP on veterinary graduates. The PDP is a period of structured self-assessment, reflection and development, designed to assist veterinary graduates in the transition from life as a veterinary student to clinical practice.

The project won the Wellbeing, Health and Inclusiveness Award category at the recent Association for Business Psychology Conference. During this event Charlotte Flaxman, Senior Consultant at WPG, took part in a round-table discussion in which she went through the methodology of the project, which included an online survey with both graduates and veterinary employers as well as a series of focus groups designed to evaluate employer and graduate perceptions of the PDP.

As a result of WPG’s research, a number of changes to the PDP were agreed by the RCVS Education Committee, including developing guidance to support graduates and employers, making it a requirement for graduates undertaking the PDP to have a workplace mentor and assigning mentors to sign-off each graduates progress on a regular basis.

Linda Prescott-Clements, RCVS Director of Education, said: “We congratulate WPG for this well-deserved award and for the thorough and invaluable research that they carried out in respect of the PDP. What came across strongly from the research is that the aims of the PDP to help the transition from student to practitioner was very welcome but that there were some issues with its format, which is why we have planned some changes to the PDP. The results of this project last year and the planned changes will also be feeding into the Graduate Outcomes consultation which we will launch next month and for which the future of the PDP is a core component.”

Charlotte Flaxman, from WPG, added: “We are delighted to have won this prestigious award. It really is a team effort, with a lot of hard work from RCVS and BSAVA as well. Veterinary training is long and extremely rigorous and graduating as a veterinarian is a real achievement. It is also a highly demanding career and it is right that graduates should receive appropriate help and support when they first enter the profession.”