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BSAVA launches Professional Mentorship pilot

The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) has launched a Professional Mentorship pilot scheme to help tackle the rise of recently qualified graduates leaving the profession.

Up to 24 second and third year qualified vets will partner with impartial, experienced and supportive mentors to work through seemingly ‘unsolvable’ professional challenges and unlock their potential.

Only half of veterinary surgeons who graduated within the last eight years said their career had matched expectations, and one in 10 said they were considering leaving the profession entirely, according to a Vet Futures survey in 2015.

BSAVA is looking for mentees and mentors to participate in the pilot - which counts towards compulsory CPD and aims to cement a successful transition into practice. Ongoing feedback, evaluation and development will help shape the launch of the full programme in 2019.

Mentees are encouraged to build confidence, develop independence and plan for future career success. Mentors can share their knowledge and experience, help shape the future of the profession, develop new skills and answer questions that challenge their own thinking. 

BSAVA President John Chitty said: “There is concern that recent graduates are struggling unnecessarily, and a lot of vets out there are willing to help. This is the first pilot to offer mentoring for second and third year qualified vets – where support is needed most – and could prove to be an important part of the jigsaw in tackling retention issues in the profession.

“For mentees, this is a tremendous opportunity to work through the challenges that get in the way of potential performance; for mentors, who are offered a great deal of help to facilitate their role, it is a serious but enjoyable responsibility that will enhance their own personal development, and there’s a lot of evidence that mentors get a lot out of this process as well as mentees..” 

Participants must be a BSAVA member, the closing date for mentor applications is May 4 and mentees June 6. 

Frances Wills, of coaching and mentoring consultancy Transcape, which is working with BSAVA to deliver the pilot, said: “The results are overwhelming – both mentors and mentees gain huge professional benefits by building positive, mutually beneficial and rewarding professional bonds – some mentees even teach mentors a new trick or two along the way.

“We are keen to ensure this pilot offers great benefits to all involved and helps build a robust programme for veterinarians of the future to enjoy.”

For more information please visit www.bsava.com/mentorship

Benefits:

Mentees:

  • Free, impartial advice and coaching from experienced senior professionals
  • Guidance, inspiration and a sympathetic ear
  • Time and space to think more widely about your future
  • Build confidence, happiness, job satisfaction
  • Reduce fear of failure
  • Learn new professional skills not covered at university
  • Help prepare for management roles

Mentors:

  • Training and support to give back to the profession you love
  • Share knowledge and experience
  • Be challenged to learn new leadership skills
  • Prevent an insular viewpoint
  • Answer questions that challenge your own thinking
  • Learn from the next generation
  • Discuss the future of the profession
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