The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons recently released its plan to promote diversity and inclusion at every stage of the UK veterinary profession, starting with school-age children who may be considering a career in veterinary medicine.
The RCVS Diversity and Inclusion Group’s strategy, released on February 17, identified several areas where the Royal College and other organizations that are members of the Diversity and Inclusion Group will work to make the profession more inclusive. These areas are as follows.
- Veterinary and Veterinary Nurse Education and Training Recruitment: Developing case studies, ambassadors, and career materials for school-age children from all backgrounds; Commissioning research to better understand barriers to the veterinary profession; and working with organizations that support applications from people from different backgrounds.
- Maintain and support veterinary and veterinary nurse training: update veterinary school standards to reflect diversity and inclusion aspirations; Implement proposals made during the recent RCVS and Veterinary School Council Round Table for Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Vets and hold a similar event for Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Animal Nurses; and developing clear reporting systems and support for those who are discriminated against while studying.
- In-profession recruitment: encouraging veterinary organizations and establishments to adopt recruitment prices and standards; Help employers understand the business, moral, and societal arguments for diversity and inclusion; and working with employers to develop a toolkit to support better hiring practices and encourage people to set up bad examples.
- Career loyalty and support: Strengthening standards for staff support; Encouraging veterinary team members to take part in diversity and inclusion training; Creating materials to aid difficult conversations; and strengthening the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct to enable safer reporting of bad behavior.
- Organizational Policies and Procedures: RCVS and other organizations within the Diversity and Inclusion Group ensure that their policies promote and support diversity and inclusion; Developing a toolkit to better support internal diversity conversations; and encouraging veterinary organizations to have regular diversity and inclusion discussions and visible letters of intent.
- Cultural change: improving diversity of governance and leadership within the veterinary profession; Ensure diversity and inclusion are on the agenda at events; and enable organizations to have a safe space through the RCVS Diversity and Inclusion Group to discuss progress and identify where they may need further help and guidance.
The RCVS Diversity and Inclusion Group includes representatives from the Association of Veterinary Students, the British Veterinary Association and the Veterinary Schools Council, among others. The group is responsible for continuously monitoring and evaluating progress in the six areas.
“If we lose colleagues through discrimination or don’t attract people from different backgrounds because they think it’s ‘not for people like them’, then we lose as a profession, and if we don’t have different backgrounds, experiences and attitudes in ours Work, then we may not be doing our patients and customers a favor, ”said Dr. Niall Connell, RCVS Senior Vice President and Chairman of the Diversity and Inclusion Group. “So this strategy is not just about being seen doing something, it is actually critical to the continued vitality and credibility of the veterinary team.”
Download a PDF of the RCVS Strategy.