Training

WE ARE A VETERINARY NURSE TRAINING PRACTICE (TP)

The Paragon Veterinary Group became an approved training centre (ATAC) in 1994. To achieve this the practice had to meet a range of standards set by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, focusing mostly on the range of equipment and the variety of procedures undertaken within the practice. 

In 1999 the RCVS developed and piloted a new scheme in the form of an NVQ (national vocational qualification). The aim was to set a recognised national standard for competence within the industry, similar to many other occupations. Public funding is available for NVQ training; this funding provided extensive subsidies for college based veterinary nurse training, giving students substantial reductions in enrolment and examination fees.

The RCVS required all ATACs to join a Veterinary Nursing approved centre (VNAC) to gain TP (training practice) Approval. The VNACs are organisations such as colleges or larger groups of Veterinary practices approved by the RCVS to manage training and assessment. Our VNAC is Myerscough College in Preston. 

To maintain our training status we had to become a TP (training practice). We achieved this in June 2002 after a visit from a Myerscough College Inspector.  

The practice is visited every two years by the VNAC's internal assessor to ensure standards are being maintained and to assist with training methods. 

A TP must have a qualified assessor, usually a Vet or a qualified Nurse, responsible for assessing and supporting trainees. Karen Richardson VN is our practice assessor; she has undergone a training course and attends assessor support meetings approximately 3 times a year. Karen provides regular feedbackon the students' progress to the VNAC internal verifier. That information is then checked to ensure expected standards are being met and that the assessment is fair and consistent.

To maintain our training status is expensive and time consuming, however we feel we also benefit from the student nurses' contribution to the practice:

  • TPs must ensure their workload, equipment and facilities are maintained at the RCVS approved standard.

  • Nursing staff must be able to deliver a consistent and high quality of service.

  • Veterinary Nurse training within the practice encourages other members of staff to keep up to date with relevant knowledge and skills to support the student.
  • The recognition of a good practice.