GP Mastery Course Overview

The role of the General Practice vet is fundamental to the success of the vet profession.  Over the span of a career, thousands of hours are spent consulting, operating and working with colleagues in practice. Most CPD focuses on the clinical or technical areas, however most of the challenges in practice lie in the fundamentals of how we work effectively in busy veterinary practice setting- working with colleagues, communicating with clients, managing inner demons, making decisions and effectively managing time.

For practices to thrive and grow we need to both retain and motivate our veterinary teams. SPVS has developed a GP Mastery program, designed for veterinary graduates,  who wish to further improve their skills and enjoyment of the role as a GP vet.  Graduates working in practice in the first third of their career, or a returner for a refresh are welcome to join us.

The aim of the course is to help create an efficient, effective GP vet who is on top of their role and enjoys their work in practice. 

The course is delivered via the SPVS Thriving in Practice learning hub and is a mixture of face-to-face, asynchronous and online group learning.  This allows for self study at a time to suit, networking with other delegates, and a regular monthly sum up discussion with the course tutors.  Course cohorts are limited to 15 delegates to allow full discussion and peer to peer learning.

SPVS have brought together a selection of practitioners and experts, from across the veterinary profession, to deliver stimulating and engaging content. Tutors are experienced and approachable and will be happy to answer questions and concerns delegates have along the way.

The modules span a period of 9 months and are worth 40 hours of CPD

A mixture of face-to-face, asynchronous and online group learning

Practitioners and experts from across the veterinary profession

PRICING

£1250 + VAT : MEMBERS
£1500 + VAT : NON-MEMBERS

9 modules
Face to face access to tutors (in person and online coaching)
Two day in person event (modules 1, 2 and 3) at the beginning of the course, including overnight accommodation & use of hotel facilities
Home learning elements

Wednesday 21st February 2024

Lea Marston Hotel, Sutton Coldfield

6 hours in person

with Brian & Rachel

The Colourful Consultation® helps first opinion companion animal practitioners blend and articulate clinical reasoning as well as the pros, cons and costs of resolution strategies in order to achieve owner consent and compliance.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Understand how and why how appointment bookings are made impacts the consultation
  • How to make an excellent first impression including understanding its impact on compliance
  • How to recognise, understand and use “ICEBERGS”
  • Tips to emphasise your sense of thoroughness during the clinical examination
  • Tips to improve how clients restrain their pets  during the clinical examination
  • The importance of the Problem List
  • Understanding the impact of uncertainty / doubt and our tendency to allow it to turn into self-doubt
  • How to and how NOT to articulate a Differential Diagnoses list
  • The only 3 clinical resolution strategies that exist in first opinion practice: How to blend consensus-based decision making with clinical reasoning, How to discuss finances and formulate affordable care options for each client & Creating estimates and discussing prices, charges, and encouraging payment
  • The impact on follow-up compliance of handing clients back to reception post-consult
Positive client relationships

Grow trusting client relationships for improved compliance

Efficient use of time and resources

Optimise workflow for efficient use of time and resources

Brian Faulkner – The Colourful Consultation®

Brian graduated from Edinburgh Vet School in 1995 and worked in mixed practice before studying for an MBA at Nottingham Business School in 2001. He has set up and developed 6 veterinary practices from start-ups during the last 22 years and currently leads and works as a clinician in his current practice Aldeburgh Vets. Brian completed a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology, as well as General Practice certificates in Business and Professional Studies and Small Animal Medicine. He is also founder and owner of Colourful CPD.com, leading provider of non-clinical veterinary skills training.

Thursday 22nd February 2024

Lea Marston Hotel, Sutton Coldfield

3 hours in person

with Ryan & Brian

This surgical decision making workshop is designed to provide an understanding of the key principles, considerations, and challenges involved in making sound surgical decisions in clinical practice. The session aims to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge acquired during veterinary education and the practical application of surgical skills in real-world scenarios.

LEARNING OUTCOMES
The workshop is designed to engage participants through a combination of lectures, case studies, and interactive discussions. By the end of the session, recent veterinary graduates should feel more confident in their ability to make informed surgical decisions, navigate challenges, and provide optimal care to their patients.

Topics covered include:

  • Importance of a thorough preoperative assessment
  • Physical examination, patient history, and diagnostic imaging
  • Assessing surgical risks and benefits
  • Communication with pet owners: obtaining informed consent
  • Addressing client concerns and expectations
  • Tailoring surgical plans to individual cases for common surgical techniques
  • Surgical review
  • Organising your day
  • Working in a team
  • Analysis of real-life surgical cases
  • Group discussions on decision-making in challenging scenarios
Efficient use of time and resources

Optimise workflow for efficient use of time and resources

Confidence

Build confidence for better decision making

Ryan Davis – MSM Vets

Ryan is small animal general practitioner with extensive experience of owning, merging, starting and selling businesses.  His interest in surgery has led to a career in mentoring and peripatetic surgery, helping GP vets to access surgery and endosurgery in first opinion practice across  the UK.  Ryan has owned a chain of practices and worked in a clinical leadership role within a large corporate practice, overseeing clinical standards in many sites.  Alongside over 20 years of industry experience Ryan has attained an ILM level 5 in leadership and management and is recognised by the RCVS as an advanced practitioner in surgery.  Ryan is founder and director of MSM Vets, a mobile surgical mentoring business and is past President of SPVS.

Thursday 22nd February 2024 – afternoon

Lea Marston Hotel, Sutton Coldfield

3 hours in person / 3 hours online coaching

in person with Rachael & Ryan / online coaching with Rachael June 2024 date tbc

The ability to effectively communicate with clients is fundamental to achieving great clinical outcomes and client satisfaction. Get it wrong and complaints develop. Get it right and practice reputation grows.

In the first half of this module, Rachel and Ryan will share practical top tips on how to optimise communication within the practice at all levels. Candidates will be able to talk about the areas of communication they find most challenging. Tasks will be set for completion before the online session.

LEARNING OUTCOMES
This module is highly interactive: utilising videos of live consultations and sharing experiences.

  • Identify how to build trust as a solid foundation for client communication
  • Identify the common communication pitfalls within veterinary practice and how to prevent and fix tension between the client and practice via any team member
  • Learn how to utilise the whole team to improve client communication and allow development of reliable, repeatable client communication channel
Teamworking

Integrate with the team and communicate effectively

Positive client relationships

Grow trusting client relationships for improved compliance

Rachael Simmons – Ehden Vets

Rachel is a veterinary surgeon, owner and director.  She graduated from The Royal Dick in Edinburgh in 2014, starting out in mixed practice and then opting for small animal only after 5 years.  She has worked all around the world carrying out veterinary charity work, rabies vaccinations programs and wildlife work, including South Africa, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.  Opening Edhen Vets,  a small animal practice, 2.5 years ago and delivering round the clock care in mid Cornwall, she has a lot of first hand experience in juggling how to keep clients, the team and herself happy!  She also is a SPVS Board member.

Wednesday 20th March / Wednesday 24th April 2024

20th March with Brian / 24th April with Katie

Home learning / online coaching

2 hours home learning / 3 hours online coaching with Brian / 1.5 hours online coaching with Katie

Imposter Syndrome is thought to affect 68% of veterinary professionals at some point in their career. Katie Forde introduces imposter syndrome, providing insightful explanations, signposting, empowering strategy options and a holistic approach towards fostering self-compassion and self-efficacy. Brian Faulkner will demonstrate how to deal with the 6 D’s of Dysphoria to build self-confidence and effectiveness within a busy practice setting.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Define imposter syndrome and list examples of how this experience might affect an individual and where they may seek additional support if needed.
  • Define self-efficacy and how this links to imposter syndrome, including giving examples of how this can be built.
  • Explain the link between highly supportive workplaces and imposter syndrome
  • Understand and deal with the 6Ds of dysphoria and their impact on developing self-doubt.
  • Understand the role of Perfectionism and Narcissism as strategies we use to mask feelings of self-doubt as opposed to resolving self-doubt by dealing with the 6 D’s of dysphoria: Doubt (uncertainty), Deadlines (time pressure), Difficulty, Disappointment, Disagreement and Disapproval (criticism)
Confidence

Build confidence for better decision making

Developing as an individual

Develop resilience and motivation

Katie Ford – Vet Empoweredd

Katie is an experienced small animal vet, having graduated from Liverpool in 2012 and gaining her RCVS Certificate in Internal Medicine in 2017. She became passionate about opening conversations up around imposter syndrome and self-doubt following her own experiences in the veterinary profession, and trained as a coach with further study in a number of areas, as well as publishing a series of books. Katie grew a following of over 20,000 across social media as @katiefordvet, and is an international and keynote speaker, both in the vet profession and beyond. She co-founded Vet Empowered in 2020, offering personal development content and group coaching services, namely to recent graduates.

22nd May 2024

12 noon

Home learning / online coaching

2.5 hours home learning / 1.5 hours online coaching with Liv

This series of videos demonstrates the importance of team working to successful career development and practice performance.  Liv provides practical tips on how to manage the interpersonal relationships within and between teams, stressing the importance of mutual respect and multidisciplinary contributions.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • What impacts cooperation between people and how can we manage it?
  • The secrets to effective communication in a team – How to manage conflict/relationships with colleagues/ boss
  • Setting the right expectations
  • Learning how to discover and utilise individuals’ needs and talents – How to harness strengths and manage allowable weaknesses
  • The art of feedback – preventing conflicts right on time
Developing as an individual

Develop resilience and motivation

Olivia Olginska – Human Savvy

Liv set up her company Be Human-Savvy in 2020.  Liv is…

  • An experienced Veterinary Surgeon
  • An Emotional Intelligence Coach (Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and Goleman’s Institute certified)
  • A Certified Workplace Conflict Mediator
  • A Professional Practice (EQ and team dynamics) Lecturer at Murdoch University
  • A PhD candidate investigating the impact of leaders’ EQ on their team’s psychological safety and other wellbeing- and retention-related parameters

July 2024

Date tbc

Home learning

2 hours home learning

Listen to Rob Noble talking about how he manages his time and priorities with care and precision.  He talks through nine straightforward actions that we can all take to improve how we use our time.

An interview with Pete Orpin and Vicki Farbon brings to life the importance of good time management in a busy veterinary practice, while some online TED talks provide some short accessible ideas on topics such as how to gain control of your free time.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • A check-list of 3 key questions that will help prioritise any task that is demanding time
  • Practical suggestions for each of the nine key focus areas; select the ones you deem most helpful/applicable to your circumstances
  • An opportunity to learn from two experienced GP vets: how to create and use time most effectively in practice to achieve that sweet spot of optimal productivity and balance with home life
Developing as an individual

Develop resilience and motivation

Rob Noble – The Webinar Vet

Rob is Chair of The Webinar Vet,  (Europe’s largest provider of online CPD), Forestreet (AI powered market research platform disrupting Gartner’s artisan approach) & MBA-IT (a major supplier of IT solutions to Financial Services) as well as running his own consultancy Fidem.

Rob is also a non-exec director of various digital, advertising, technology, media & marketing companies around the world. He has driven 5 successful exits in recent years & a total of 8 in his career.

In his early career, he specialised in turnarounds and start-ups after holding international board positions at Digital and IBM/Lotus. He holds a first-class honours degree in electronic engineering.

18th September 2024

12 noon

Home learning / online coaching

3 hours home learning / 1.5 hours online coaching with Liv

Leading and developing a highly energised, healthy and motivated team is not a simple task.  In this module Liv covers the basics of coaching to improve delegation and empowerment, plus simple supervision do’s and don’ts.

This module also features additional resources from RCVS focusing on delegation and a top tips video with Ami Sawran and Mark Moreton on leading a team, in practice.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • The role of a leader in creating true teamwork and protecting the team’s wellbeing
  • Responsibility and control – how to lead the team effectively, while protecting leader’s mental health
  • The art of motivation – rejecting the “stick and carrot”
  • The secrets to “positive leadership”
  • Managing the team dynamic through emotional contagion
Teamworking

Integrate with the team and communicate effectively

Olivia Olginska – Human Savvy

Liv set up her company Be Human-Savvy in 2020.  Liv is…

  • An experienced Veterinary Surgeon
  • An Emotional Intelligence Coach (Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and Goleman’s Institute certified)
  • A Certified Workplace Conflict Mediator
  • A Professional Practice (EQ and team dynamics) Lecturer at Murdoch University
  • A PhD candidate investigating the impact of leaders’ EQ on their team’s psychological safety and other wellbeing- and retention-related parameters

October 2024

Date tbc

Online coaching

2 hours online coaching with Mark – date tbc

Systems Thinking, Psychological Safety and Human Factors are concepts that will enable a greater understanding of performance and are key to improving it.  Understanding the role we play in a complex system will help overcome fear of failure and mistakes.

This session will teach how to harness mistakes and move from fearing failure to understanding its value for learning.  Delegates will leave understanding how to harness continuous improvement professionally and personally.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Understand the concept of systems thinking, and its relationship to learning in the workplace
  • Understand the concept of psychological safety and how to improve it
  • Be able to use a significant event review process to improve the system and learn from mistakes
  • Understand the process of continuous improvement
Developing as an individual

Develop resilience and motivation

Mark Moreton – CVS Group

Mark is a Small Animal GP Vet and a Hub Clinical Lead for CVS. He qualified from the RVC in 2002 and spent 16 years in General Practice, before joining CVS in 2018. He is passionate about Small Animal General Practice and surgery in particular and believes that it is possible for teams to recapture the joy that he has found throughout his General Practice career.

He has an interest in QI, particularly in relation to the development of high performing teams, and the role that systems and teams play in bringing us Joy in Work.  Mark also sits on the SPVS Board as Treasurer.

November 2024

Date tbc

Online coaching

3 hours online coaching with Pete and Steph – date tbc

In this final module, Pete and Steph will help collate the key learnings throughout the course and lead a discussion on the wider elements of how to enjoy your new role as a GP Master within your practice.  Armed with your new skills from the course and knowledge learnt from colleagues,  you will be able to approach practice life with new energy and direction.

The final session will provide some time for self-reflection and Pete and Steph will facilitate a coaching discussion on what the key take home messages from the course are.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Pete and Steph will share some top tips on how to:

  • Get the best from your work life and career in practice
  • Develop work interests and passions
  • Develop a relaxed and confident approach to your work days: How to identify opportunities, work well with colleagues and peers, take steps to grow and enjoy the GP vet role, create time to develop new income streams, become a project champion, lead a team
  • Become a thoroughly competent, content GP Master who enjoys all the challenges that practice life brings to the role!
Developing as an individual

Develop resilience and motivation

Confidence

Build confidence for better decision making

Pete Orpin – SPVS

Pete Orpin is current Chair of the Board of SPVS and a business consultant for Anval. He was recently made a Fellow of RCVS for Meritorious Contributions to the Profession and is passionate about improving career satisfaction within clinical practice.

He worked for 35 years as veterinary surgeon at the Park Vet Group in Leicestershire, UK and developed particular skills in data management, preventive medicine and leadership.

His career started working at the practice in 1984 joining a small team of 4 vets and 6 support staff and helped build a winning team that took the business to a 115 people business with 7 business operations working over 4 geographic locations.