Delegates to a veterinary nursing symposium hosted by Central Qualifications (CQ) reflected on the significant advances made in the past year and the bright future that lies ahead.

CQ director Jacqui Garrett

The two-day event, held at the awarding body’s headquarters in Suffolk, attracted centre managers, internal and external quality assurance managers, lecturers and objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) examiners.

The role of the whole veterinary nursing team in providing excellent care was universally acknowledged, as was the key part played by veterinary nursing educators in underpinning this.

The value of the two CQ qualifications – Diploma for Veterinary Nursing Assistants and Diploma in Animal Nursing – in raising the skills profile of the whole veterinary nursing team was demonstrated, with particular emphasis on the “pathway of achievement” created by the CQ Diploma in Animal Nursing.

Delegates discussed how the diploma relieved the pressure on training practices and could help retain and train students with the right qualities for successful careers.

Considerable interest was shown in the development of advanced qualification for vets and vet nurses. CQ’s development of three animal behaviour and training qualifications was well received by the profession at its launch at the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) Congress in April.

The symposium included workshops and presentations. Education consultant Susan Newham brought delegates up-to-speed on updates and new features of the central skills log (CSL) – the online practical skills portfolio developed for CQ. Recent updates allow for faster, easier use by students, clinical coaches, verifiers and the quality assurance team.

Delegates at the event were also able to see the OSCEs through the eyes of the students, as well as completing an OSCE paper as part of a training and standard setting workshop.

External consultant Lyn Hannant ran a workshop on the differences between teaching/writing at Level 3 and Level 4, assessing at Level 4, and Harvard referencing and how to get it right.

CQ education consultant Kathy Challis also gave a more light-hearted presentation on some of the unusual patients seen during her time as an anaesthesia nurse at the University of Cambridge Veterinary School.

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