The Royal Veterinary College’s (RVC) head of anatomy services has been named as the Higher Education Academy (HEA) Veterinary Medicine Technician of the Year for 2014.

Andrew Crook went to the RVC straight from school and has worked at the college for 34 years.

The inaugural HEA award recognises his commitment to the RVC, its students and the wider community.

As well as veterinary medicine, award categories included medicine and dentistry, health studies, nursing and midwifery and social work and social policy.

The winner of each category received £250 in recognition of their contribution to health and social care education.

HEA assistant director and head of health and social care Geoff Glover said: “The support of technical staff in health and social care provides a valuable contribution to the creation of high quality learning and teaching for students and commissioners.”

“Their creativity and contribution to innovative pedagogies within educational technology assures student learning has relevance to practice and pertinence to effective patient or client care.”

Mr Crook studied applied biology on day release after joining the RVC and in his early years split his time between teaching anatomy to undergraduates and helping with research.

In 2000 he became chief technician in anatomy, and head of anatomy service in 2010.

The RVC said Mr Crook has tried to encourage young people of a non-standard veterinary background to consider veterinary medicine as a career, through school activities such as afternoon anatomy, summer schools, work experience, and anatomy demonstrations at RVC Lates, an outreach programme .

Mr Crook was awarded an MBE for services to veterinary science in 2012.

He has also won two teaching prizes for his commitment to undergraduate students and a Fellowship of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

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