• Welcome to the website of the Veterinary Practice Management Association, VPMA
  • Welcome to the website of the Veterinary Practice Management Association, VPMA
  • Welcome to the website of the Veterinary Practice Management Association, VPMA
Latest News //
  • Mind Matters Initiative trials mental health awareness courses

    The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) is trialling a series of mental health awareness courses for members of the practice team over the coming weeks.

    MMI aims to make a real difference to those in the veterinary team struggling with mental health issues.

    Mental ill-health will affect one in four people in the UK over the next 12 months. There are particular issues within the veterinary team, with elevated rates of suicide compared with the population at large, and patterns of distress, anxiety and depression, among other illnesses.

    The training aims to help individuals better understand the signs and symptoms of mental ill-health and know how to communicate with people they are concerned about. They are not counselling courses, but provide basic information about how to manage important first conversations, and understand how to point people to relevant sources of professional help. The training also offers tips on stress management and staying well.

    The trial will comprise four courses, with variations in location, duration, time of day and course provider.  Following the trial an assessment will be made about which course type(s) worked best and a series rolled out across the UK next year.

    The dates are as follows:

    Venue: Holt Lodge Hotel, Wrexham Road, Wrexham  LL13 9SW
    Date: 27 November 2015
    Time: 1.30pm-4.30pm

    Venue: Newcastle Marriott, Gosforth Park, High Gosforth Park, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 5HN
    Date: 30 November 2015
    Time: 9am-5pm
    Lunch provided

    Venue: Ramada Coventry, The Butts, Earlsdon Coventry West Midlands CV1 3GG
    Date: 8 December 2015
    Time: 6pm-9.30pm
    A buffet supper will be served from 6pm with the course starting at 6.30pm

    “The courses are open to all members of the veterinary practice team, or veterinary surgeons or nurses working in other environments,” explains Lizzie Lockett, MMI Project Director.

    “We would ideally like two people from each participating workplace to attend, with one being a senior person within the organisation, as we wish to ensure that those attending are able to cascade information across the organisation effectively when they return, and are well supported themselves. However, it’s appreciated that in some practices this may not be possible, so it should not be seen as a barrier to attending.”

    The courses, worth about £175 per delegate, are free to attend as they are part of a trial, but MMI will require feedback from the delegates to help assess how effective the course has been. The training can be considered as continuing professional development.

    For more details and to reserve your place, please visit www.rcvs.org.uk/mindmattersevents.  If you have any questions, please contact Mind Matters Project Director Lizzie Lockett, on l.lockett@rcvs.org.uk or 020 7202 0725.

  • The Bristol-based Highcroft Veterinary Group has joined CVS, the UK's fastest growing practice.

    Highcroft has 12 surgeries, including a state-of-the-art hospital in Whitchurch and a new referral centre, which draws patients from across the south west.   It also offers its own out-of-hours service.  Highcroft  employs 50 vets, including five diploma holders, and has around 220 staff in total.

    Simon Innes, Chief Executive of CVS commented:  "Bristol and the surrounding area is a region in which we have so far lacked a strong presence so we are delighted that the team at Highcroft has decided to join us.  It is an exciting business and is a good fit with us, especially with its recent entry into the referrals sector.  We welcome the whole team at Highcroft to CVS and look forward to working with them towards a successful future together.

    CVS, the UK's fastest growing practice, now owns 116 practices across 322 sites in the UK.

    Key to its success is CVS' ability to attract ambitious veterinary staff whilst continuing to invest in the development of their clinical skills and in research to drive the profession forward.  It also provides the business support to ensure its diverse range of small animal, large animal and equine practices achieve their full potential.   CVS'  guiding principles include a commitment to excellence in all aspects of its work and a focus on building long-term relationships with its customers and suppliers.  The company  works in close partnership with the wider veterinary profession and industry colleagues.

  • Don't miss out on VPMA/SPVS Congress 2016.... places are filling up fast

    Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, 28th – 30th January 2016

    Where the Practice Team Comes Together

    Don't miss this chance to bring your team together for two days of inspiring presentations and memorable networking.

    Speakers this year will include new names from the UK and the US together with more familiar faces tackling new subjects.  Rick Debowes, acclaimed US speaker and vet runs the Leadership Programme at Washington State University’s veterinary school; Claudia Hammond, Presenter of Radio 4’s All in the Mind will chair the Mind Matters mental health stream run in partnership with RCVS; and Michael Pagnotta, Celtic Manor’s head of Learning and Development will return to share more tips on training staff to deliver 5 star service. Click here for further information on the confirmed speakers.

    Our opening presentation is from Alastair Campbell, Communications strategist, writer, mental health ambassador, and son of a Yorkshire vet, and to close the day on Friday, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, respected Orthopaedic Surgeon and Thought Leader, is ‘In Conversation’ with Martin Whiting, lecturer in Ethics at RVC.

    Any of your team new to management or have management experience, but new to the veterinary industry? Don't miss our 'New to Management' stream. 

    We are repeating the popular and growing Equine stream with additional workshops offering guidance on PSS for Equine and Large Animal managers and vets on Saturday.

    Click here for the full programme outlining the streams and lectures running.

    The inimitable Bogus Brothers will return as the band for the banquet which this year will have a James Bond theme.  The Thursday night networking dinner and quiz promises once again to be a fast, furious and fun way to meet new people.

    The Exhibition is not to be missed and we are delighted to announce that Merial will be our new Platinum sponsor alongside Citation.

    Spaces at this event are filling up very quickly so book now to ensure your place!

  • Last call for SPVS Salaries Survey

    The Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) is putting out a last call to take part in the SPVS Salaries Survey 2015, which is the largest survey of its kind and open to everybody working in the veterinary profession.

    This invaluable and long-standing business tool is a goldmine of information for veterinarians, nurses and support staff to use as a benchmark for trends in pay and conditions. Designed to provide a complete picture of remuneration levels, the survey covers everything from basic earnings, bonuses, dividends and overtime to benefits such as accommodation, car allowances, private medical insurance and pensions. It also includes questions on employment contracts, hours worked, out of hours and weekend working.

    Peter Brown, SPVS Treasurer and author of the Salaries Survey comments: “I have been compiling the survey results for a number of years but it never fails to enlighten me as to what is happening in the profession. I know it is also the go to reference guide when practices are recruiting to help ensure they are offering competitive salary packages.”

    “Participation in the survey is open to all and the more practices that take part, the more accurate and useful the information will be so we would urge everyone working in the veterinary profession to take a few minutes to complete the survey. It can be done online and the information is completely anonymous.”

    To complete the survey online, visit www.spvs.org.uk or, for a printed version, telephone 01926 410545. The survey is open until 30 November 2015.


Learn | Share | Grow

 At the VPMA, our Mission is simple: to help you grow your management skills through support, sharing and learning. 


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 Upcoming VPMA Regional Meetings

(Open to all, but FREE to VPMA members!)

North West Region
24th November - 7.30pm-10.00pm Speaker: Natalie Weatherley, Henry Schein

Topic: Stock Control & Successful Business


North East Region
25th November - 12.30pm - 3.30pm Speaker: Alasdair Ross, We do HR

Topic: Change Management


Got questions on the soon to

be re-launched Practice Standards Scheme?

We'll be at London Vet Show on Stand Q44.

Come and find out how VPMA can support you.  



The new scheme will be launched by Group Chair of Practice Standards, Jacqui Molyneux at the London Vet Show in the Business Theatre Friday 20th Nov at 8.30am-9.15am. If you're attending the show then you're urged to come along. 

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Going to VPMA-SPVS Congress 2016?

If management's your thing, this is not to be missed! 

28th -30th January 2016 Celtic Manor Resort, Newport

Register Now! Non-members welcome and early bird runs til end of October. Bookings are up 30% on last year, so don't delay! 



Keep Updated with our Lunchtime Management Updates!

VPMA members can stay abreast of current issues without ever leaving their desk (though we recommend you do take some kind of lunchbreak!). Details from VPMA Secretariat.

FREE monthly 30 min webinars with a 10 min Q&A at the end......

Coming Up:

29th Oct What practices need to do to comply with current data protection law




The VPMA offers membership to all those
with an interest in practice management,
whatever their role in practice.