CVS launches industry-leading Coaching and Mentoring Applied in Practice course

26th October 2022

CVS has launched a new industry-leading Coaching and Mentoring Applied in Practice training course to equip its mentors with the additional skills needed to develop graduate veterinary surgeons and student nurses into high-flying veterinary professionals.

The new Coaching and Mentoring Applied in Practice training course has been designed to ultimately improve the day-to-day experiences of new graduate vets and student nurses by upskilling the colleagues who support their development. The modules within the course are based on real-life experience within practice, and have been specially developed by an experienced CVS vet and nurse team.

The course will form part of CVS’ Mentor Training Scheme for Veterinary Graduate Development Programme (GDP) Advisers and Clinical Supervisor Development Programme for Student Nurse Clinical Supervisors, and will complement the mandatory RCVS training required for graduate vet and student nurse mentors.

For CVS Vet GDP Advisers, the new Mentor Training Scheme will include additional training days around mental health, and supporting colleagues to perform to the best of their ability by considering how human factors[1] affect their working lives. This will run in parallel to the Clinical Supervisor Development Programme, which will focus on supporting wellbeing, time management and recognition of this role when maximising career development.

CVS’ new Coaching and Mentoring Applied in Practice training course will take a ‘train the trainer’ approach. Thirty experienced colleagues from clinical practice across the CVS group, with a passion for coaching, will be trained by Adele Wood, CVS Senior Learning Partner, to deliver the new course across the UK. Up to 250 Vet GDP Advisers and 400 Student Nurse Clinical Supervisors will then be trained regionally in the first nine months. This will provide the opportunity for all CVS mentors to attend and will help create local peer-support networks – to share ideas and support each other.

The course will be delivered via face-to-face practical training days. Vet GDP Advisers and Student Nurse Clinical Supervisors will train alongside each other, to help create awareness of the challenges facing each role and to develop more collaboration in practice. This will be complemented by flexible online learning via CVS’ Knowledge Hub virtual learning platform. The course will be free, offered in addition to the continuous professional development (CPD) time and budget allowance for all delegates, and will account for seven hours of CPD.

Martin Whiting, CVS Director of Learning Education and Development, said: “We understand the huge responsibility upon us to provide the best day-to-day support for new graduate vets and student nurses – to smooth their transition from student to professional. We also recognise that in order to achieve this, we need to enable our network of Vet GDP Advisers and Nurse Clinical Supervisors to be the best coaches they can be. We’ve therefore invested significant time and the knowledge of our most experienced teams to develop this new Coaching and Mentoring Applied in Practice training – to develop our mentors to be some of the best in the industry.”

CVS’ Vet GDP Advisers and Student Nurse Clinical Supervisors are responsible for the support and training of graduate veterinary surgeons and student veterinary nurses in its practices. In February 2022, CVS led the way in supporting their new graduates, by appointing two dedicated Pastoral Support Vets, Jennifer Clarkson and Heather Lucas. Working in collaboration with colleagues across CVS, they endeavour to directly enhance the wellbeing of CVS new graduates, help support and develop CVS Vet GDP Advisers, and maintain an overview of new graduate experience within practice.

In 2021 the RCVS stipulated that all graduate veterinary surgeons should be allocated a Vet GDP Adviser to support them in their first year of practice and introduced a mandatory entry-level training programme and certification to support this. The RCVS also requires that all student veterinary nurses are allocated a clinical supervisor to develop their clinical skills.

CVS Group operates across small animal, farm animal, equine, laboratories and crematoria, with 473 veterinary practices and referral centres in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands. For more information about careers with CVS Group visit .


[1] With its long-established evidence base, Human Factors embraces everything non-clinical that supports High Performance – culture, communication, leadership, non-technical skills, continuous learning, psychological safety and much more;