COVID-19 Update

Updated 26 January 2021

We would like to reassure students and employers that the College will continue to provide learning to our students. Our main priority is to avoid interrupting students’ learning and allow them to achieve their qualification, while keeping them as safe as possible and minimising any risks.

The College has successfully replaced its face to face classroom lectures with live streaming and online support, allowing them to engage with their lecturers and tutors in real time either from home or from work.

Please find information regarding College 2021 re-opening Arrangements here in addition to information regarding testing here.

Please watch the video below, to help you gain an insight into what to expect and how we are testing those required to come into centre.

We are proud of the steps and efforts being made by our staff collectively to protect future careers and give learners the ability to continue to achieve their goals.

The College of Animal Welfare expects all members of our community to follow the latest government instructions to assist with minimising the risk of spreading the virus. Further guidance and the latest updates are provided on the official Government website and the NHS website. Please also see the following resources from the World Health Organisation for more information:

Please subscribe to our newsletter, keep an eye on our blog and the student Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to stay informed of future updates.

We are keeping our employers up-to-date with regular bulletins via email, these can all be found in the Employer information area of the VLE.

We would like to thank both our students and staff who have risen to the challenge of learning and working under these challenging conditions with new approaches and embraced the opportunity to adapt to continue to develop.

We understand this may be a challenging time for some of our students and we would like to remind them that we offer a wealth of resources and services to help provide support during this time. Please see the mental health section of this page to find out more.

Course Delivery in 2020 to 2021

Updated 4 January 2020

The College is committed to making sure we provide a safe environment for returning students and those joining us We are doing all we can to continue to provide quality education to ensure students can make a successful and seamless start to their courses this year.

Please find information regarding College 2021 re-opening Arrangements here in addition to information regarding testing here.

To provide some reassurance and clarity for those starting a course with us, we have outlined how we will be delivering our teaching and learning for the foreseeable future. We have prepared a Q&A which will hopefully address all of your queries however if you have any further questions, please do contact us directly:

Classroom based courses

The majority of learners will continue with online learning where this is suitable for their course, keeping the number of students invited back into college to a minimum. Staff and learners will be required to follow social distancing requirements and wash or sanitize their hands regularly. Everyone will be reminded that if they experience COVID-19 symptoms and need to self-isolate, they should not come back into college.

Teaching will be delivered online via our new virtual delivery software. Staff will continue to provide remote academic support (for example, small group meetings or learner reviews) in line with set timetables via online communication tools such as Microsoft Teams.

Virtual Classroom

Our online conferencing system allows our tutors to deliver effective teaching sessions and share engaging audio, video, slides, chat, and screens. BBB also offers lots of interactive features which means our students can engage with their tutors and peers in real-time, for example through sharing of emoji icons, polling, and breakout rooms.

We have chosen new delivery software to ensure our learner experience is as close to classroom delivery as possible, whilst offering all the additional benefits of online learning. Since trialing and launching our new virtual classroom in Summer, we’ve had lots of great feedback from our students:

“Love the software, please continue to use this programme. Great to interact.”

“I found the entire morning in the new virtual classroom so engaging and enjoyable, I felt I really understood the topic.”

“The setup was far more interactive, fun and communal.”

“I enjoyed the lesson using the new software, it was very interactive and being able to speak and communicate with the group was just as good as being in the classroom.”

What does virtual learning look like?

Take a look at the video below to gain a better insight into how our virtual delivery looks...

Make the most of virtual learning

Please find a copy of our guide to making the most of virtual learning here, for hints and tips to help make remote learning more effective for our students during this time. In addition to this we have produced guidance for students regarding online Netiquette, this can be found here.

Practical learning

Please find information regarding College 2021 re-opening Arrangements here.

Online courses, work-based learning programmes and apprenticeships

In the coming months we will be exploring ways to utilise our Virtual Classroom software and Microsoft Teams to improve the learner experience for our online learners, work-based learners and apprentices. In the meantime, programmes that do not currently involve classroom teaching will continue to be delivered via distance learning. All course materials will be provided via our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), and distance learning tutors will provide support to students remotely via email, telephone or video call.

Course Delivery in 2020 to 2021 - Frequently Asked Questions

What will happen at induction?

As Government guidance may change between now and September, we will follow the latest advice to develop appropriate induction activities to help you settle in to your college life. We will keep in touch regularly to let you know what is planned. We will endeavor to provide some face to face and online tuition during the autumn term and potentially into 2021 to enable social distancing requirements to be maintained. The college will continue to support learners to study remotely from home when needed.

Please do not be anxious, you will still attend college and make new friends and enjoy the various aspects of college life, events, tutorials and all the other things that make college such an exciting and rewarding experience. It just may be different to begin with.

Support for health and wellbeing

Recognising that these are unsettling times, the College will support the wellbeing of all students – regardless of their personal circumstances, or any disadvantage or disruption they may have faced as a result of Covid-19.

It is important that you know what you can expect from the College and also what is expected of you, and what you can expect from others.  You will therefore be asked to complete a COVID -19 risk assessment and health declaration, and complete an online training activity, before you arrive at the College. The College has set out responsibilities and expectations of all parties so that we can protect ourselves, each other, your colleagues in the work setting, and the community. 

All our staff and students can now access free online mental health and wellbeing support through All Together. This service can be used at any time of the day or night, all year round.

Will teaching take place in usual term dates?

All teaching will take place during the normal academic term dates as published, so that levels of contact time can be maintained. You will be informed in advance if there is to be any change to this.

Will there be any changes to course fees?

No. Our aim is to ensure that students take full advantage of our academic teaching and learning environment so that they can meet the educational objectives of their programme of study. As such, all course fees and funding arrangements will remain unchanged. The College is focusing on supporting students and delivering our programmes of study within the constraints of current circumstances. We fully appreciate that this will mean that some programmes are not delivered in the same manner as previous years, however, the provision and resources that we are working to make available will ensure that your programme objectives are met.  College staff are working hard to ensure that assessments and examinations go ahead while minimising impacts for students. Other College services (e.g. student services, welfare, careers, online library, finance, and IT  support) will continue to be provided even though some staff are working remotely. 

What if I consider myself to vulnerable (for example, I have an underlying health condition). What support will be available to me?

The College will be implementing a range of measures to ensure that students can be safely taught in person, where government guidance and local health and safety circumstances allows. We will ensure that all learning is completed remotely at least for the first term. If you have any concerns, you should speak to your course tutor.

Returning to Centre

To reduce the risk of infection and to ensure the safety of our students, we have various safeguards in place based on the COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Government guidance on returning to work. Here are some examples of the measures we have implemented at each of our centres:

  • Additional hand sanitisers have been installed at entrances and exits
  • Work areas and equipment are being cleaned regularly by professional cleaners
  • Signage and posters have been put up around the building, providing regular reminders to staff and students to maintain social distancing measures and hygiene standards
  • We are double bagging and holding all waste for a period of 72 hours before final disposal
  • Floor markings have been installed to help individuals maintain social distancing
  • Screens and barriers have been installed in relevant areas to maintain social distancing
  • Practical class sizes have been significantly reduced, with small groups returning to centre for OSCE practicals and assessment
  • One way systems have been introduced to reduce the need for individuals to pass each other in close proximity
  • Lunch and break times will be staggered to ensure limited numbers in the canteens
  • Wearing masks is mandatory at all of our centres, and we’ll provide additional PPE in line with the COVID-19 Risk Assessment where necessary

Documents and policies relating to COVID-19 can be found at the top of the Documents and Policies page on our website, including our COVID-19 Risk Assessment.

Please read our return to centre guidance, which has been created to explain what happens when you return to centre and will outline the measures we have in place to keep us all safe in further detail. You can also read our return to workplace guidance here.


Do you want to speak with somebody about a safeguarding issue? If so, please contact one of the Safeguarding Officers.

Safeguarding contact number: 01480 422070


Edinburgh Centre

  • Karen Hibell -

Wigan Centre

  • Barbara Cooper -
  • Kim James -

Huntingdon Centre

  • Barbara Cooper -
  • Kim James -
  • Mel Young -

North London Centre

  • Claire Defries -

Leeds Centre

  • Claire Greenwood -

Distance Learners and Work-based Learners

  • Barbara Cooper -
  • Kim James -

The Safeguarding Officers have responsibility for managing and reporting concerns about students and for putting into place procedures to safeguard students at the College.

Keeping Safe Online Resources

Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy – COVID-19 Arrangements

Ways You Can Look After Your Mental Health While on Lockdown

One of the aspects of your daily life you may not have considered would be impacted by COVID-19 is your mental wellbeing. Whether you are a key worker and are still required to go to work, or you’re working/studying from home, the current pandemic may have an affect on your mental health. See below for some tips on how you can look after your mental wellbeing while on lockdown:

Connect with others (digitally)

Even with the current restricted movement guidelines, it’s still important to connect with other people on a regular basis. FaceTime, Skype, social media and smart phones all make it easier than ever to connect with friends and family online.

Stay active

The gyms being closed isn’t an excuse not to do any exercise - make sure you get out for your one form of exercise a day, be it walking the dogs, going for a run or just getting out for a walk.

Other ways you can keep yourself active during lockdown are:

  • Home workouts
  • Yoga
  • Walking up and down the stairs
  • Cleaning your house or doing the washing up
  • Dancing to music

Keep your brain stimulated

Aside from keeping on top of all your work/studies, there are many other ways you can keep your brain stimulated while at home. Some of these include:

  • Reading a book
  • Listening to a podcast
  • Watching an educational documentary
  • Learning a new skill
  • Undertake a free online course

Look out for others

Helping others is a good way to improve your mental wellbeing. If you have neighbours or family members who are more vulnerable than you, you could collect their necessary supplies for them when you go out to get yours, to avoid them needing to leave the house. Although, if you do this, be sure to leave the supplies on their doorstep rather than going into their house.

Another way you can look out for those around you during the current pandemic is to follow government advice, especially in regards to the restricted movements guidelines. Making sure you come into contact with as few people as possible will help to reduce the spread of the virus, so is currently one of the best ways for you to help others.

Fika - Mental Fitness

Many of us can relate to the mental and emotional pendulums we may be experiencing at the moment. We may be feeling great, like we’re firing on all cylinders one minute, then we may swing back towards the opposite direction and start to feel like we’re losing our way. If ever there were a more polarising time for us to feel aware of the highs and lows, it is now.

With this in mind, all students and staff now have access to Fika. Fika is a remotely accessible mental fitness platform, empowering individuals with guided mental skills development courses with proven benefits on mental wellbeing and performance.

Built from a robust evidence-base by an expert team. Fika draws on methods and theories of positive psychology as well as acceptance and commitment therapy, solution-focused therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness to build Mental Fitness. Find out more at the Fika here.

Counselling Services

As a College, the wellbeing of our students is at the forefront of everything we do. So, we want to make sure that in this time of uncertainty, our students still feel supported and know that we are available to offer them any guidance we can.

All staff and students can now access free online mental health and wellbeing support through Togetherall (previously called Big White Wall). This service can be used at any time of the day or night, all year round.

The service enables members to get things off their chest in a safe, anonymous global community. You can access a library of self-care resources. This includes clinical tests, tips and guided group courses covering a range of topics. Trained professionals are online 24/7 to keep all members safe and provide extra support. Togetherall can help with adopting useful coping strategies and behaviours to help improve mental health and wellbeing. On Togetherall, people are totally anonymous to other members, and personal information is kept secure.

Whether you’re suffering from stress, problems with sleep, feeling low or unable to cope, or simply need someone to talk to, Togetherall can help you get support, take control and feel better. Most members report feeling better and more able to cope as a result of using the service. What’s more – nearly 90% use Togetherall outside of 9-5pm.

The college will not be informed of those who are signed up to Togetherall or activity on the service unless they are seriously concerned about safety whilst on campus. To join, go to the Togetherall website and sign up under ‘I’m from a university or college’ using a staff or student e-mail address.

In addition to this, the College counsellors are still available via phone, email or video conference:

Jill Dighton

Tel: 07925 852 985


Mark Walsh

Tel: 07905 611 591


Mental health resources

If you are in a mental health crisis, please call the Samaritans helpline on 116 123. Or, if you need non-urgent support, email them on

Physical Health

Home workouts

Eating well

It can be hard to stick to a balanced diet while on lockdown. This could be because you’re on a tighter budget than usual, you’re not used to cooking every day or because the food you have is limited. Take a look below for some easy and healthy recipes you can cook while on lockdown:

Chilli, curry and stew can all be made to feed the whole family and are packed full of vital nutrients. What’s more – to avoid wasting any, you can eat the leftovers the next day with bread or a jacket potato.

Staying Motivated While Working or Studying at Home

It can be challenging to maintain the same levels of motivation while working or studying at home, compared to if you were at work or college. That’s why we’ve put together some tips to help you stay focused while working at home.

Stay in routine

Whether you’re studying or working at home, it’s important to stay in routine as much as you can. For example, waking up and going to bed at the same time on weekdays as you would if you were going to work or college can help to add consistency to your daily routine.

Setting yourself a to-do list, or creating a timetable is also a good way for you to add structure to your day. What’s more – having clear goals set for yourself each day can also help you to stay focused and motivated with the work you’re doing.

Separate work from home

This can be hard when you’re working from home, but making sure you establish a distinction between working and not working is important – you don’t want to overwork yourself and loose motivation. To do this you can:

  • Make sure you take a lunch break – don’t just eat your lunch while working
  • Aim to start and finish work at a similar time each day (if possible) rather than continuing to work throughout the whole day

Have something to look forward to

With the government’s current guidance on restricted movements, most of us will now be spending the majority of our time at home. For many of us this can be disheartening as it means we won’t be able to meet up with our friends or make the plans we usually would for the weekends. Not being able to make social arrangements in the traditional way can make it feel like there’s not much to look forward to. So, to make sure you have something to look forward to and to help you remain positive, you can:

  • Make plans for when you finish working each day - no matter how small. This could be anything from cooking a nice dinner or doing a home workout, to watching a film or playing a board game
  • Arrange a group FaceTime/video call with your friends – just because you can’t meet up in person doesn’t mean you can’t still catch up with your friends
  • Make sure your weekends are different from your weekdays - many of us spend the working week looking forward to the weekends. So, not being able to spend your weekends in the same way can make you feel less motivated throughout the week. Planning for your weekends, for example having a movie marathon, spending time in the garden, cooking a meal you’ve never made before and if you live with your partner, you could have a stay-at-home date night

Ways to keep learning

Course Applications

Can I still apply for your courses?

Yes – all our courses are open for applications, however due to the current situation our programmes are being delivered virtually and not face to face. Once government guidance permits then normal classroom delivery will be re-instated.  The admissions team are available to assist with any questions or concerns regarding your application.

To apply for a course, visit the relevant course page on our website, click the Apply Now button and the system will take you to our on-line application portal where you can submit your application for consideration.

How will the application process change?

All applications are submitted via our on-line portal and are evaluated by our Admissions Team.  The applications are then reviewed by our Programme team for selection purposes.

Pre-course interviews are undertaken by telephone or Skype with a member of the programme team. Course induction is delivered online via our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

I want to apply for a course, however I don't meet the academic entry requirements due to my school being closed or my examinations being cancelled. How are you judging eligibility in these circumstances?

We are reviewing our recruitment criteria to take into account guidance being released by the government, awarding organisations, professional bodies (where appropriate), examination boards and schools.  Please submit your application with as much information as possible and we will review each case on it’s own merits.

Can I still start my course if I’m not currently completing practical training?

Students will be able to start with the theory assignments and then move on to include the practical assessments once they have returned to work/placement or college.

Can I still apply for a Distance or Work-based Learning course without a placement or employment?

Unfortunately, if you are looking to apply for a Distance or Work-based Learning course and it states in  the entry requirements that you need to be employed or volunteering, in a suitable environment, and you do not have a confirmed placement, we will be unable to consider an application.

Can I still apply for the Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing, if I have not yet completed the two weeks work experience?

For non-employed applicants it states in the entry requirements that you need to have completed two weeks work experience in a veterinary practice within 12 months of the course start date (preferably within a small animal first opinion veterinary practice) and be able to provide a satisfactory reference from a veterinary surgeon or registered veterinary nurse supporting your suitability for veterinary nurse training.

In the current climate, if you have not completed your work experience, we will still be able to consider your application. Interviewing will be undertaken to evaluate whether you are suitable to attend the course without the work experience or whether you need to defer your start on a course until you are able to complete this element.

Can I still apply for a course if I have not completed the work experience required prior to application?

In the current climate, if you have not completed your work experience, we will still be able to consider your application. Interviewing will be undertaken to evaluate whether you are suitable to attend the course without the work experience or whether you need to defer your start on a course until you are able to complete this element.

What will happen to Functional Skills exams scheduled to take place?

The College is in conversation with the Awarding Organisations (City and Guilds and VetSkill) in relation to any possible alternative assessment methods. Until agreement is reached, exams remain unavailable for the time being. We will update students and employers as this situation progresses.

CPD and Events

Head Nurse Congress 2021

Due to the current Coronavirus situation we have made the decision to run our next Head Nurse Congress as a virtual event on Thursday 4th March 2021.

We look forward to welcoming current and aspiring head veterinary nurses and practice managers to join us in exploring all aspects of the role, as well as sharing advice and networking with like minded people. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and would also like to thank our delegates and exhibitors for their understanding and continued support. In the meantime, please stay safe.


As a result of government guidance regarding social distancing measures, scheduled CPD courses which require physical attendance are being rescheduled until the end of the year.

With many of us now working from home, now may be the perfect opportunity to gain CPD online. We have a range of online CPD courses currently available, on a variety of topics from Principles of Animal First Aid and Lipid Infusions to Fireworks – can alpha-casozepine help? And Parasiticides for Cats and Dogs. Click here to view all of our online courses. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed of updates.

Please be aware the RCVS has agreed to reduce the annual requirement of hours of CPD that veterinary professionals are expected to undertake in 2020 by 25% due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the UK Government’s measures to reduce its transmission. Read more

Dog Grooming

Following Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson’s announcements on 4 January the college’s centres will suspend dog grooming services until further notice and with immediate effect.

Dog Grooming courses are open for applications with interviews being carried out by telephone.  There will be an overview of the course given and you will be sent a copy of the presentation to review. Due to the nature of the course we are able to deliver the theory element virtually, followed by the practical later in the year.

Frequently Asked Questions - Veterinary Nursing

We have worked to ensure course provision is delivered in line with government advice and guidance from The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).



We have adapted our veterinary nursing diploma to cope with the current situation by replacing face-to-face lecturing with live streamed lectures and online learning, delivered and recorded by our academic staff.

What support will I receive to suit my individual learning preference?

We will work with you to ensure that you receive the 1:1 support that is needed to help guide you through your learning. Within the live streaming it is expected that there will be activities online that are set for you and individual tutorials will be arranged on a regular basis to ensure that the learning is structured and promotes ongoing development.

How do I access the live streams?

Links for the sessions will be released by the tutors, so that you can access the session at a time that suits. A guide is provided regarding how to access the sessions.

What time do the lectures start?

The live streams will commence at 9am. We recommend that the same hours as per the attended college days are dedicated to your learning as whilst we do not expect the lectures to last as long as the usual sessions, there will be the opportunity for you to complete online learning, complete learning activities/tests set by the tutors and complete research activities. Live sessions will be delivered at the following times:

Cohort Day
1809TH (Wigan only) THURSDAY
1809F (Wigan only) FRIDAY
1809 (Leeds, Huntingdon, North London) WEDNESDAY
1901 (Leeds, Huntingdon, North London) THURSDAY
1902 (blocks – Huntingdon only) M, T, W, TH, F (for 2 weeks from 20/04/20)
1904 (Leeds, Huntingdon, North London) WEDNESDAY
1909 (Wigan, Leeds, Huntingdon, North London) TUESDAY
2001 (Wigan, Leeds, Huntingdon, North London) FRIDAY
2004 (Wigan, Leeds, Huntingdon, North London) MONDAY (from 20/04/20)

The Live stream lectures are delivered to a combined group of students from all centres.  If the live streamed lectures are not scheduled on the same day of the week as the student attended college then these are all recorded and the recordings are available to students on our VLE.  Our tutors in regular contact with students to support them with their learning during this time

If I cannot attend the session on the day will this affect my attendance?

It is understandable that you may need to access the lecture on a different day and therefore we will work with you to ensure that your learning activity is tracked as fully as possible.

Do I need to organise with my practice the changing of my college day in order to attend the live streaming sessions?

Live streamed lectures may not be on the same day of the week as the day release classes were previously. If necessary and your practice are able to accommodate a change of college day that is useful, however if you/they prefer to keep your 'college' activity day as per normal then please do so as the intention is to record the sessions, so you can review these and complete other learning activities on a different day if needed.

What should I do if I am having problems accessing the online material?

If you have an issue contact us via the VLE Helpdesk icon on the home page of the VLE, this is the best route as it goes directly to the relevant department, or by emailing  You also call us on 01480 422060 and speak to a member of the Helpdesk team.

Practice hours, exams and progression

I have not completed all of my practice hours, what do I need to do?

You should keep a record of your hours both studying or as and when you are in practice. The hours studying or learning count towards the total hours in training. If you are close to completion, then the RCVS have issued guidance indicating that they will consider applications for registration that are under the required number of practice hours (minimum of 1800 hours) on a case-by-case basis. The general experience over the years has been that students are usually well over the minimum hours required.

I have not met my NPL / online portfolio target. What do I do?

Please liaise with your IQA/tutor as it is recognised that you may not be able to meet the published deadlines with regards to the NPL/ePortfolio.

NPL: if you are not at work at the moment, then we suggest that you do the following:

  • Make a note of all the skills you have left to claim
  • Confirm what else do you need to log for them
  • Check that you have a dog, cat and exotic if the skill requires you to have all 3
  • Complete research of subject areas/tasks in order to help you complete these skills when you are back at work
  • Look through the CAW NPL guidance information and check through your NPL to make sure that you have met all of the necessary criteria


  • Read the ePortfolio guide and highlight all the skills that need completing by the end of your first year – these are any skills that fall under VN05.
  • Familiarise yourself with the templates that relate to those skills. You can use the ePortfolio release and target date document to help you find which number template goes with that skill as this lists all the templates that you need to complete.
  • Start researching any of the skills which you are unsure about so that when you are back in practice, you will have a good understanding of the theory behind the skill.
  • Remember, the CoPC is embedded within the ePortfolio, so have a look through and see which parts of the supporting guidance you need to know about e.g. section 2.1 in the ePortfolio guidance includes ‘see supporting guidance: 5.’ You need to access the supporting guidance; 5 (this is found in the RCVS CoPC for VNs), read this and then demonstrate your understanding of it by explaining how it relates to the skill.

Completing NPL skills

The college is aware that some of you may be on limited shifts in practice, may be having to self-isolate or may be currently furloughed, and so one of your concerns may well be your NPL.

Below are some NPL skills that you could be working on while we are in the current situation:

  • 1.4 – complete a risk assessment
  • 1.5 -Comply with the requirements for reporting notifiable diseases and reportable diseases and injuries under RIDDOR – you can research this and prepare for a professional discussion
  • 2.8 – evidence based nursing – you could have the discussion part of this skill over Skype as you have to discuss your findings with the team. Or you could prepare the discussion now and then when things are back to normal you can get the team together.
  • 8.1 - Recognise clinical signs of common notifiable and zoonotic diseases and undertake strategies to prevent spread and infection – you can research this and prepare for a professional discussion

You could make sure that you have covered the supporting guidance for the skills in section 2, specifically 2.1, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7, 2.9 & 2.10. You can either add this to the skills you have open if you have not yet covered it or if the skills are not open yet then you can still read the supporting guidance and write a note in Word so that when the skill is open you can then copy and paste it across. You must read the supporting guidance and state how this applies to the skill.

You could also research and read about the criteria of other skills so that when they are open you have a good understanding of them. For example;

  • Section 2 – communication models
  • Section 4 – fluid calculations, care plans, pain scoring, WSAVA guidelines
  • Section 5 – faecal analysis – are their parts of this skill that you will not be able to cover in practice e.g. Baermann technique/commercial test kits
  • Section 6 – look at the OSCE x-ray tasks
  • Section 7 – drug calculations, research safe handling of medications/disposal of them as per the SPC guidance
  • Section 9 – learn your common surgical instruments – resources are available on the VLE for this
  • Section 10 – FGF calculations, ASA guidelines

If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact your IQA.

Completing your ePortfolio

The college is aware that some of you may be on limited shifts in practice, may be having to self-isolate or may be currently furloughed, and so one of your concerns may well be your ePortfolio.

Please can we suggest that you do the following if you are struggling to work on your e-portfolio at the moment:

  • Read the e-portfolio guide and highlight all the skills that need completing by the end of your first year - these are any skills which fall under VN05.
  • Familiarise yourself with the templates that relate to those skills. You can use the e-portfolio release and target date document to help you to find which number template goes with that skill as this lists all the templates you need to complete in first year.
  • Start researching any of the skills which you are unsure about so that when you come to practice them in practice you will have a good understanding of the theory behind the skill.
  • Remember the CoPC is embedded within the e-portfolio and so you can have a look through and see which parts of the supporting guidance you need to know about. E.g section 2.1 in the e-portfolio guidance includes 'see supporting guidance: 5'. You need to access the supporting guidance; 5 (this is found in the RCVS CoPC for VNs), read it and then demonstrate your understanding of it by explaining how it relates to the skill.

If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact your IQA.

What will happen to my exams scheduled to take place?

A further update regarding the OSCEs has been provided by the RCVS. We remain in dialogue with the relevant Awarding Bodies and the RCVS regarding this matter.

I am an international student. What do I do?

Our advice to international students is that you should consider immediately returning to your family home in your native country whilst transport links still remain in place.

What will the impact of all this be on my progression?

The college will be taking all of these circumstances into consideration and reviewing the overall progress of all students when making progression decisions. Your programme team will be asked to provide information on your formative and summative assessments, placement hours and NPL completion . Our priority is providing you with the appropriate support to ensure you continue to progress with your qualification with as minimal disturbance as possible.

I have other concerns and I am not sure what to do, or who to contact. Where can I access support?

Start with your personal tutor as they can signpost you to the most appropriate support. Avoid posting on social media and group chats; the information you receive there will not necessarily be accurate, you also need consider the impact that your post may have on others. Do not email lots of programme staff separately, this is not professional – copy everyone into your email so that you receive accurate responses that everybody can see. If you want to discuss your own situation further then please contact your programme leader or a member of our administration team on 01480 422060 / who can signpost you appropriately.


We have a worker who is due to start in April 2020 and we are wondering if furloughed status affects them being on the course?

No if an employee is furloughed then they remain an employee and so can become or remain an apprentice.  They can start their training as scheduled in April 2020.  

Our student has been requested to go on furlough. They are concerned about their hours, am I to assume you/the RCVS are not going to be worrying about that sort of thing at the moment?

Students will need to keep a record of their hours both studying or in practice.  The hours studying or learning count towards the total hours in training.  If they are close to finishing then the RCVS have issued guidance where they will consider under hours applications for registration on a case by case basis.  The general experience over the years has been that employed students usually are way over the minimum hours required and so we are not expecting this to be a problem.  

What's happening with TP Approval?

With regard to the TP support and approval service that we provide to training practices we will be introducing the virtual approach that we have had in place some years now with RCVS approval for our overseas TP’s. This requires video or still pictures to be provided by the practice where necessary and video conferencing and virtual meetings to actually complete a virtual visit. The RCVS will still require a physical visit at some point in the future but this is a much more flexible approach that we have found works extremely effectively. Our practice support team will be in touch on this basis to re-schedule planned visits.

What's happening with Clinical Coach Training?

We have been offering online clinical coach training and standardisation for some time, and given the current circumstances, we will no longer offer face to face training or standardisation. The requirement to attend clinical coach standardisation remains a minimum of once per year which could be by achieved virtually or by accessing our library of standardisation subjects that are free for our TP’s to use.

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