The College of Animal Welfare

Head Nurse Congress

Thursday 4 March 2021

What is Head Nurse Congress?

Head Nurse Congress is an event solely focused on head veterinary nurses and practice managers - exploring all aspects of the roles; from the many different responsibilities, to the challenges that are faced on a daily basis.

You’ll get the chance to listen to a variety of relevant lectures from expert industry speakers including veterinary surgeons Libby Kemkaran-Thompson, from Kemkaran Consulting and Anne-Marie Svendsen Aylott from PurpleCat Coaching Ltd.

Who should attend?

Head nurses and practice managers. Whether you are a new or aspiring head nurse or practice manager, or have been one for many years, this congress is for you! The congress will be particularly useful if you are:

  • New to your role and looking for some guidance
  • Interested in learning more about management
  • Aiming to progress within your role
  • Interested in keeping up-to-date with everything happening in the industry

Why attend?

  • Listen to lectures from a range of speakers who will be sharing their experiences and knowledge
  • Q&A sessions mean your questions will be answered by the speakers themselves
  • Gain practical takeaways on a variety of topics that you can implement in your practice
  • Earn 8 hours of evidenced CPD
  • Gain online access to recordings of all the lectures and lectures from previous congresses up until the 2022 event
Download the agenda (PDF)

Chairman's Welcome

Frank Taylor, Vice Principal Veterinary Studies, The College of Animal Welfare

‘What’s Holding You Back?’ Barrier Beliefs and How to Smash Them

Dr Libby Kemkaran Thompson, MA VetMB MRCVS, Kemkaran Consulting Ltd

Life has a habit of pulling you down. So how do you get back up? Measure your GRIT, learn how to change those limiting beliefs that keep you ‘stuck’ and challenge yourself to set a new standard. Growth Mindset for those completely new to the subject, and a deeper dive for those already started on this path. WARNING! May include a game that might just change
your life forever…

The Gift of Feedback – How You Can Use it to Build Trust, and Go Beyond What You Thought Possible!

Richard Casey, Veterinary Management Group

There are many reasons why feedback could, and often should, be given. But, unfortunately, it’s often a task put off or carried out in a way where the outcome isn’t positive. A recent VMG survey in partnership with SPVS found that 49% of veterinary leaders were not confident regularly providing or receiving feedback. In addition, of the respondents who did not manage others, 80% reported that their line manager was not effective at providing or asking for feedback. Therefore, what does good feedback look like and how can it be used to improve performance in practice and beyond?

This session explores the various uses of feedback in the workplace, the benefits it can bring and how it can help contribute to a practice learning culture. It introduces various feedback ‘models’ which can assist in providing ‘structure’ to the conversation and help to avoid the conversation turning sour.

Live Q&A Panel

Present questions (anonymously if desired) to the speakers.

VN Futures – The Value of VN Futures To Your Leadership Role

Jill Macdonald, DipAVN (Surgical) RVN FHEA, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

The VN Futures project exists to address the challenges and exploit the many opportunities available to us in advancement of the veterinary nursing profession. This talk will provide an update on the activities of the initiative, highlight aspects of the project work that are relevant to you in Leadership role in guiding, informing and inspiring others; and will offer you an opportunity to have an input into the project.

Enhancing Working Relationships

Paul Ward, Black Top Co. – Executive Coaching and Training

In this workshop learn how you can:
• Enhance your positive Influence with people professionally and personally
• Overcome negative judgement of self and others to become more authentic and congruent
• Challenge yourself to learn from those whom challenge you the most to develop greater flexibility in your communication style

Live Q&A Panel

Present questions (anonymously if desired) to the speakers.

The Power of Self-Promotion: How to push yourself forwards in the workplace

Ash Borland

If you feel you’re doing a great job at work, it’s only natural to want to develop and grow. However, opportunities to progress don’t always arise naturally – sometimes you need to be your own cheerleader and create these chances for yourself. In this session, Ash will take you through some top tips for self-promotion: looking at how you can show off what you offer and push yourself forward in the workplace.

7 Sector Business Model

Emerson Patton, Bright Business Advice

Often many professionals experience frustration as a result of not having the right systems in place, the right training protocols to develop their team and huge gaps in their budgets.
The Bright Business 7 Sector Business Model will help you take your team to the next level, by ensuring your department is working like a well-oiled machine.
• Systemise and organise to make effective use of time and significant cost savings.
• Achieve rapid sales growth: discover strategies that will allow you to generate large amounts of revenue, through better conversion rates in a shorter space of time.
• Recruit, lead, and motivate your staff to increase productivity and reduce staff turnover.
• Design a business plan structured around the key business areas of: leadership and management, finance, operations, HR, marketing and sales.
• Develop structures and systems that are proven to increase efficiency, effectiveness and organisation.

Live Q&A Panel

Present questions (anonymously if desired) to the speakers.

Increasing Energy and Purpose - A Personal Workshop

Anne-Marie Svendsen Aylott, MRCVS, PurpleCat Coaching Ltd

All of us have times where we may find work and/or personal life harder than usual, and even if we don’t, there is no doubt that the higher our energy levels and our sense of purpose, the better we feel about what we do and who we are. This workshop focuses on helping delegates connect with what is important to them and how to translate that into their everyday lives. The format is interactive, practical and personal.

Live Q&A Panel

Present questions (anonymously if desired) to the speakers.


Libby Kemkaran-Thompson MA VetMB MRCVS
Kemkaran Consulting

Before moving into Management Consultancy, Libby worked in the city as a consultant. After retraining to be a vet at Cambridge, where she also did a degree in Behaviour, Libby worked in Essex and Cambridgeshire as a first opinion small animal vet for 5 years.

Following a car crash which left her unable to perform surgery, Libby moved back into the field of business consultancy but this time specifically for vets.

She built Kemkaran Consulting because city clients kept asking her to return to the Big Smoke to train their sales teams in ethical, trust-based sales after her creation of TAMETM Neurocoaching and ‘Who Do You Think You Are’.  This is a scientifically proven set of methods that blends together delivering organizational culture using Behavioural Psychology strategy training in Management, Communications, Personal Success, and Sales, utilizing Conversational Intelligence, Flow, and Emotional Quotient in a Growth Mindset. Libby coaches executives and management teams in the corporate world and is a keynote speaker at conferences and events worldwide.


Richard Casey
Veterinary Management Group

Before joining the veterinary world seven years ago Richard spent a number of years working in HR and people development for a variety of companies like First Choice Holidays, Amazon and T-Mobile. However pets and working with others have always been two of his great passions so when the opportunity came to combine them Richard jumped at the chance and joined PDSA in 2011. Since then Richard has had the great privilege of working on a number of operational and people projects; before joining Blue Cross in 2016 as Clinical Development Manager. Here he oversees the development of veterinary services and manages partnerships with private veterinary practices. A particular interest and focus is to improve the way we interact and work with our clients, ultimately influencing them to do something different for the benefit of their pets welfare. From his time in the charity sector and on a personal note he has seen first-hand the benefits pet ownership can bring to people and the loyalty provided in return. Over his time on the VMG board I hope to raise awareness of the social and economic issues facing pet owners today and the ways in which we as a profession can support those who are facing difficult times.


Jill Macdonald, DipAVN (Surgical) RVN FHEA
Royal College for Veterinary Surgeons

Jill qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 1999, and achieved her advanced diploma in 2006. She has worked as a head nurse, clinical coach and assessor, and in veterinary undergraduate and postgraduate education. Jill owns and runs ONCORE ePD, which she has managed since its beginnings in 2011. She recently took up post at the RCVS as VN Projects Coordinator, with the main remit of her role being to project manage the VN Futures initiative. This is a challenge which Jill relishes, since it aligns perfectly with her passion for advancement of the veterinary nursing profession.


Paul WardPaul Ward 
Black Top Co. - Executive Coaching and Training

Paul Ward of BLACK TOP COACHING is an Executive Coach and Trainer. After spending many years working with a dynamic range of people in the retail sector, Paul chose to follow his passion for developing people and teams and started his journey to becoming an Executive coach.

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) has been a fundamental part of this journey and Paul uses NLP in all his coaching. Paul is a Master Practitioner of NLP and became qualified as an International Trainer of NLP in Thailand in 2018.

Paul also uses Motivational Map technology to unlock what really drives you at work and in your life. This allows for highly effective coaching and development for individuals and teams. Paul is also a trainer of Motivational Maps and is passionate in helping other coaches and consultants gain the knowledge to use this excellent tool.


Emerson Patton
Bright Business Advice

Emerson Patton is a multi-award-winning coach and business advisor with over a decade of corporate experience and a further 14 years of coaching experience focusing on the 7-sector model of business structure and growth.

Emerson helps businesses to organise their leadership and management, efficiency, emotional intelligence and time management resulting in business improvement, structure consistency, efficiency, outstanding customer service, and business growth.


Anne-Marie Svendsen AylottAnne-Marie Svendsen Aylott, MRCVS
Purple Cat Coaching Ltd.

Anne-Marie is an Inspirational Leadership coach and trainer. Her focus is on helping organisations and individuals create a culture of positive change both within themselves and in the organisation where employee motivation and happiness is in focus. Her training focuses on the skills of strong and inspirational leadership. All her training is grounded in research and psychology and provides in-depth skills in superb communication, emotional intelligence skills and driving high end resilience in leaders and their teams. Anne-Marie has a background as a veterinary surgeon and has worked for many years with sales, marketing and training.

Leucillin Animal Skincare LogoLeucillin Animal Skincare

Leucillin Animal Skincare is a Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) based high efficacy antimicrobial solution. Leucillin is a broad spectrum antiseptic with unbeatable 99.99999% results, it has minimal contact time and is suitable for use on all mammals, birds and reptiles. Leucillin dramatically reduces bacterial load with no hypersensitivity reactions or usage constraints and is approved by the Organic Soil Association.

Leucillin has an extensive range of applications including first aid, post-surgical sites, stubborn infectants, effective topical allergy care and ear and eye care. Leucillin can be used to cleanse and flush any topical condition from minor cuts and abrasions, Mud Fever, Ringworm to Thrush. Leucillin now has approval for use on humans.

Millpledge Veterinary LogoMillpledge Veterinary

Millpledge Veterinary has been supplying the UK Veterinary Profession for over 35 years. Our aims are to offer the Veterinary Professional an ever-expanding choice of quality Millpledge branded products and services with innovative designs specifically for the veterinary professional. Ranging from pharmaceuticals to Nutraceuticals, bandaging, dressings, and fluid therapy, encompassing products for companion and large animal use. Providing complete peace of mind for the veterinary profession.

Vita Animal Health LogoVita Animal Health

Vita Animal Health’s range of veterinary exclusive supplements has been developed over many years, in conjunction with leading scientists and researchers, and have been rigorously tested. Vita Animal Health has a passion for researching, developing and bringing to market innovative products for companion animals.


Central CPD LogoCentral CPD

Central CPD On-Demand provides unlimited access to over 1,500 videos in a wide variety of topics, providing engaging, convenient and affordable CPD for all veterinary nurses in practice.

  • Practical skills, quick catch-up, lunch & learn and structured learning streams
  • Student VN revision aids
  • Create and assign bespoke training programmes
  • Mentor system for structured in-practice support
  • Upload and assign specific Practice content- practice protocols, employee handbooks etc
  • Real-time report function to monitor CPD and training programme completion

Invicta Animal Health LogoInvicta Animal Health

Invicta Animal Health is an innovative, fast growing pharmaceutical company, offering tailored 1:1 and group CPD sessions on Surgical Preparation of the Patient. Alongside a portfolio of products such as Ethycalm Plus, a topical spray for needle/catheter access. Blod-Stopp a stain & sting free way of stopping nails from bleeding to fast acting tests for ringworm.

On the equine side as well as the skin prep, we have a great Hyaluronic Acid product in Syn-Vet50 with its high molecular weight so that it stays in the horses joint for longer amongst other benefits. Please get in touch to find out more.

Vets4Pets Logo Vets4Pets

Head Nurse Congress
Full Price
Early Bird

Early Bird pricing is no longer available. All prices are listed without VAT.

Early Bird prices are still available to CAW affilliated TP's!

Please contact our Short Course team on 01480 422060 to arrange a booking at this special discounted rate.

Interested in exhibiting at Head Nurse Congress 2020?

Head Nurse Congress is a unique congress aimed at head veterinary nurses, practice managers and those aspiring to those roles.

Why exhibit with us?

  • Limited exhibitor numbers - Unlike larger congresses where hundreds of exhibitors often mean that visitors will not remember everyone, exhibition space for these events is strictly limited. As such you will get the opportunity to engage with all of the delegates attending our congresses personally.
  • Make meaningful business connections – Network with those that influence decision making in veterinary practice face-to-face and make relevant industry contacts.
  • Cost effective – with exhibitor packages starting from just £250+VAT, our prices offer value for money and fall considerably below that of larger events within the industry.

Download a booking form or call Claire Gregory, on 01480 422060.