Choose your course

What is VCA Congress?

VCA Congress is a one day virtual event focused solely on roles within the varied veterinary care field - 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 and gain valuable CPD on a range of topics.

Who should attend?

This congress is suitable for those studying for a Veterinary Care Support or Veterinary Care Assistant qualification, as well as for those already working within these roles and similar roles, within veterinary practices and animal care environments. The congress will be particularly useful if you are:

  • New to your role and looking for some guidance
  • Interested in learning more about veterinary care
  • Aiming to progress within your role
  • Interested in progressing onto veterinary nurse training in the future
  • 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
  • Gain online access to recordings of all the lectures and lectures from previous congresses up until the next event
Download the agenda (PDF)

Online Registration and Exhibition

Chair's Welcome

Kirsty Jones RVN Cert Ed, The College of Animal Welfare

From A to Zzzz: Considerations For Pre-Anaesthetised Patients

Sara Little, AFHEA, VCA, The University of Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

This presentation will discuss various factors that may affect the quality of induction of anaesthesia; including behavioural, environmental, and handling aspects.

Anaesthesia is a complicated area where great care and consideration should be taken into account before the patient is even pre-medicated, so I will be using examples based on my experience as an Anaesthesia Assistant, which considers both the emotional and physical wellbeing of patients during what is undoubtably a stressful time for them.

This presentation will be suitable for VCA’s who will be dealing with canine and feline patients who are about to be anaesthetised.se

Dog Friendly Clinic scheme – how Veterinary Care Assistants can make a positive difference to the emotional wellbeing of canine patients within their care

Tamson Durston RVN CAB BA (Hons) BSc (Hons) MSc (Hons)

During this presentation we will take a journey through the veterinary clinic and using Dog Friendly Clinic principles, look at how Veterinary Care Assistants can best support the emotional wellbeing of canine patients within their care.
By the end of this presentation, you will be able to:
- Outline the aims of Dog Friendly Clinic scheme and the benefits of joining.
- Summarise how you would become a member of the Dog Friendly Clinic scheme.
- Describe how Veterinary Care Assistants can use Dog Friendly Clinic principles to support the emotional wellbeing of canine patients within their care.

Live Q&A Panel

Present questions (anonymously if desired) to the speakers.

Online Exhibition and Lounges

Taming the Tigers

Dr Libby Kemkaran MA VETMB MRCVS

This presentation will show you how understanding the 4 different brain types can lead to increased confidence, superstar communication and growing an enviable high-performance culture, where everyone gets to love their work and get along.
Work doesn’t have to feel like work. It can feel instead like a game, learning which Big Cat Brain you’re running (and who are the Big Cats you walk with every day) is the key to unlocking your next level life.

Grow your communication skills and power to influence others around you in this deep dive into cognitive diversity.

Live Q&A Panel

Present questions (anonymously if desired) to the speakers.

Online Exhibition and Lounges

Dental Procedures and Client Education - the full potential of the VCA role

Bronte Stephenson, RVN BSc (Hons) C-SQP NCert (Dent) 

Dentistry has become a large focus for many practices over the last few years, and rightly so. The oral cavity, though it is not often seen, plays a huge role in overall animal health and welfare. There are often many painful problems which go unnoticed, and it can be difficult to get through to clients about the importance of oral hygiene.

How can the VCA get involved with client education, and become an advocate for dental health? And how can the VCA assist with dental procedures in practice?

The VCA Role in Hydrotherapy & Rehabilitation

Helen Matyear RVN Cert HE ICH

Have you ever considered a career in the world of animal rehabilitation? Our beloved pets are living well into their senior years and an increase in complex surgical procedures and further medical treatments means the world of rehab has never been so important.

This presentation will focus on looking at the different ways the veterinary care assistant can become involved with rehabilitation of patients. We will cover the basics of hydrotherapy, name conditions that benefit from rehab treatment and investigate the career paths into the world of rehab.

Live Q&A Panel

Present questions (anonymously if desired) to the speakers.

Chair's Close

Kirsty Jones RVN Cert Ed, The College of Animal Welfare

Virtual Exhibition and Lounges

Sarah Little HeadshotSarah Little, AFHEA, VCA
The University of Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Sarah Little has worked in the veterinary industry since 2008 after taking an interest in the profession during work experience and has been working at The University of Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies as an Anaesthesia Assistant since 2017.

Since starting at the R(D)SVS, Sarah has completed a Level 2 Diploma for Veterinary Care Assistants through the College of Animal Welfare and the Fear Free Certification Program. She has earned a Certificate in Canine First Aid Training as well as a Diploma in Canine Behaviour Training.

Recently she was awarded her Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

Diane continues to share her own passion for the work she does by lecturing nationally and internationally and being an active clinical educator for the Masters/Post Graduate Veterinary Physiotherapy Programmes in the UK.

Bronte Stephenson HeadshotBronte Stephenson RVN BSc(Hons) C-SQP NCert (Dent)
The College of Animal Welfare

Bronte is a Registered Veterinary Nurse, who began working in small animal first opinion practice in 2015. She qualified as an RVN in 2017, and has since gained the post-nominals of C-SQP and NCert (Dentistry).

Bronte continues to work in clinical practice and is a huge advocate for dental health – no patient goes home from any surgery without a peek in their mouth too! Bronte is frequently involved with teaching other nurses, and veterinary surgeons, dentistry techniques in client education, radiography and local anaesthesia.

She also works as a Distance Learning Tutor for the College of Animal Welfare, assisting VCA and VCS students to complete their courses.

Helen Matyear HeadshotHelen Matyear RVN Cert HE ICH
The College of Animal Welfare

Helen qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2018 and has worked in first opinion and referral practices with orthopaedic, soft tissue and neurological patients. It was while first working in referral that Helen developed a love for all things rehab and so went on to become a qualified Hydrotherapist and proud member of the Institute of Canine Hydrotherapists (ICH).

Helen has a particular interest in the rehab of senior patients and neurological cases and loves seeing the positive effects of combined therapies to help improve quality of life.

Helen splits her time between working at a rehab clinic, nursing in practice and teaching with The College of Animal Welfare. She started working with the college in 2023 as a tutor for the Veterinary Care Assistant qualifications and has a passion for supporting learners to achieve their goals.

Kate Main HeadshotKate Main BVSc PGCert SAM MRCVS
Dogs Trust

Kate graduated from Bristol Veterinary School in 2008. During her final year elective, she studied Animal Behaviour and Welfare, and this sparked an interest in this subject area.

Kate spent 9 years working as a veterinary surgeon in small animal practice, achieving a Post Graduate Certificate in Small Animal Medicine.  She joined Dogs Trust’s Veterinary Intervention Development Team in 2021 and is project lead for the Dog Friendly Clinic Scheme, a collaborative project with the British Veterinary Behaviour Association.

Kate has continued her animal behaviour learning journey at Dogs Trust and is studying for her PGCert in Clinical Animal Behaviour.

Tamson Durston HeadshotTamson Durston RVN CAB BA (Hons) BSc (Hons) MSc (Hons)
Dogs Trust

Tamson is a Registered Veterinary Nurse, Clinical Animal Behaviourist, and accredited Dog Training Instructor. She has also gained an MSc in Human Behaviour Change in order to underpin animal welfare activity with evidenced behavioural science.

Employed full-time as Dogs Trust’s Veterinary Intervention Development Manager, Tam leads a dedicated team working to embed canine behavioural principles within veterinary practice.

As well as providing emotional support for animals, she is keen to optimise human workplace mental and emotional health and has researched and authored a book, ‘Emotional Well-being for the Animal Welfare Professional’.

Dr Libby KemkaranDr Libby Kemkaran MA VETMB MRCVS

Dr Libby Kemkaran is a Business Mentor, Neurocoach and TEDx speaker.

She is an Accredited Peak Performance consultant and qualified Flow Coach, creator of the award winning Tame Your Brain® methodology, the Big Cat Business Brain® profiling tool, and she coach CEOs, leadership teams and individual solo entrepreneurs around the globe.

She is a Faculty Partner at the Entrepreneurs Institute, and teaches the TAME® methodology monthly to the partners there.

CAW LogoThe College of Animal Welfare

The College of Animal Welfare is one of the largest providers of veterinary nurse training in the UK, with centres in Cambridgeshire, North London, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, County Durham and Scotland. We strongly believe that education and training is the key to raising standards of animal welfare. To this end, we strive to create new and accessible opportunities for learning, and encourage employers and those working with animals to undertake appropriate levels of training and continue with lifelong learning and education.

CAW Business School

CAW Business School was set up in 2012 to offer business related qualifications. CAW Business School offers a number of highly recognised qualifications including the opportunity to study AAT Accounting, Business Administration, Customer Service, TAQA and ILM leadership and management, and coaching and mentoring courses.


Millpledge Veterinary LogoMillpledge Veterinary

Millpledge Veterinary has been manufacturing innovative products designed specifically for the veterinary professional for over 30 years.

Ranging from Pharmaceuticals to Nutraceuticals, Bandaging and Fluid Therapy, encompassing products for companion and large animal use. Providing complete peace of mind for the veterinary profession.

Popular products include Rapz Eazy Tear® Cohesive Bandages, Eaze-Off® Tape and Bandage Removal Spray, Tom Tiddle™ Urinary Cat Catheters, Millpack™ Sterilisation Pouches with built-in sterility test strips, Aniset™ IV Sets for small and large animals, and V-GEL® advanced species-specific supraglottic airway devices for Rabbits, Cats, and Dogs.

Visit our website at www.millpledge.com to view our full range.


Vetlife is a charity dedicated to supporting the veterinary profession.

Everyone in the veterinary community is welcome to contact the Vetlife Helpline for free, independent and confidential support – including veterinary nurses, veterinary students, and non-clinical staff. The Helpline can be reached on 0303 040 2551 or by anonymous email.

Following contact with the Vetlife Helpline, volunteers can refer those needing further care to our award-winning Vetlife Health Support service which provides mental health support.

Vetlife Financial Support is available for eligible veterinary surgeons, registered veterinary nurses, and their dependants in the UK.

Pet RemedyPet Remedy

Pet Remedy is a natural plant based range of calming products for pets. Easy to use and fast acting. This unique and patented formula is valerian root oil based and is made in the UK.

Pet Remedy works with the pet's own natural calming mechanisms and is suitable for use in all stressful situations. Pet Remedy will also help with developing emotional resilience and wellbeing. Now used by most veterinary practices and rescues on a daily basis. Visit the vet zone on our website and you will see a detailed explanation by Dr Robert Falconer-Taylor (veterinary neuro surgeon and author), about how Pet Remedy works. You will also see links to 9 published studies showing efficacy in multi-species including cat, dog, rabbit, pig and horse.


At PURINA®, we believe that pets and people are better together. We are committed to helping pets live longer, happier and healthier lives through proper nutrition and care, as well as collaborating with and supporting the veterinary professionals who care for them.

To discover more about our ground-breaking science and how we can help you bring nutrition to life in your practice contact vettechline@purina.nestle.com.

To find out more about our products, Purina PRO PLAN®, and PRO PLAN® Veterinary Diets, visit www.purina.co.uk/proplan.

Early Bird Tickets Available

£150 (£125+VAT)

That's a saving of £60

Once the Early Bird promotion ends, your ticket will cost: £210 (£175+VAT)

Early Bird pricing is available until Friday 13 September 2024.

Interested in exhibiting at VCA Congress?

VCA Congress is a one day virtual event focused solely on roles within the varied veterinary care field.

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 the delegates attending our congresses personally.
  • Make meaningful business connections – Network with those that influence decision making in veterinary practice and make relevant industry contacts virtually.
  • Cost effective – with exhibitor packages starting from just £50+VAT, our prices offer value for money and fall considerably below that of larger events within the industry.

To find out more contact Claire Gregory on 01480 422060.

Book now