Welcome to our 2020 Graduate Programme
We provide support to our graduates, our Joint Venture Partners and our practice colleagues, so our grads have the best start possible.
Our two-year Graduate Development Programme, designed by vets with extensive practice and industry experience, puts you at its centre. It helps develop your medical, surgical and professional skills with one aim: to help you start to realise your potential. We're committed to improving our programme to best meet your needs.
- You’ll train on the job at a pace that works for you.
- You’ll have support from day one from your graduate buddy, the 1,000+ vets within our online, clinical community and your dedicated mentor who will guide you through every step of your professional development.
- You’ll build - at your pace - your own client base and see the continuity of cases with the support of your wider team. You’ll only be sole charge when you’re ready.
- You get to work alongside and learn from experienced vets who own and run their own practice with clinical freedom and the autonomy to do things their way.
- Complementing this, you get the benefits that come from being part of a large, respected organisation.
Matching you to the right practice is hugely important to us, to give you the best start possible. To achieve this, we’re currently focused on placing the fantastic graduates who have already registered their interest with us, while also identifying additional practices looking to add a new graduate to their team.
Please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in any of these current locations we have available: Devon, East Anglia, East Midlands, Hampshire, North West.
I work in a practice where there are three nurses, my JVP and a locum. They support me a lot. The first days I found myself a little bit lost because of the accent, because of the new environment, new protocols, new everything. It’s a very busy practice, and they have always been very patient with me, with my accent, and they help me a lot. If I don’t know something, the nurses help me a lot – I can ask them anything.
I have a dedicated mentor. She’s amazing. She comes in even on her days off to help me with surgery I haven’t done before. I was really worried about surgery when I first started so having that kind of support, you don’t have to worry about getting through things by yourself. She was more than happy to come in and help me, which was amazing.
My JVP is so supportive and always has been. He’s always there at a drop of a hat even if he’s not in the practice. I just give him a call, and he’s always there to help me. He helps me with surgery, with any medical case and any questions. He has this perfect balance of not helping me to much - not spoon feeding me - so he gives me that little bit of freedom while always being there to support me.
The programme has helped my transition from university to real life by providing support both in the CPD allowance and by also having check-ups with the regional managers, allowing me to have a support network that wasn’t just my JVP.
Q & A
Once we receive your application, we’ll invite you to a short telephone interview to find out more about you and what makes you get out of bed in the morning. We want to learn about your experiences and understand what type of role you’re interested in. Our priority is to find out about you as a person so we can help our Practice Partners best support you. We’ll also tell you more about our programme and answer any of your questions.
From there, we’ll match you to practices we think are a good fit for you. The next stage will be interviews with the Practice Partners. These could be face-to-face interviews or virtual interviews or both. No two practices are the same so these interviews are an ideal way for you to find the best fit for you and of course, for our Practice Partners to find the right grad for them. If you’d like any support with your interview, our graduate team are on hand to help.
Yes, absolutely! As long as you are eligible to register with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and can work in the UK as a vet, you can apply to the programme. We currently employ vets who come from 43+ countries and counting! We love the diversity our vets bring and actively encourage vets of all nationalities to apply.
If you’re from outside the EU, you will need to apply for a sponsorship visa. We have lots of experience supporting vets with sponsorship applications. Feel free to contact us on email@example.com with any questions.
You will be employed directly by the practice. The two-year programme is provided by the Group and is designed to support and complement your role in your practice. Importantly, there are no financial tie-ins for you, and if you chose to leave your practice, you will work your notice period the same as any other vet. We hope that doesn’t happen, but we’re on hand to support you if you are considering moving on.
We try our very best to match you with the location and type of practice you request. We take all factors into consideration, including your preferences (location, type of practice, etc.) and the preferences of each of our practices looking to have a graduate join their team. Ultimately, we aim for all matches to be successful from everyone’s perspective, and we want you to be in a practice where you will be happy and thrive.
We have a growing number of practices across the UK of all shapes, types and sizes, and each one is individually owned and has clinical freedom and the autonomy to do things their way. No two practices are the same.
There’s a great chance we can place you where you want to be in an environment that suits you and that you’re the right person for the practice as well; however, as with many things in life, we may not be able to meet all of your preferences.
Yes. Everyone who is part of our graduate development programme receives paid release to attend the programme’s CPD.
We offer a really competitive graduate package. Because of the nature of our business model, no two graduates have identical packages as it’s down to each individual Practice Partner. However, all graduates on the programme will receive a salary of at least £31,000 p.a. when they start, and this rises to £33,000 p.a. after year one and £35,000 p.a. after year two. You get at least 28 days holiday (including bank holidays), a competitive pension contribution, income protection and a number of other benefits that come with being part of a large group such as 20% off at Pets At Home stores after you’ve completed three months of work with us.
You will be assigned a clinical mentor from within your practice who is dedicated to supporting you with your clinical development. You also have regular ‘development sessions’ with your Practice Partner and additional ‘check ins’ with a member of the graduate support team.
We have an online clinical community of more than 1,000 vets, which means you’re never more than a click away from clinical support and advice, an extensive mentoring network, which lets you tap into clinical and non-clinical expertise, and you’ll be assigned a ‘buddy’ who will be in year two of the programme.
You’ll also be placed in a small graduate support group, which we call a ‘home group’ so you can connect with other graduates in your area.
We also run a closed Facebook group for our graduates so you can ask questions, share information and virtually network with your fellow grads on the programme.
If you ever find that you need additional support, we have dedicated colleagues able to help you no matter what support is needed. You will always have the confidence of the graduate team as well so you can reach out to them whenever you need to.
We’re really passionate about wellbeing, and it’s one of our core priorities for all colleagues. We have developed a bespoke wellbeing programme just for our graduate colleagues. This includes CPD specifically focused on managing your wellbeing, a wellbeing journal to help you reflect on the good things, your successes and accomplishments and a bespoke wellbeing coaching programme. We’re always looking at what else we can do, and we sometimes host a summer celebration (for our grad colleagues who have just completed their first year in practice) that involves clinical education and having some fun.
You will only work sole charge when you and your Practice Partner both feel you’re ready. One of our programme commitments is that this must be a mutual decision. Generally, this is agreed around six months into the programme, but for some of our graduates, it happens sooner or takes a little longer.
Vets4Pets and Companion Care are both part of the Pets at Home Vet Group. Prior to 2014, they were two separate businesses, but in 2014, Pets At Home (who already owned Companion Care) bought Vets4Pets, and they became part of the same group. Since then, all new surgeries have been Vets4Pets surgeries.
If you join our programme, you may work in a Vets4Pets practice or a Companion Care practice, but you’ll receives the same CPD, support, benefits, etc., regardless of where you work.
Find out about us
Meet Dr Catriona Curtis
Cat was attracted to the opportunity to make a difference and to really step change an already-in-existence vet graduate programme that puts graduates and their specific needs at its core.