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2022 Graduate Development Programme

We are all about doing the right thing for pets and their owners, that starts with developing, empowering and supporting our graduate Vets to be at their very best!

Graduate Development Programme


Our award-winning Graduate Development Programme is designed to give you the best possible start in every way. So, as well as helping you develop your professional skills and commercial understanding, our comprehensive training covers the softer skills needed to care for animals and their owners. Join us, and with our ongoing support and emphasis on your wellbeing, you can realise – and maintain – your full potential.

We are all about doing the right thing for pets and their owners, and that starts with developing, empowering and supporting our graduate Vets to be their very best. With hands-on surgical training and courses in subjects like cardiology, endocrinology and dermatology, our Graduate Development Programme gives you the confidence to put your knowledge into practice.

We give you the tools you need to take care of yourself too, throughout the non-clinical part of the programme, wellbeing is highlighted regularly with group coaching sessions to discuss topics. Upon joining you will receive a wellbeing guide and gift as a reminder to look after your own health and happiness and a culture that encourages a healthy life/work balance.

As you build your future with us, you’ll have the best of both worlds – working in a locally-owned practice, with the support network and stability of a large, successful business. It all comes together to make you an all-round better practitioner. 


Award Winning Programme

Best Graduate Onboarding and Induction Activities Programme

In late 2020 we won an award from the Institute of Student Employers for the best Graduate Onboarding and Induction Activities Programme.

We are immensely proud of this award and were the first Vet Graduate Development Programme to have been recognised outside of the industry for the work we are doing in setting up future graduates for success!


ISE Awards Winner 16-9 Ratio (002)

Finalist for Graduate Scheme of the Year

In November 2021 we were shortlisted as a finalist for the Graduate Scheme of the Year Award as part of the Personnel Today Awards.

We feel extremely proud of this achievement, and were delighted to be up there alongside some other really inspiring finalists!

Personnel Today Shortlisted 16-9 Ratio



All About Us

About Vets4Pets and Companion Care

Vets4Pets and Companion Care are a large network of first opinion practices, providing full veterinary care from preventative healthcare, including healthcare checks and vaccinations right through to digital x-rays and operating theatres. 

We have over 440 in-store and stand-alone practices across the UK, each one unique! Our Joint Venture Partnership model is special, and it gives everyone, including our Joint Venture Partners, the best of both worlds. You’ll get to work alongside and learn from experienced vets who own and run their own practice with complete clinical freedom and the autonomy to do things their way, whilst benefitting from being part of a large, respected organisation.


Pets at Home Group

Vets4Pets and Companion Care are part of the Pets at Home Group, who are the UK’s leading pet care business. Because pets are at the heart of everything we do, we believe that everyone who is a part of our group has a special responsibility to help keep pets happy, healthy and safe. Our retail colleagues are trained to standards which are endorsed by many of the leading animal care and charity bodies in the UK, and we are leading the way in regulating the pet grooming industry by working with accredited training providers to enable colleagues to train for certification in this profession.



Find out what our graduates had to say about our Graduate Development Programme...


2020 Cohort


I have really enjoyed the past 2 years as a vet and being part of the graduate programme. It has helped me to gain confidence and improve my practical skills. It was a very good opportunity to meet other new grads and to share experiences and find friends especially as I came to the UK from abroad.


2020 Cohort


The Graduate Development Programme has been very well run; with a good selection and range of CPD, which has helped massively with the transition into practice. 


2020 Cohort


The structured CPD offering that is part of the Graduate Development Programme is fantastic! It gives great CPD targeted at the right level, for new grads and focuses on the most important skills. 


2020 Cohort

Graduate, Oadby practice

The first year of my graduate programme has been absolutely fantastic. It has provided me with so much support and a feeling of community despite covid restrictions. The ability to speak with people going through similar experiences during their first year in practice and being able to share advice and tips has been so helpful. I also love the structure of the CPD, it has all been run so smoothly and provided such useful information for both clinical and non-clinical aspects of veterinary practice. 10/10 definitely recommend.

Group Grad Photo



What can we offer you?


Our two year programme will run alongside a permanent job offer in one of our many supportive, passionate and busy practices. Our programme officially launches each September, although many graduates start in practice prior to the programme start date or slightly after.  

Our Graduate Team will work with you and support you, in matching you with one of our practices. You will have support from day 1 from your dedicated mentor in practice who will guide you through each step of your professional development, you will train on the job with a phased induction, at a pace that works for you, with regular reviews.

We also believe support outside of your practice is extremely crucial, our programme launches with a 2-day induction which is a fantastic opportunity to meet with those other graduates who have just embarked on the same journey, and also to network with lots of other colleagues from a variety of areas across the business. You will be paired with a graduate buddy, a graduate 1 or 2 years ahead of you on the programme, and a talent ambassador, a number of those being JVP’s from other practices, offering additional clinical or holistic support. You also have access to your dedicated Graduate Team, who are here to support you every step of the way, a Clinical Development Manager and Area Relationship Manager who are field based and regionally aligned, plus many more supportive colleagues, including a clinical community of more than 1,300!

Our structured CPD is delivered by specialists and covers a range of clinical, wellbeing, leadership and professional development subjects, over the course of two years you’ll have access to over 180 hours CPD. A number of these events include networking dinners, giving you some much needed downtime with fellow grads and presents an opportunity for networking with other colleagues.

As well as the CPD offering, we will always let you know about external CPD webinars that are available that may be of interest to you, and from time to time we will work with suppliers to deliver additional bespoke webinars for you to complete in your own time.



Further Benefits!

Your wellbeing is really important to us, on starting the Graduate Development Programme, you will receive a tailored Wellbeing Guide and a gift as a little reminder to look after your own health and happiness.

Throughout the non-clinical part of the programme, wellbeing is highlighted regularly with group coaching sessions to discuss topics. You’ll also receive a Wellbeing Guide to help you reflect on the good things, your successes and accomplishments.

Vets4Pets and Companion Care want to create a community that takes a really proactive approach to Mental Health and for all colleagues to feel like they have the support needed. We have over 200 colleagues trained as Mental Health First Aiders across the business and this number is growing weekly. 

All graduates on programme will receive a subscription to the Headspace App, this is an
invaluable tool to support you in lots of areas including managing anxiety, struggling to
sleep, low self-esteem and much more!

  • Starting salary of at least £32k, with an uplift to £35k after year 1 of the programme and rising again to £38k following completion of the programme
  • No financial tie at any stage
  • At least 28 days holiday per year
  • 10-12 days per year of clinical and non-clinical CPD, including tickets to London Vet Show
  • Paid release for all CPD events including reimbursement of any travel costs
  • A dedicated clinical coach in practice offering ongoing clinical support
  • Support and access to over 1300+ Vets within our online and clinical community
  • Phased approach to sole charge duties
  • RCVS, VetGDP and BVA membership
  • Support with practice transfer should the need arise
  • Access to our Next Steps Programme following completion of the programme
  • Group colleague discounts
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Lifestyle discounts
  • Group pension contributions
  • Life insurance
  • Pet Plan insurance discount
  • Wellbeing support
  • Plus lots more!

It is really important to us that we continue to support you beyond our Graduate Development Programme, which is why in 2020 we launched our Next Steps Programme, which is a brand new incentive awarding grants of up to £1000 to support with ongoing development.

This is an amazing opportunity for Vets that have completed the graduate programme and might be starting to think about what’s next!

In 2020 we awarded a number of grants to our graduate alumni to support them in achieving their ambitions.


Our Practices


We are now closed for applications to our 2022 Graduate Development Programme, as we have now filled all of our places.

If you are still looking for an opportunity as a Vet new graduate, we have a number of practices that would happily support and develop a new graduate in their practice outside of the programme. You would still be joining a practice that is ready and equipped to support a new graduate, including access to a trained VetGDP Advisor, support and encouragement to undertake CPD in your chosen area of interest, a competitive salary and lots more!

To find out more, please get in touch with our recruitment team by emailing and state which location you are interested in. 

If you are still looking for a position, but do not have any strong location preferences, or if you have any further questions, please do get in touch with us directly by completing the contact form below.

Graduate contact form

By submitting this request I:

Frequently Asked Questions

Once we receive your application, we will invite you to have a chat with someone from our team so we can 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 is the most important factor for you in finding the right practice.

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. 

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 with any questions.

You will be employed directly by the practice on a permanent basis. The two-year Graduate Development Programme runs alongside your job in practice, and is designed to support and compliment 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.

Absolutely!  We understand that location is very important, and for some people location is their number 1 priority. We will work with you, in understanding which practices you wish to consider, and be open and honest about the opportunities available within those practices. 

With almost 450 practices across the UK, we have a wide range of practices up and down the country that each year are looking to support a new graduate. 

Whatever your preferences when it comes to your practice, we will work with you in putting you forward to the right practice. 


Yes! Everyone who is part of our graduate development programme receives paid release form their practice to attend the programme’s CPD offering. 

Because of the nature of our business model, no two graduates will have an identical benefits package, as this is agreed by each individual Practice Partner.

The minimum starting salary for a graduate on programme is £32k, this will be uplifted to £35k after year 1 on programme, and rise again to £38k following completion of the programme. 

You will be entitled to at least 28 days holiday pear year (including bank holidays), a competitive pension contribution, income protection and a number of other benefits that come with being part of a large group!

From summer 2021 onwards it is now a requirement that any practice wishing to recruit a new graduate, that they be an RCVS approved practice. To be RCVS approved, there must be a least 1 Vet in practice who is a trained VetGDP Advisor. This Advisor will at least 3 years experience of being a Vet in practice. 

You will be assigned a clinical mentor from within your practice who is dedicated to supporting you with your clinical and personal development. You also have regular ‘development sessions’ with your Practice Partner and additional ‘check ins’ with a member of the graduate support team.  

You have lots of support available to you across the group, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of this huge network of people that are here and want to support you!

You have access to our dedicated Graduate Development Team, who are always here to support you right through from the point of application and beyond the programme. 

You will be part of a community of other Vets that we be embarking on this journey with you! You will have the opportunity to catch up regularly at CPD events, and we encourage you to keep in touch via our closed Graduate Facebook page. 

You will be assigned a graduate buddy and talent ambassador upon starting programme - these colleagues are volunteers because they want to support you!

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. 


We know that in the Veterinary profession the word wellbeing is mentioned regularly, but we are genuinely passionate about wellbeing, and it’s one of our core priorities for all colleagues!

Your wellbeing is really important to us, on starting the Graduate Development Programme, you will receive a tailored Wellbeing Guide and a gift as a little reminder to look after your own health and happiness.

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 will receive the same CPD, support and benefits regardless of where you work!

A little bit more about us...

Meet Leigh-Anne, one of our practice Partners

“Taking on new graduates is really rewarding. My aim is to get them on their feet, so they can spread their wings and fly"

Leigh-Anne Webpage

And the award goes to…the 2021 Vets4Pets Vet Graduate Awards

"Every year we watch as 80 graduates leave university and join our practices, and each year we hear stories from their colleagues of what a wonderful addition they’ve made to the team - this year has been that times 10!"

Awards Grad Page

Meet Dr Emily Bridges

Emily is a Vet and worked as a Veterinary Surgeon in one of our first-opinion practices before becoming our Vet Graduate Programme Lead in early 2020. 


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