RCVS and SPVS launch Vet Wellbeing Awards 2019

The Society for Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS), in partnership with Mind Matters, is looking for practices that are going above and beyond to support staff wellbeing for this year’s Vet Wellbeing Awards.

The Awards, now in their fourth year, recognise and address the fact that there are relatively high levels of work-related stress and poor mental health within the veterinary professions. They aim to highlight positivity within the professions by sharing stories and initiatives from veterinary workplaces that are demonstrating their commitment to improving staff wellbeing.

The Awards also aim to support all practices to take a structured approach towards evaluating their own wellbeing support systems.

Liz Barton, SPVS Board Member, explains: “Going through the entry form and evaluation process is valuable for every vet practice, even if they don’t feel they’re ready to enter the Awards just yet. Sitting down as a practice team for a few hours and working through the questionnaire is a highly useful exercise for facilitating celebrating areas where your practice is doing well for wellbeing, and also highlighting some areas for improvement for years to come.”

“We recommend all practices get into the habit of going through the process annually and choosing areas to focus and improve on, to build towards better wellbeing across all areas for all staff.”

There are three award categories that practices can enter depending on the number of employees: small practice (15 or fewer full time equivalent team members (FTE)), medium practice (16 to 50 FTEs) or large practice (51 or FTEs).

The Award application form covers six key aspects of work that, if well-managed, can promote wellbeing and reduce the risk of work-related stress, and the Award judges will be looking for evidence of commitment to enhancing wellbeing for each of these.

These are:

  • Promoting physical and psychological health at work
  • Relationships at work
  • Communication at work
  • Career development
  • Workload and work scheduling
  • Work demands

Further information and examples of the type of evidence and initiatives that the Awards are looking for in each of these areas are available on the Vet Wellbeing Awards website. The Awards’ entry form can also be found on the Vet Wellbeing Awards website in addition to case studies of winners from previous years.

This year, for the first time, feedback will be provided to practices that enter on areas where they are doing well and also areas where they can improve. It is hoped that this update to the Awards process will further help practices to view wellbeing support as an area of continuous development.

Winning and Highly Commended practices will receive a dedicated logo and certificate for display. The winners in each category will also receive two registrations and banquet tickets for SPVS/VMG Congress 2020.

“The Vet Wellbeing Awards celebrate the positive initiatives that practices are running to improve wellbeing in their workplaces, as well as celebrating a strong focus on wellbeing overall. They aim to highlight practical examples of how wellbeing is integrated into the successful running of practices,” says Mind Matters Manager, Lisa Quigley.

“The importance of making a concerted effort to improve wellbeing within the veterinary professions cannot be understated and we hope that these awards motivate practices to boost their wellbeing efforts with great examples from across the UK.”

In addition to the Wellbeing Awards, the RCVS and SPVS are also running the Practice Star nominations, which are open to all veterinary practices.

These nominations aim to support practices to thank someone in their team who has gone the extra mile to make the practice a happy place to work, whether this be through introducing an initiative that makes everyone’s work life better, going out of their way to support a colleague going through a tough time, or simply making everyone smile.

The nominations are an opportunity to get together as a team, reflect on the great things that are being done together to help practice wellbeing and nominate one person who particularly deserves thanks.

There is no judging process for these nominations. To enter, practices need to send in their nominee’s name, job title and contact details, and a short paragraph explaining why they have been chosen. They will then receive a certificate congratulating them for being nominated as the practice’s very own ‘Practice Wellbeing Star’.

The closing date for both the Wellbeing Award entries and Practice Star nominations is Friday 22 November 2019.

In the lead up to the closing of nominations SPVS and MMI, in partnership with the Veterinary Management Group, are running Vet Wellbeing in Practice roadshow events. These aim to support businesses to understand the importance of looking after their teams and feature three speakers, each with their own expertise and background on wellbeing in the work place.

Tickets are still available for one of the events, on Wednesday 18 September, in Solihull, for £85. More information can be found online here.