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Harvey Locke, a former BVA President, chairs the BVA's CPD Group whose remit is to develop the BVA's CPD programme nationally. He was a founding partner of a small animal hospital practice in Cheshire, from which he recently retired.
What made you take on chairing the CPD Group?
After three busy years on the BVA officer team and being recently retired from practice, perhaps the powers that be in the BVA felt that I should not find myself at a loose end! I was invited to take on the role of chairman of this new group for its first year. It was not a difficult decision to make; in fact, I was honoured and excited by the invitation. I have had plenty of practice at chairing meetings over the past few years and also gained a significant level of experience in the planning of CPD courses from my time on the BSAVA's congress committee, so I felt comfortable taking on this new role.
What is the group's role?
Over the past couple of years, the BVA has run a pilot CPD programme at its headquarters in Mansfield Street. These courses proved popular and the BVA Board decided that CPD should be developed as a members' service, with courses being run on a national basis. The group was initially set up to plan two full-day farm and equine streams at London Vet Show (LVS) this November, and also to plan the programme for the BVA Careers Fair, following its successful launch at LVS last year. Once we had completed these tasks we set about planning the BVA's CPD programme for 2014.
Who's on the team?
Nominations were invited from vets and the good response meant that it was a difficult task to pick the six members needed. It was important that the team had experience of CPD provision and that our balance of skills represented the main species that the courses would cover.
What do the members do?
The members of the group come from a variety of backgrounds. Four are in practice with their special interests covering equine, farm animal, camelids, exotic animals and antimicrobial and anthelmintic resistance. Our small animal member is a lecturer in oncology at Glasgow vet school and another member works for a welfare organisation and is in charge of its CPD programme.
How long do you serve on the group?
The initial appointment is for one year, but I really hope that the team stays together for a second year as we are working well and everyone on the group is enthusiastic and making an excellent contribution.
How are you getting on with planning for 2014?
The first thing we needed to do was to find out what our members wanted by way of CPD provision, so we commissioned a members' survey and had an excellent response, with over 1600 replies. This has given us the information that we needed on course subjects, the location and the cost; they are all important considerations. We are now putting together the detail of the 35 clinical and non-clinical courses planned for next year; the programme will be finalised at the end of the summer.
What do enjoy about this role?
I am enjoying working with a new group of vets who are so enthusiastic about our mission – all of the meetings we have held have been productive.
I also relish the challenge of the BVA getting involved in the competitive CPD market and being recognised for putting on high-quality and relevant courses for practitioners at an affordable price.
Do you miss practice?
At times I do but, in reality, I am so busy with the BVA I have not had time to reflect on leaving practice, which is probably a good thing. Having started my practice in 1976 and seen it grow to the 24-vet, seven-centre group that it is today has been hugely rewarding, but I have left a great team there, so I have every confidence that the practice will continue to go from strength to strength.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
The one that sticks in my mind occurred even before I qualified. It was the first day of EMS at a local mixed practice and, as I entered the pig house with the vet and farmer, I stepped on the edge of a manhole cover for the slurry pit, which gave way. The next thing I was standing up to my waist in you know what! The vet took me back to his house for a shower and the loan of a change of clothes. Not a good start to an EMS placement!
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