Veterinary schools in the UK are required by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to ensure that their students have attained essential ‘Day one’ skills (DOS) by graduation. To aid students' understanding of how they could satisfy this requirement, the Royal Veterinary College produced a DOS guide, which was distributed in the 2007 to 2008 academic year to students in the third and fourth years of the professional veterinary course. The same students were surveyed towards the end of the 2008 to 2009 session about the guide, when they were in the fourth and final years, to rate its usefulness and to indicate their perceived levels of competence, both currently and expected at graduation. Focus group discussions were subsequently conducted to explore the findings of the survey. Responses from 88 fourth-year (39 per cent) and 174 (87 per cent) final-year students revealed that while almost all respondents were aware of the DOS guide, their use of it was low. Final-year students rated themselves as being more competent than fourth-year students, but were less optimistic about their expected level of competence regarding several invasive procedures, which some students considered to be ‘unattainable’ by graduation, despite the apparent value of extramural studies and intramural rotations in providing opportunities for learning.
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Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed