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Barriers and motivators towards a national final year assessment in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland for veterinary undergraduates
  1. Fay Pooley BVMedSci BVM BVS MRCVS1 and
  2. Wendela Wapenaar DVM, PhD, Diplomate ABVP (Dairy Practice), SFHEA, NVS, MRCVS2
  1. 1Scarsdale Veterinary Group, Derby, UK
  2. 2School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  1. E-mail for correspondence; wendela.wapenaar{at}


In the final year of the course schools assess students to ensure a minimum level of knowledge and skills is achieved before graduation as a veterinary surgeon. Across the universities, different styles and combinations of assessments are used. A national assessment could provide a solution to maintain quality and potential employability of veterinary surgeons. The aim of this study was to identify barriers and motivators of veterinary educators from all veterinary schools in the UK and the Republic of Ireland towards a national assessment. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 16 academic staff members. Mixed opinions were expressed and many barriers as well as motivators were voiced. Four main themes were: harmonisation and benchmarking, confidence in quality, practical feasibility and stakeholder perspectives. The study identified a positive attitude towards a national assessment, particularly around improved quality and standards. However, the practical feasibility was perceived as a significant barrier for implementation. Before making changes to current assessments it is important to further research the barriers identified to confirm representativeness and to acquire evidence to accept or refute the perceived limitations.

  • veterinary profession
  • education
  • assessment
  • barriers
  • motivators
  • interview
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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham (reference number 950130913).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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