• Membership Benefits, VPMA
  • Membership Benefits, VPMA
  • Membership Benefits, VPMA
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  • Petplan Veterinary Awards Practice Manager of the Year Winner 2017 - Anne Corson

    Petplan Practice Manager of the Year Winner, Anne Corson from Pennard Vets in Tonbridge, Kent demonstrates the type of work she carries out in a normal working day. Watch the Video.


    Renay Rickard, VPMA president, armed new managers with a suite of tools to help conduct appraisals with a range of practice team members during her ‘New to Management’ webinar

    Conducting appraisals causes many new managers to pale at the thought, but VPMA’s president, Renay Rickard, put minds at rest with a straightforward guide to the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ of staff appraisals, during VPMA’s second New to Management webinar held on March 15.

    The message was clear from the beginning: make appraisals in your practice a positive experience and something that members of the team actually look forward to instead of dread!

    “In the early days, when I first started to do appraisals in my practice, it was viewed as an annual telling off! We want it to be a positive experience all round. We now have people coming to me and asking when their next appraisal is – that’s when you know you’re doing something right,” said Renay.

    It’s important to make your team member feel at ease and special – this is time invested in them in a busy practice where time is pressured and not everyone always gets listened to, continued Renay. “It’s important to commit to a time you’ve set – I’ll allow a time to be cancelled once but the appraisal has to go ahead the next time. It’s a big deal for the person being appraised so make sure they feel important and that your meeting is held somewhere private and uninterrupted,” she added.

    Being clear about the purpose of the appraisal and giving the reasons why you’re holding one is important for clarity and consistency among staff. Key to this, said Renay, was having a structure and procedure in place, including making your key performance criteria available to everyone – publishing them in the staff handbook in Renay’s practice.  


    Polls carried out during the webinar showed an interesting split between delegates in their concerns over conducting appraisals. When asked “What is your biggest challenge regarding appraisals?” the responses were as follows:

    33%  “Unsure how to keep emotion out of it”

    27%  “Worried about confrontation issues”

    22%  “Not having a formal process in place”

    16%  “Don’t have enough objective info”

    2%   “The team members are senior to me or at practice longer”

    When asked whether their practice had an appraisal process in place, the results showed almost one-third did not.

    62% Had a process in place

    31% Did not have a process in place

    8 % Were not sure

    The message from Renay for practices without an established appraisals process was to not be intimidated by the prospect and start one yourself. She said: “If your practice doesn’t have a review process, do start one in an informal way and do it yourself if you’re heading up a small team. Ensure that the person who does take on this task has the authority to make changes or raise issues with the bosses – there’s nothing more frustrating for staff than being promised a chat and airing their views only for it not to go any further.”

    Renay shared her protocol for appraisals, which will be distributed on the accompanying slides to webinar delegates. You may still sign up now to this and other webinars in the series; visit

    The next webinar in the series is entitled
    Difficult Team Members and Disciplinary Processes and will be delivered by Simone Taylor from Citation on April 12 at 8pm. This webinar will look at how to handle difficult team scenarios and what might be expected of you in managing a disciplinary process.

    To sign up or for more information email
    secretariat@vpma.co.uk or visit http://events-by-vpma.co.uk/

  • RCVS Strategic Plan 2017/19

    Leadership, innovation and culture change focus for three-year strategic plan

    The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has published its Strategic Plan for 2017 to 2019, with a focus on developing leadership within the veterinary professions, encouraging innovation, and further extending a learning culture as a counter to the ‘blame’ culture that exists in some parts of the profession.

    The Strategic Plan was developed throughout the course of 2016 with input from a number of stakeholders including RCVS Council and Veterinary Nurses Council, key committees and College staff. Most importantly, the evidence for change came from the wide and deep consultations that took place within Vet Futures, the joint RCVS and British Veterinary Association project that aims to help the veterinary profession prepare for and shape its future.

    This process led to the development of five key ambitions for the next three years:

    • Learning culture: to establish the extent to which a ‘blame’ culture exists in the veterinary professions, the role that the RCVS may play in it, the impact it may have on the welfare of vets, veterinary nurses, owners and their animals, and how we can move towards a culture that has a greater focus on learning and personal development.

    • Leadership and innovation: to become a Royal College with leadership and innovation at its heart, and support this creatively and with determination.

    • Continuing to be a First-rate Regulator: continuing to build on the foundations that have already been laid, we will work to ensure that the legislation and regulations that support us are not only fit for purpose today, but enable us to make the UK veterinary professions, and those allied professionals who work alongside them, the best that they can be into the future.

    • Global reach: in part a response to Brexit and the need to be more externally-facing but with an emphasis to improve animal health and welfare on an international basis by raising veterinary standards overseas, contributing to the One Health agenda and ensuring that our regulation keeps pace in a global market.

    • Our service agenda: to continue to build on our service agenda to ensure that people not only find interactions with us to be efficient and fair, but seek out and take up opportunities to engage further.

    Nick Stace, RCVS CEO, said: “The hallmark of our 2014 to 2016 Strategic Plan was getting the basics right by clarifying our identity, improving our core functions, setting out our service agenda and strengthening our foundations. The plan gave us a firm foundation to build upon and improved levels of confidence in the College from stakeholders which has allowed us to be more ambitious and outward-looking with this new plan.

    “Within the new plan there are challenging ambitions and stretching objectives that address some of the big issues affecting the veterinary team, whether that’s playing a more global role post-Brexit, the importance of embracing new technology, or the pressing need to consider culture change within the profession to ensure it continues to grow and learn.

    “I would ask each member of the profession to take a look at the Strategic Plan and I am very happy to receive comments and feedback on the plan by email at nick@rcvs.org.uk.”

    To download the Strategic Plan please visit www.rcvs.org.uk/publications

  • VPMA / SPVS Congress 2017

    Join us at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport from the 26th to 28th January 2017.

    From behaviour economics to the ultimate front of house experience; resilience to understanding mindsets; practical H&S to managing social media, with speakers from home and abroad; within and outside the profession - you don't want to miss this event.

    Incorporating the New to Management Stream: whether you're a head nurse, a lead vet in a clinical role, an administrator or client care team leader, you probably have some management elements to your job; or are you moving into management but finding it a bit daunting?  This stream is pitched at introductory level.

    For full details about Congress, click here.


Membership Benefits

As a member of the VPMA you will receive a quarterly copy of our 'Practice Life' Journal and be eligible to register for our series of Webinars, in addition to which are networking opportunities, including our active VPMA Egroup.  As a member you are entitled to event discount at our regular Regional Meetings and the programme of SPVS/VPMA CPD.  Members are also eligible for discounts and preferential rates from a range of affiliated service providers, details of which are below:

 easy direct debits

Easy Direct Debits is a fast, flexible, fuss-free payment collection platform and the ONLY one designed specifically for vets. It’s paper-free and online, so new member additions, changes and reporting are instant. There are no fee’s for clients, no fee’s for the practice, set-up and training is lightning-fast, and switching is FREE.

Working with our sister company Vet Success, we are offering VPMA members who switch to the service THREE MONTHS FREE marketing consultancy (worth £2,991 plus VAT) to rapidly grow your preventative healthcare scheme membership. We will devise a bespoke rapid-growth marketing programme for you using proven, hands-free methods. All you pay for during this time is the cost of materials with no obligation to continue.

Call 01202 833 139 or go to
to find out more a book a
quick online demo.

carefree credit logo

Carefree Credit provide fast, online payment options to help your clients pay for treatment. This is great for practice cashflow and can help in the prevention of the discounting of bills and also future debt issues. There is no need for FCA authorisation and full CPD verifiable training is provided.

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Merlin Telecommunications - Veterinary Communications Specialists

Your customer is the most important person in your business and wants to know that your Practice will answer their call quickly, especially if they have an animal in distress.

Do you know how many calls your practice miss every day?  Is your receptionist busy dealing with customers and their pets on the front desk and simply cannot pick up the phone?

We have been working with Veterinary practices all over the UK, (and nominated a preferred supplier by VPMA) so we really understand how to help you get the best out of your telephone system in order to keep your clients happy.

We can provide you with the ability to improve your profit margins by minimising the impact of lost business and save you money on your current phone bills too!

Combining incredible support and service and a whole range of other benefits.  Merlin are happy to carry out a free Practice Audit for you now.  Call us on 08008778810.

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Merlin Telecom will also help the VPMA to raise additional funds for veterinary charities through their opt-in scheme for customers.  The more practices are involved the more is raised.

click here to see how your Practice could benefit.

benchmark travel logo

VPMA Travel Club

Discount rates on trips and holidays. Special deals for VPMA members, never seen by the public. Run by Benchmark Travel, organisers of Snowscene and Sri Lanka trips for SPVS.

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iplearning logo 2 march 2013

Learning is one of the keys to success.  I’ve been helping managers develop their leadership skills at Blue Cross for some years and I can now offer a range of discounted learning events to help your teams and business succeed.

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 hmca colour logo

The Veterinary Practice Management Association has negotiated with HMCA to offer discounted rates for medical plans, dental plan, hospital cash plans, personal accident plan, travel plan, life cover, income protection and vehicle breakdown products.

Are you paying too much for your present private medical plan? Why not take a look at the HMCA plans and compare the benefits and subscriptions offered? You may transfer to HMCA at any age and without a medical examination; there will be no break in protection and there is a 30 day money-back guarantee.

HMCA only offer medical plans to membership groups and can offer up to a 40% discount off the underwriter’s standard rates. This is a comprehensive plan which provides generous cash benefits for surgery and other charges

Who are HMCA? - HMCA has specialised in providing benefits and services to associations and professional groups since the 1970s. HMCA is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

For further information and quotations contact HMCA by telephone on 01423 799949

Or visit the exclusive HMCA Veterinary Practise Management Association website here:


 xact logo

The Xact Group are pleased to make available to VPMA members their complete range of Veterinary sector specific services. The range of services includes Health & Safety, Human Resources and Employment Law Best Practice and Compliance Products including their new online service, Business Assist.

Xact have developed a range of e-learning health & safety courses specific to the Veterinary sector. A key feature of their E-Learning modules is that (unlike most other training products) they have designed software which allows the employee to “pick up and lay down” so that there is no need for the employee to complete the whole course in one session. All of the lessons contained within the courses have separate assessments leading to final certification and count towards annual CPD training hours.

Members of the VPMA receive a discount from Xact’s published prices of 30% for the online service and employee training service.  A 20% discount is available on prices for their full support services.

To view full details of the service offerings click on

More Information 

elsevier logo

Enjoy 20% discount off books and e-books from elsevierhealth.co.uk using the discount link. 

Alternatively you can order direct through our contact Shawna King for a 25% discount.  Just choose your book from the Elsevier website, make a note of the title and/or the ISBN no of the books and then email or phone Shawna King direct using  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 01425 462736

Elsevier is the largest publisher in veterinary medicine, publishing a wide range of books and journals in veterinary medicine and animal and veterinary science.  Take a look online at some of the highlights!

VPMA Discount
 bsava manual BSAVA are pleased to announce that they have arranged for VPMA members to order Practice Management and Development at a special £30 off discounted rate. 

Please use the special order form to purchase your copy available in the members only section.
VPMA Discount
 cpd collogorgb CPD Solutions are pleased to announce that they are happy to offer a preferential rate to VPMA members for the Pet Health Videos. 

The videos are designed to increase engagement with existing and potential clients, and help veterinary practice to stand out from the competition.
More information

full power utilities - white-blue on black - pens

Full Power Utilities, one of the first gas and electricity brokers established in the UK, can help you save money on your commercial energy costs.

Juliette Stone is Full Power Utilities Ltd’s Senior Broker and personally deals with all VPMA members. Full Power’s service is whole-of-market (all 26 suppliers), UK-wide and with no fee charged to the member, because the supplier pays Full Power a commission.  Each supplier pays much the same, allowing Full Power to be impartial.   We act for all types of commercial premises such as factories, warehouses and restaurants.  Clients include Dominos Pizza, Costa Coffee, BMW and of course 284 veterinary practices.

Please remember that every time a VPMA member asks FPU to seek out and organise their contracts, Full Power gives 25% of their income on that contract to the VPMA to use to advance memberships and member benefits.

Go to www.fullpowerutilities.com or call 020 8952 0125 or Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Payroll Options offers an efficient, cost effective and helpful payroll bureau service.  Outsourcing payroll can offer a practice a reliable and consistent method of paying their staff, as well as saving time and unloading much of the pain.  To discuss a more helpful way of processing the payroll, or simplified pension administration, contact Payroll Options.

Payroll Options are offering a 15% discount on the cost of their services for VPMA members.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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 virtual recall

Virtual Recall offer iRecall, an automated SMS and email client communication primarily aimed at reminding clients to purchase flea and worm products and book their booster vaccinations, ideal for practices running healthy pet clubs.

Virtual Recall offer a discounted service to VPMA Members.

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The services of Health Assured (www.healthassured.co.uk) are now available to all VPMA members and their immediate families. They offer advice on health, stress at home or work, financial problems including debt, family & relationship matters and legal & consumer issues. This confidential service is accessed by calling freephone 0800 0474097 available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Please quote VPMA Member when calling. Face to face counselling, cognitive behaviouraltherapy and serious illness & accident support are also included for those in need.

Wellness Portal
 vet dynamics

Vet Dynamics (UK) Ltd – www.vetdynamics.co.uk

Helping independent veterinary practice owners and managers throughout the UK and Ireland to better understand their businesses and teams and build a stable future.

Vet Dynamics are offering VPMA members a generous 25% discount on a Practice Performance Review to help you understand where you are now, look towards the future and turn your personal practice data into decisions.

Click here for more information.