British Veterinary Association, BVA
British Veterinary Association is the national representative body for the veterinary profession in the UK and includes all the disciplines of the profession.
BVA has a huge array of roles and defends the interest of the profession in many different ways:
- They represent the voice of veterinary surgeons regarding animal health and welfare and communicate this to government, parliamentarians and other important stakeholders
- They represent the voice of veterinary surgeons to the general public and media
- They develop policy positions based on their members input
- They provide high quality services and products to their members
One of the ways BVA is helping YOU right now even without you realising it is through their significant role negotiating Brexit policies and how these will affect the veterinary profession. BVA has issued a Brexit report that details a series of policy recommendations to protect animal health and welfare, as well as the profession.
They have also established a series of key principles for negotiating the UK’s exit from the European Union that cover different areas, such as animal health and welfare, workforce, food hygiene and safety, veterinary medicines and research and development.
So it is highly likely that their work will have an impact on you if you are considering working in the UK!
BVA also offers other benefits to their members that might be useful to vets!
Did you know that BVA Membership Fees qualify as “professional fees” and might be paid by your employer? Make sure you ask about this on your job interview!
1. You can benefit from “young vet” discounts up until 8 years after graduation
BVA staggers the membership fee so that you won’t pay the standard membership fee until you are registered with the RCVS for 8 years. This is great because 8 years is a loooong time! You will benefit from the cheapest fees when you move to the UK, as this starts counting from your RCVS registration date. When you become a member within 8 years of your registration, you also get other useful benefits:
2. BVA provides access to prestigious veterinary journals
These are the Vet Record and In Practice, but others are also included in the membership.And there is also Vet Record Open and Vet Record Case Reports. Vet Record is a weekly peer-reviewed journal with new research and other content relevant to the profession. In Practice is produced 10 times a year and is particularly useful for those in clinical practice, as it contains a selection of clinical cases and can also be used for CPD. For more information about their journals, click here. Speaking of CPD…
3. BVA offers high quality discounted CPD – including the London Vet Show
Not only do they run CPD training courses, they also have partnerships with other CPD providers. One of them is The Webinar Vet, an online webinar provider that can be a great learning tool even for those that are working abroad. And BVA is the education partner of the London Vet Show, one of the largest CPD conferences in the UK. So BVA members can get their tickets with some nice discounts! If you join BVA within the first year of registering with the RCVS, there is an opportunity to secure a free ticket to the London Vet Show. Individuals signing up between January to October will be given more details by RCVS.
4. BVA members get access to their legal support service
This can be particularly useful for overseas-graduated vets when there is something going on that may have serious implications but they just don’t know how to deal with the situation, such as a problem with your employment contract saying you must stay for longer than you were told. The legal helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! More information about the legal services available can be found here.
5. BVA members have access to professional financial advice
BVA partner, Lloyd & Whyte offers financial products and services including a complimentary financial review. This is incredibly useful when you move to a new country where the financial side of things is likely to be very different from what you are used to! The financial advice covers not just professional areas, such as income protection (aka you badly broke a leg and can’t work for 6 months, where is the money coming from?), but also personal areas, such as pension and retirement advice.
6. BVA members have access to professional guides, client leaflets and discounts when buying professional books
Some of these resources are free and very useful, but others are restricted to members, such as the euthanasia guide. These are currently being updated so keep an eye out for new versions. BVA members also have access to client leaflets which can be very useful in daily clinical practice. And if you fancy one of those large Elsevier books that is made of two or three volumes, you also get a 25% discount! For more information, visit the BVA website.
7. There is something for the students too!
BVA offers membership students, including overseas-graduated students! The membership is affordable and provides some great resources for those interested in working in the UK in the future, as they include career advice and guidance, as well as EMS insurance (particularly useful if you want to see practice in the UK as a student). And you also get a free membership to The Webinar Vet and get tons of lectures for free!
BVA Young Vet Network (YVN)
For those that are within their first 8 years after registration with the RCVS, you access to BVA Young Vet Network. This is network of groups across the UK which run local events that are not only CPD events, but also social events where you can meet other young vets. The events are usually free to attend (although sometimes you have to pay a small fee to cover the cost of your food and drinks). And they allow you to connect with other vets, some of them will be overseas graduated vets too, so you have lots of people to talk to!
How much does it cost?
BVA membership fees depends on whether you’re a student, or a newly qualified vet, or have been practising for more than 8 years. The more newly qualified you are, the cheaper the fees! The lowest fee is for students and sits at £44.00 per year*. Then for members the price varies from £107/year to £321/year (for vets that are graduated for more than 8 years). But this value can also be split monthly, bringing the costs down. Not to mention the fact that many employers will pay for the BVA membership fees – make sure you check this with yours! You can find more information about the fees and how to become a member on the BVA website.
*Prices correct as of 4 September 2018.