Education in the Time of COVID19 – a Perspective from Improve International Australia.

This year has seen a seismic shift in the world, as a result of the global impacts of COVID19. The post-graduate veterinary education sector has been no exception to this. The changes and challenges, whilst uncomfortable, are providing exciting transitions and solutions and leading to more flexible and interactive education options.  

At Improve International, the traditional education focus has included a core of theory-based veterinary programs, with reinforcement in hands-on workshops and the attainment of practical skills. The restriction on face to face workshops and travel, for much of 2020, have seen a new emphasis on the development of education options that capitalise on the opportunities with the digital space. 

New distance learning programs, purpose-built for dynamic online learning and engagement, are in the spotlight for 2021.  

The Improve Feline Practice Distance Learning Program will open globally in April 2021. This new, 16 module program, is accredited for the General Practitioner Certificate in Feline Practice, by the International School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies. It follows the initial GPCert accredited Small Animal Medicine Distance Learning (DL) Program, which has been undertaken by vets worldwide.  

Improve will also launch the successful AES Accelerated Emergency Program, in a new completely online format, with ISVPS accreditation in early 2021.  

Cardiology DL and Small Animal Surgery DL are currently in development, also for release next year to build into the online program offerings.  

In an exciting and much-anticipated collaboration, Improve’s first homegrown vet nurse and tech offering will also come to market in early 2021. This foundation Emergency Nursing Program, again developed with Animal Emergency Service, makes the best use of the online format and includes live webinars and an interactive learning platform to maximise engagement between tutors and delegates. This innovative foundation program will be followed up with additional advanced emergency nurse programs during 2021/22.  

For Improve International, this time of COVID has been one of re-evaluation and reimagination of tried and trusted formats. It has pushed the industry to invent more innovative and exciting ways of delivering education and ultimately, the veterinary profession will hopefully reap the benefit of these opportunities. Bring on 2021! 

Dr Carmel Griffin BVSc GCEd CSAM MACVS 

Director of Operations 

Improve International Australia 

Vet Education & Training Pty Ltd.  

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