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Beyond competence: Why we should talk about employability in veterinary education

Bell, M.A., Cake, M.A.ORCID: 0000-0002-0072-9024 and Mansfield, C.F. (2018) Beyond competence: Why we should talk about employability in veterinary education. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 45 (1). pp. 27-37.

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The purpose of this article is to explore employability as a complement to competency in defining the overarching objectives of veterinary education. Although the working usage of the term competency has evolved and stretched in recent years, and contemporary competence frameworks have expanded to better reflect the range of capabilities required of a veterinary professional, the potential remains for the dominance of competency-led discourse to obscure the aim of producing not only competent but also successful and satisfied veterinarians. Expanding the educational mission to include employability may provide this broader focus, by stretching the end point, scope, and scale of veterinary education into the crucial transition-to-practice period, and beyond. In this article we review available evidence from multiple stakeholder perspectives and argue that employability expands the focus beyond servicing the needs of the public to better integrate and balance the needs of all the stakeholders in veterinary education, including the graduates themselves. By refocusing the goal of veterinary education to include the richer end point of success, turning the attention to employability could enhance current attribute frameworks and result in veterinarians who not only better meet the needs of those they serve but are also better prepared to experience fulfilling and satisfying careers. Finally, we suggest one educational approach may be to conceptualize competency, professionalism, and employability as overlapping dimensions of the successful veterinary professional.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
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