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International multi‐stakeholder consensus for the capabilities most important to employability in the veterinary profession

Bell, M.A., Cake, M.ORCID: 0000-0002-0072-9024 and Mansfield, C.F. (2021) International multi‐stakeholder consensus for the capabilities most important to employability in the veterinary profession. Veterinary Record, 188 (5). e20.

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Employability has been defined within the veterinary context as a set of personal and professional capabilities that enable a veterinarian to gain employment, contribute meaningfully to the profession, and develop a career pathway that achieves satisfaction and success. This study explicitly addressed the construct of veterinary employability by exploring the perceptions of multiple stakeholders (recent graduates, employee veterinarians, veterinarian and non‐veterinarian employers, para‐veterinary staff, academics and policy makers).


A four‐part online survey was distributed internationally via various agencies. Free‐text responses, ratings of capabilities and rankings of categories were analysed.


The congruence of stakeholder responses was notable, regardless of age and geographical location, with minor differences noted in academics’ and para‐veterinary staff responses, and gender. The most important capabilities were honesty, ethical behaviour, communicating effectively and collaboratively with clients, knowing when to ask for help, and the willingness to learn. The categories of communication and teamwork ranked highest.


This study adds granularity to the existing evidence for the importance of communication and teamwork. The relationship between the veterinarian (self) and their work, enabled by engagement, meaning and purpose, and respect for their profession was a key finding, and illustrative of how to achieve personal satisfaction and well‐being within the profession.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Veterinary Medicine
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2021 British Veterinary Association
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