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Report sets out options for student EMS
“We are aware of the challenges that EMS places on students and providers and understand that, for many students, the placements can impact them financially" - Linda Prescott-Clements, RCVS.

Action plans will be presented later this month.
A report outlining options for the future implementation of student extra-mural studies (EMS) has been issued by the RCVS.

The document, available on the RCVS website, summarises discussions held at an RCVS stakeholder day in November, attended by practising vets, students, new graduates, vet schools and membership organisations.

Delegates at the 'Future of EMS' event considered the benefits and challenges around implementing EMS – particularly long-term sustainability - and worked in small groups to discuss the following three models

  • enhanced learning outcomes focused EMS placements that could reduce the number of weeks of EMS needed
  • additional structured placements co-ordinated by the school, further to intramural rotations, focusing on consolidating skills learned in the programme
  • initiatives to increase the availability of EMS placements and the number of workplaces offering EMS.

Outcomes from the day will be written up into viable proposals, with action plans presented to the RCVS Education Committee later this month.

The coronavirus pandemic had a profound impact on EMS, with the number of mandatory hours temporarily lowered and several modalities of EMS altered. Despite this, the stakeholder day revealed that students often find placements to be a valuable element of their studies.

In recent years, stakeholders have identified several challenges with the implementation of EMS placements, including the consistency of the quality of the experience for students, the availability and cost of placements and instances of discrimination faced by students.

Dr Linda Prescott-Clements, RCVS director of education, said: “We are aware of the challenges that EMS places on students and providers and understand that, for many students, the placements can impact them financially. As well as addressing these issues, we also want to make sure that the implementation of EMS is sustainable in the longer term and continues to provide valuable experience for students.

"The EMS stakeholder event was an opportunity for people from across the veterinary professions to come together to discuss the benefits and issues with the current systems and put forward suggestions for what future models of EMS could look like."

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World Bee Day celebrations begin

News Story 1
 Today (20 May) marks the fifth annual World Bee Day, which raises awareness of the importance of bees and pollinators to people and the planet. Observed on the anniversary of pioneering Slovenian beekeeper Anton Jana's birthday, this year's celebration is themed: 'Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems'.

Organisations and people celebrating the day will raise awareness of the accelerated decline in pollinator diversity, and highlight the importance of sustainable beekeeping systems and a wide variety of bees. Slovenia, the initiator of World Bee Day, will be focusing on teaching young people about the significance of pollinators. 

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Further avian flu cases confirmed

Three cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 have been confirmed in recent days, bringing the total number of cases in England to 98.

On Thursday, the APHA confirmed two cases of HPAI H5N1 near Redgrave, Mid Suffolk and Market Weston, West Suffolk. A case H5N1 was also confirmed in poultry at a premises near Southwell, Newark and Sherwood, Nottinghamshire.

Protection and surveillance zones are in place around the affected premises. Further details are available at