Apprenticeships at PDSA

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What is an apprenticeship?

At PDSA we offer both veterinary care and veterinary nurse apprenticeships in PDSA Pet Hospitals.

Our Veterinary Apprenticeship programme will both stretch and support you, to help you achieve your unique potential and place you on a successful career path. As a PDSA apprentice, you’ll receive structured learning both for the specific role and for the organisation. You will have support and guidance from technical experts, mentors and others in our Apprentice programme network.

As a PDSA Veterinary Apprentice, you can develop your experience and skills in small animal practice.

Apprentice Veterinary Care Assistants

As an Apprentice Veterinary Care Assistant (AVCA) you will provide a high standard of customer service and clinical care – and you’ll promote pet wellbeing. You will support our clinical team to deliver preventive services and treat the sick and injured pets of eligible clients.

You’ll be part of the team that supports the PDSA Pet Hospital team of Veterinary Nurses and Veterinary Surgeons. You will also take care of the wellbeing of pets by maintaining a clean and hygienic environment at all times, assisting with animal handling, working at reception and encouraging financial contributions from clients.

Help and support will always be available as you’ll be part of a large, experienced team.

This role is an excellent starting point if you want a career within a veterinary practice.

Our programme

The Apprentice Veterinary Care Assistant role combines workplace experience with a formal qualification.This Level 2 intermediate apprenticeship takes 12 to 18 months to complete and consists of the following:

  • The Level 2 diploma in Veterinary Care Assistant
  • Personal learning  and thinking skills
  • Employee rights and responsibilities.

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What we look for

This role does not require you to possess any previous qualifications*.

You will be asked to complete a basis skills assessment – achieving the equivalent of Level 1 equivalent in both English and Maths – in order to progress your application.

Other qualifications or experience are not needed, but are desirable and give you with a good foundation for this role. These include:

  • Voluntary experience within the animal care industry
  • Previous or current work experience within the industry
  • Level 1 Diploma
  • Animal care
  • Work-based animal care
  • Practical small animal skills
  • Units taken as part of foundation learning GCSEs/A levels

* Previous qualifications are not required. But any qualifications you do have will determine whether you follow the Apprentice Veterinary Care Assistant or Student Veterinary Care Assistant framework. More information can be found on the College of Animal Welfare Website.

Apprentice Veterinary Nurses

As an Apprentice Veterinary Nurse (AVN) you will provide a high standard of customer service and clinical care and you’ll promote pet wellbeing. You will also support our Veterinary Surgeons to deliver preventive services and treat the sick and injured pets of eligible clients.

You’ll be part of a team that supports in theatre, provides inpatient care and supports consultations, admissions and discharges. You will also help dispense medication, encourage financial contributions from clients and maintain the hygiene and cleanliness of the PDSA Pet Hospital and equipment.

Our Programme

The Apprentice Veterinary Nurse role combines workplace experience with a formal qualification.

This Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Veterinary Nursing takes two years to complete and consists of the following:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Small Animal Pathway)
  • Functional Skills Maths Level 2
  • Functional Skills English Level 2
  • Completion of the Lantra Employment Rights and Responsibilities Workbook – Veterinary Nursing

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What we look for

In order to start the PDSA Apprenticeship programme you must:

  • Be eligible to enrol with the RCVS as a student veterinary nurse.
  • You will possess a minimum of:
    • Either 5 GCSEs at Grade C or above including English Language, Maths and a Science subject.
    • Or the Level 2 diploma in Veterinary Care Assistant along with GCSEs at Grade C or above in English Language and Maths (or equivalent).