Late last year I was surprised and very pleased to receive an unexpected email from Dr Chris Daborn, a Tanzania-based International Veterinary Consultant and member of the Commonwealth Veterinary Association (CVA) working group on continuing professional development (CPD). One role of the CVA is to deliver much-needed CPD in developing countries where there is often little or none offered by national veterinary organisations. With computer and Internet access increasingly available, there is a move to make use of eLearning materials to supplement CPD from more formal events such as conferences and workshops. My interest in eLearning lead Chris to invite me to contribute to the group, which is headed by Dr Jeff Cave, CVA councillor for Australia, and I was very pleased to accept. More information about the CVA CPD program can be found on the CVA website.
The project for 2013 is a CPD pilot program being made available in 5 countries in East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda) with a view to launching a major CPD program in 2014, hopefully in collaboration with organisations such as the OIE. Key subject areas include recent advances in veterinary medicine and surgery, veterinary governance, One Health and animal welfare, among other areas.
In preparation for the launch of the pilot program at the beginning of this year, the last 3 months of 2012 were spent developing, distributing and evaluating a needs-assessment questionnaire and assessing currently-available elearning resources. The questionnaire responses came predominantly from vets employed by government and showed that while understandably face-to-face was the preferred CPD model, there was a willingness to undertake CPD by eLearning. The most common areas of interest were veterinary governance, One Health and animal welfare.
While it is too early to assess the pilot, at the end of the first month there has been some uptake of available resources. Feedback will obviously be carefully assessed to inform the larger program planned for next year.
I had not previously been aware of the CVA CPD program and am very glad to have become involved. I haven’t made much of a contribution to this point but hope to contribute more in the future.