Professional skills for veterinary teams

VetScholar (NZVA's online learning platform)
Professional Skills

This course outlines theoretical and practical strategies for improving veterinary professional competencies essential for practice success and team and individual wellness. The course firstly introduces the concept Relationship Centred Care (RCC) as a theoretical foundation for building good quality work relationships with colleagues, staff, clients, patients and with self. Then the rest of the topics outlines practical strategies to improve each of these relationships. Specifically, there is advice on how to identify and build a highly effective team and work culture. How to communicate better with clients. How to resolve conflict in the workplace and how to improve individual wellbeing and resilience.


  1. Relationship centred care: Promoting practice wellness
  2. Veterinary team wellness 
  3. Appreciate Inquiry: improving practice efficiencies and team building 
  4. Communication skills that build relationships with clients 
  5. Conflict management to sustain workplace wellness 
  6. Promoting individual wellbeing and resilience


This self-directed online course include recorded presentations and practical strategies to work through. To improve the likelihood of implementation this course is best completed alongside colleagues.

Learning objectives

  • Increased understanding of the principles of Relationship Centred Care and explain how these principles can be used in the veterinary context to improve practice wellness, productivity and promote positive relationships with clients, veterinary staff and individuals. 
  • Improved knowledge of the key features of a highly effective (and toxic) veterinary team and learn how to monitor and measure team effectiveness with the goal of improving and maintaining team wellness. 
  • Increased confidence in the ability to identify when a workplace conflict requires attention and learn techniques to be able to use the conflict resolution method to address the conflict respectfully and effectively.  
  • Learn new techniques to implement team building practical strategies such as appreciative enquiry and “learning from failures” to improve self-awareness, team wellness, effectiveness and ultimately resilience and practice productivity  
  • Improve new skills in how to measure, monitor and improve individual psychological well being and resilience thereby reducing the likelihood of excessive stress, burnout, compassion fatigue and job dissatisfaction.


Michael Meehan BVSc BSc(hons) PhD: Following graduation from the University of Queensland (UQ) in 1991 Michael practiced as a companion animal veterinarian for 10 years in Sydney, Brisbane and the United Kingdom (UK) He returned from the UK in early 2001 to complete an Honours degree in Psychology and then a PhD about training veterinarians in communication and consultation skills and the human-animal bond. During this time he continued to practice as a veterinarian and was employed as a lecturer at UQ, developing curriculum and teaching veterinary students about professional competencies (communication skills, conflict resolution, team building, human-animal bond, euthanasia and managing client grief, improving mental health and well-being). In 2011 he travelled to Canada for a tenure track position at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) University of Guelph) researching and teaching into their Art of Veterinary Medicine program and training students at their Primary Healthcare Centre. He returned “down under” and “across the ditch” in 2015 and returned to veterinary practice. He continues to research and train veterinarians in professional skills, holding an adjunct position at Massey University and working with NZVA and other professional bodies.


VCNZ recommended area of competence for well-rounded development: critical reasoning and professional identity


NZVA member: free as part of your NZVA member subscription | Non-member: $400 NZ dollars (includes 15% GST).


NZVA member: membership includes access to the course here. If your access needs updating, please register for the course (for free) and your course status will be updated.

Non-member: will be emailed their access within 3 working days.


Rebecca Jones | 04 831 1385 |