Guidelines of the Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria
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Guideline 8 - Veterinary practitioner and veterinary team wellbeing

This guideline outlines the appropriate standard expected of a registered veterinary practitioner in the course of veterinary practice. It should be read in conjunction with other related guidelines.

Context to Guideline 8: Veterinary practitioner and veterinary team wellbeing

The physical and mental wellbeing of veterinary practitioners and of the surrounding veterinary team impacts each individual’s ability to manage the demands of the profession and workplace, their personal circumstances and the way they interact with owners and animals in the delivery of veterinary services.

Physical and mental wellbeing is supported by self-awareness, ongoing monitoring of personal health and undertaking self-guided steps to achieve a sustainable integration of work and non-work life.

A veterinary practitioner may choose to develop a self-care plan that is customised to their particular circumstances and work practices. A number of organisations have resources for individuals to assess the state of their physical and mental well-being which are available to veterinary practitioners.

A veterinary practitioner’s personal strategies to maintain wellbeing are supported by appropriate workplace leadership and management practices. Development, promotion and modelling by workplace leadership of strategies, systems and processes, policies and behaviours that support the physical and mental wellbeing of all members are encouraged. A physically and emotionally safe workplace, and opportunities for professional connection, conversation and considered feedback, support personal and professional growth.

Professional conduct under this guideline is demonstrated by the following:
8.1 A veterinary practitioner takes reasonable steps to ensure their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing does not compromise their professional judgement and ability to deliver veterinary services at the standard expected by the public and their peers.
8.2 A veterinary practitioner collaborates in maintaining the wellbeing of their veterinary team, by acknowledging the demands of the work environment, demonstrating care and respect for team members, and encouraging colleagues to seek support where appropriate.

Related guidelines

Date of publication
In effect from 1 May 2021.

This material is current only at the time of publication and may be changed from time to time. The Board reviews and updates the Guidelines on a continuous basis to reflect changes in the science and knowledge base underpinning contemporary veterinary practice. The Board will take reasonable steps to inform the veterinary profession when such updates are released but it remains the responsibility of the individual veterinary practitioner to ensure that their knowledge and application of these Guidelines to their own practice is current.

While the Board has made every effort to ensure that the material in these Guidelines is correct in law, it shall not be liable to any veterinary practitioner or any other person or entity in relation to any claim, action or proceeding whatsoever (whether in contract, negligence or other tort or in proceedings seeking any other form of legal or equitable remedy or relief) for any inadequacy, error or mistake, or for any deficiency in the whole or any part of this document (including any updates incorporated in the document from time to time). A veterinary practitioner or any other person or entity acting upon the contents of this document acknowledges and accepts that this is the basis upon which the Board has produced these Guidelines and made them available to such person or entity.