Dear Reader

Regular readers will notice that this is the first time that I have written an editorial for the VNJ since becoming joint executive editor in October last year, and as such I feel I should introduce myself. I have been on BVNA Council since 2007 and became an officer in 2009. In addition to my joint executive editor role, I am chair of the Education Committee, which ties in with my job as Lead Internal Verifier of the Wanstead Veterinary Hospital VNAC, which is part of the Goddard Veterinary Group. I am very fortunate to be able to share the executive editor role with Sue Badger, our junior vice-president, for another six months before Sue becomes president in October 2010.

This month we are publishing an article written by Rachel Moxon entitled ‘Managing husbandry to increase puppy survival rates’, which gives detailed information drawn from research carried out by Guide Dogs – one of a number of Guide Dogs studies which will be featured in the VNJ this year.

Elsewhere in the journal, there are articles on human resource requirements – from Maggie Shilcock on how to run successful appraisals, and Nicky Ackerley on managing retirement. There is also help on hand for any budding practice managers amongst you from Alan Robinson. He provides information on managing staff and has hints and tips on subjects such as planning, problem solving and running meetings. Judith Perry discusses a subject close to my heart in her article on the principles of Internal Verification, which demystifies the role of quality assurance within the current NVQ award.

As we enter the first month of spring we can put the dark, cold days of winter behind us for another year and can look forward to more hours of daylight each day, and to milder weather. March is a month of new beginnings in nature and for the BVNA Council, as it is time for nominations to be sent in for new Council members.

As I look back on my time as a member of BVNA Council, I am grateful for the opportunities that I and the other Council members have had to represent BVNA members and our profession. I certainly would not have attended Awarding Body Board meetings at the RCVS, been involved in setting up the CPD Partners scheme or be writing an editorial at this moment if I had not been elected to BVNA Council!

Louisa Baker gives an insight into her views on being a BVNA Council member in her profile, and I would urge any member who feels that they can contribute to the work of the Council to ensure that their nomination form (which can be found on pages 11 and 12) reaches the BVNA office in good time – this is your chance to have an input to the BVNA and to make a difference.


Helen Field  CertEd RVN Executive Editor

• VOL 25 • No3 • March 2010 • Veterinary Nursing Journal