Aims & Objectives

What We Do | Organisation | Objectives | History | Background


To safeguard the interests and welfare of veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and others working the UK veterinary profession.


The exclusive aim of the BVU is to look after the interests and welfare of veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and allied staff in the UK, addressing all issues that may directly or indirectly affect their individual or collective welfare as personnel or as professionals.



The union has the following well-defined objectives:

  • To safeguard the interests and welfare of Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Nurses as personnel & professionals.
  • To safeguard the interests and welfare of Allied staff as personnel.
  • To safeguard the interests and welfare of Veterinary Students and Veterinary Nurse Students .


In order to fulfil the above objectives, the union will undertake following activities:

Welfare of vets and nurses as personnel:

Improving terms of employment

  • It will create awareness about relevant employment laws, flag up deviations by employers and guide and help vets to adhere to employment laws.
  • Job contracts meeting all legal requirements would be actively promoted as a necessity.
  • It will develop and maintain independent guidelines for a reasonable starting salary for new graduates. Independent salary surveys would be conducted to enable vets and nurses to claim reasonable salaries and increments.
  • Awareness of, and full compliance to, working time regulations will be promoted, and reasonable definitions of active and inactive on-call time would be drawn up in partnership with all stakeholders to avoid ambiguity and abuse of such regulations by individual employers.
  • It will campaign for clocking of time for vets and nurses, so that a proper count of hours worked would be recorded and extra hours worked would be compensated for.
  • The union will educate employees and employers on the provision of breaks and rest periods at work, and holidays.
  • Veterinary practices will be encouraged to create dedicated out-of-hours (OOH) services, or use existing OOH services.
  • It will lobby for improved CPD support by employers.
  • Guidelines and information will be made available to vets and regarding matters of employment.
  • It will campaign for flexibility of working hours for female vets and nurses with family commitments.

Improving working condition

  •  The union will create awareness about the need for a healthy, safe and dignified working environment for veterinary staff. It will develop models and protocols for safe working environments and conditions.
  • It will ensure that existing laws were adhered to, and will lobby for any further changes to improve working conditions for vets and nurses.
  • It will work to motivate employers to improve the facilities for the staff.
  • The union will fight against abuse in veterinary practices and will fully support those at the receiving end of malpractices.

Welfare of vets and nurses as professionals

  • The union will provide independent guidelines and information to new graduates to help them successfully settle in the profession.
  • It will provide the necessary information to help vets and nurses prevent litigation against them.
  • It will flag up, and lobby against, any professional malpractices in independent veterinary practices, corporate groups and charitable veterinary establishments.
  • It will lobby against any regulations, from any source, that might hinder vets from rendering their services in full compliance with the RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct, other relevant laws of the land and in accordance with professional and moral ethics.
  • It will work towards safeguarding the privilege of clinical freedom for vets. It will work on similar lines for veterinary nurses.
  • The union will work to ensure any future Veterinary Surgeons Act met the requirements of all veterinary surgeons and nurses.
  • It will lobby for an improved and just RCVS disciplinary system for vets and nurses.

Supportive welfare arrangements

  • The union will create arrangements, like ‘Veterinary Clubs’, and develop programmes to enhance the well-being and social interaction of vets, nurses and allied staff.
  • The union will provide advice, help and representation (right up to employment tribunals) to its members in the cases of disputes with employers.
  • The union would provide support and representation to vets and nurses going through disciplinary procedures at the RCVS.
  • It will support all organisations, like the VBF, that work to help vets in difficulty.

Supporting Allied Staff

  • The union will highlight and address the issues faced by the members of allied staff working the profession and provide support and representation to individuals facing problems at their workplace.

Supporting Students

  • The union will highlight and address the issues collectively faced by the veterinary students and veterinary nursing students.
  • Provide the support and representation at individual level as necessary.

© British Veterinary Union | 2017 |