Workforce data

Australia’s veterinarians perform essential roles in public health, food safety, biosecurity and quarantine, and in creating healthy and safe communities through the work they do with animals.

Despite the critical public good services provided by the veterinary profession, and an ongoing trend for governments to reduce spending on field veterinarians, there is no centralised workforce planning for the profession in Australia.

It’s essential that the nation has the right number of vets to meet the needs of Australia’s animals and their owners, and that those vets are where they’re needed. Although there have been numerous government reports in the past about ensuring veterinary services are meeting Australia’s needs, these have often focussed only on rural services.

Three new veterinary schools have been established in the last 10 years, and the student population at the existing 4 schools has grown in that time. As a result, a large number of new veterinarians has started to enter the profession.

To address the gap in information about veterinarians across the nation, the AVA established a voluntary survey for all registered veterinarians to complete annually.

The AVA commissioned research to analyse the available source of data, and to assess the way ahead to effective workforce planning for the profession. The  research report emphasised that progress will not be possible without a detailed stock and flow study of the profession.

The Australian veterinary workforce modelling project undertook expert analysis of existing data sources to predict future supply and demand for veterinarians in Australia. It determined that if current trends continue, the profession will continue to be in oversupply - reform and action is needed to ensure a sustainable, affordable veterinary workforce for the future.

Planning an effective veterinary workforce is one of the AVA's five strategic advocacy priorities for 2013-2018.

Information

Australian veterinary workforce modelling project

Expert analysis to predict future supply and demand for Australian veterinarians

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