Return to Work Program


The Return to Work program is AVA's online self-paced learning program consisting of 5 clinical modules, 4 non-clinical modules and a practical skills guide. The program is recommended for veterinarians who wish to return to clinical practice after a career break or period of leave, or veterinarians in practice and industry who are seeking a refresher. It is also recommended for veterinary students. Getting back to work and keeping up to date is important for building self-confidence, increasing social connections, recovering from an illness or injury, and for financial reasons. Work is beneficial to mental health and overall well-being. It's a place to develop skills and enjoy a sense of purpose and identity. Returning to work is not without its challenges. Therefore, this program is designed to help you plan your return and re-enter the workforce with renewed confidence.

Who should attend

The non-clinical modules and practical skills guide are suitable for all veterinarians (AVA members and non-members), and the clinical modules are targeted at the small animal veterinarian (AVA members and non-members) only. Student members are also welcome to register and undergo the modules.

Learning outcome

Clinical modules

Module 1: Perform Medical and Diagnostic Techniques

Display a good understanding of general diagnostic principles, consultation procedures including vaccinations, and therapy for most diseases diagnosed.

Module 2: Provide Anaesthesia and Critical Care

Understand the effects of anaesthesia on physiology, stages of anaesthesia and recovery, use of common anaesthetic agents and pain control in animals.

Module 3: Perform Surgery

Understand various surgical techniques including common daily "routine" surgeries and soft tissue procedures.

Module 4: Undertake Clinical Pathology Testing

Understand techniques required for in house pathology testing, sample collection for external testing and interpretation of test results.

Module 5: Provide Medications and Therapeutic Interventions

Understand drug classes and mechanism of action, interactions and side effects.


Non-clinical modules

Module 1: Getting Ready: Self-Reflection and Priority Setting

In this module you will explore your reasons for returning to work, techniques for building confidence, and use simple tools to help you plan your re-entry.

Module 2: Getting Ready: Practical Actions

This module takes a deeper look at the personal preparation required to get ready to resume your career.

Module 3: Finding and Applying for Veterinary Positions

This module focuses on the practical steps for finding and applying for veterinary positions.

Module 4: Settling into Practice Life

This module explores practical tips for managing your time and priorities, setting into a new job and team and negotiating workplace conflict.


Practical Skills Guide

The practical skills guide, which is a companion to the program, encourages participants to seek supervised, practical training opportunities at a convenient clinic, and incites reflection on professional goals.

Further details

The cost to register in the entire Return to Work program (all 9 modules) is $990.00 and includes a complimentary copy of Practical Skills Guide. If you wish to pick and choose specific modules, the cost is $110.00 per module. You’re welcome to complete this complimentary self-assessment to view a list of clinical modules you should consider completing.

UPDATE: The AVA is pleased to announce that registration for the Return to Work program is FREE for AVA members for a short period only, to assist in supporting the veterinary profession during the current vet shortage.  If you’re interested in becoming a member, visit the AVA website for membership options and fees or to join today.

This page on the AVA website provides more information about the program, a link to the self-assessment as well as FAQs.



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Return to Work Program

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