Tropical Vets achieves Employer of Choice Accreditation

01 Dec 2022
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Image: staff at Tropical Vets North Shore, with plaque commemorating AVA EOC Accreditation status


The AVA’s Employer of Choice (EOC) Accreditation program is an intensive, rigorous auditing process that recognises employers with exceptional standards of staff recruitment, engagement and retention. On 7 October 2022, Tropical Vets achieved Employer of Choice Accreditation for their practices at: Tropical Vets Innisfail, Tropical Vets Ayr, Tropical Vets North Shore, Tropical Vets Ingham, Tropical Vets Tully and Tropical Vets Atherton.

Located in Northern Queensland, Tropical Vets is a mixed practice organisation that covers companion animals, cattle, horses and all other species. Their aim is to foster a culture of support and expertise while still maintaining a ‘family practice’ feeling. Applying for EOC Accreditation was a natural progression of this. “We know that our team are great and that they enjoy working with us,” CEO Chris Kelly says. “We just wanted a way to share this with our colleagues from around the world.” Tropical Vets reported that their staff were “ecstatic, although not surprised” to discover that they had achieved EOC accreditation.

Image: staff at Tropical Vets Tully, with their AVA EOC Accredited plaque

Despite already having good systems in place, the management team at Tropical Vets continually evaluate how they can better support staff.  The EOC Accreditation program led to them conducting an Integrated Management System gap analysis to identify areas for improvement. As a result, Tropical Vets is aiming to create their own staff training platform, and incorporating staff feedback into their decision-making process when considering the direction of the organisation. Another positive outcome of the EOC Accreditation program was the opportunity to update all of their HR policies and procedures, resulting in consistency and stability across all of their sites.

Their staff satisfaction levels are extremely high, with a recent staff survey showing a 94% positive response rate. Reasons for this include their efforts to provide a healthy work-life balance, a great remuneration package with generous rewards and incentives and pathways for staff career progression. All of this, coupled with the incredible lifestyle benefits of living in Northern Queensland, means that Tropical Vets is understandably an incredible place to work.

For veterinary clinics wishing to pursue EOC Accreditation, Tropical Vets has this advice: “Succinct and up-to-date policies and procedures and a good risk management framework are necessary to identify areas that may require improvement.” Implementing a yearly rhythm of activities will also “ensure that the basics don’t get missed, [allowing business owners to] concentrate on the strategic direction of their practice.”

Tropical Vets recognises that staff are its most valuable asset, with Mr Kelly saying that “good foundations are essential to success”, and that he is “grateful to all staff who continue to contribute to our shared success”. With the right structure, support and personnel, a great workplace culture can thrive – as is the case at Tropical Vets.

For more information about pursuing EOC Accreditation, click here.

To register for the EOC Program, click here.