Although becoming a veterinary practice manager is one of the less-recognised career paths open to people who love animals, it offers a great opportunity to oversee and develop the work of a veterinary practice, or a group of practices.
At its heart, the role of a practice manager is to ensure the veterinary practice provides a caring and professional service to clients and their animals. This involves the development of a strong practice ethos and a clear strategy to convey this message effectively, which includes:
- ensuring staff training and development
- promoting products and services
- implementing a public relations strategy
- developing and maintaining client relationships through meaningful communication
In addition to ensuring the quality of the services provided to clients, the responsibilities of a practice manager include, but are not limited to:
- managing budgets
- controlling supplies of drugs and equipment
- meeting the core standards set out by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) under the Practice Standards Scheme
Qualifications and experience
Practice managers come from a range of backgrounds and are not necessarily qualified veterinary professionals. Successful candidates are often educated to degree level, possessing business or veterinary-based degrees.
It is possible for prospective practice managers to join veterinary practices at an administrative level and work their way up to management, supported by external training.
The Veterinary Practice Management Association (VPMA) offers a Veterinary Practice Administration Certificate (VPAC), which provides administrators with the chance to develop the knowledge and skills they need to study for a Certificate in Veterinary Practice Management (CVPM).
The CVPM – which is aimed at both seasoned managers who are new to the veterinary industry and veterinary team members working in, or looking to move into a management role – grants learners the chance to develop their managerial skills over six core areas:
- general management
- financial management
- strategic management
As well as the ability to exhibit outstanding business management skills, practice managers must possess exemplary interpersonal skills. Effective communication with people from a range of backgrounds is a prominent aspect of a veterinary practice manager’s role.
In larger practices, practice managers may even be required to work alongside one or more assistant managers.
So, if you think you have the required skills and business acumen to take on a role like this, why not check out the veterinary practice manager vacancies currently online?