Workshops – Day one & two

We have a number of workshop sessions planned for the event, focussing on partnership, profitability & wellbeing. Please note this year we are ensuring that everyone gets to every session so you do not have to pre-choose any of your sessions when registering. The topics have been specifically chosen based on your feedback from last year and where we believe we can really support you as a business. The supplier exhibition will be included in one of your sessions so you will have plenty of time to catch up with our key strategic suppliers at the event.

More info about the workshops will be available soon

Top Tips for Driving Practice Profitability
(+ How to Price for Perfection!)

Last year, we revealed our proprietary analysis of practice profitability and discussed the three most important factors that drive practice EBITDA. This year, we will build on that work and discuss practical ‘top tips’ to drive meaningful improvements across the most important KPIs to your business. The emphasis will be on pragmatic ideas sourced from across our Group (including from our most successful JVPs) that you can implement with your teams on ‘Monday morning’ when you are back in your practice. Given the importance of pricing to profitability, we will also have a deep-dive during this session on how to ‘price for perfection.’

The Internet of Animal Health Things:
Imagine the possibilities

Guest Speaker Dr Edward D McGruder

As pet wearables improve in their robustness and predictive analytics transform data into knowledge, we can give our pets a voice. This voice can alert pet owners to take their pets to their veterinarians, and veterinarians can diagnose chronic diseases much earlier in their patients’ lives. This session explores the possibilities.

Get Your Teeth into Dental Work!

Dentals are hard to do well in general practice. There’s the pressure of time, equipment, expertise and the unknown of what you’ll actually find in a mouth until the animal is under anaesthetic. Most vets hate doing dentals, and for good reason. But there is a better way that we will explore in this workshop.

There will be information about the Dental Toolkit, the chance to discuss potential challenges, and to gather hints and tips from other partners and the clinical services team. This will enable you to transform your dental service and to take your clinical standards and income to another level. Plus, you might even start enjoying dental work!

The Future of Your Practice
Step-Change Growth & Exit Strategies

Come and hear about growing your practice through space and/or time expansion, along with planning your exit strategy. Key aspects of this session include:

• Getting your practice ready to expand and the right time to do so
• The benefits of expanding and things to look out for
• Getting your practice fit to sell, succession planning, valuations and the A Share sale process

It’s never too early to start planning for the future, but we would particularly encourage partners with mature practices who are currently thinking about the next phase of their growth plans and/or their exit strategy to please join us.

The Secret to Sparklines Success

If you want to improve the performance of your business – a key management tool available to you is the SPARKLINES reporting. Sparklines is an analytics suite which measures and interprets the activity within your Rx Works system, to present you with trend information about a number of key performance measure, which you can then use to benchmark your own performance, identify process improvements and set targets for the team.

Our workshop session will cover how Sparklines can help you improve the consistency and management of clinical processes within your business, to achieve uniformity across your team in the approach to charging; resulting in a more consistent client experience and improved profitability for your surgery.

Brand Power – How to Make It Work For You

The power of your local brand is ever more important today: it’s not what a brand says about themselves, it’s what your clients are telling each other about your brand…and usually when you’re not in the room! Your brand reputation is not just vital to attracting new clients and then building lasting relationships with them, it is also the key to successfully recruiting a winning team. This session covers:
• How to get your local brand heard, what matters most and why
• Time spent ‘walking in the pet owner’s shoes’
• How to build your employer brand and how the strength of your community brand can help grow your business

Management Packs

Back to Basics

Is the management pack something new and unknown? In this session, we will introduce you to the management pack, some basic terminology and concepts. This introductory overview is ideal if you are new to the Vet Group or if you are looking for a back to basics refresher. We will focus on simple accounting terminology and explain the key financial statements to help you build confidence in your numbers.

Delving Deeper

Aimed at those that have a basic understanding of the management packs. In this session, we will help you demystify the finance jargon and further develop your financial understanding. We will explain how to interpret the financial performance of your practice using the key financial statements and ratios presented in your management packs. This advanced session will also focus on the importance of cash flow and what this means to your practice.

Note: Partners that have joined The Vet Group in 2017 will automatically be registered for this workshop

Preparing for The Workforce Of
2018 And Beyond

Expectations regarding work are changing – and fast. Colleagues are becoming more demanding and want opportunities that match their lifestyles. Forward-thinking practices are starting to adapt to meet the diverse needs of colleagues. Considering the challenges of recruitment and retention within the veterinary profession, we will explore practical ways to attract and retain the best veterinary talent in the profession by focusing on:
• Embracing flexible working and promoting the benefits of this approach
• Diversity of career paths and securing talent from abroad
• Developing and promoting what differentiates us from our competition

Choose your workshops

When registering, you will be asked to give your preference on which sessions you would like to attend. We will use this as a guideline to create the final session programme and make sure the most popular sessions are available throughout the day.

During the workshop sessions, you will need to attend the supplier exhibition at least once and we will pre-allocate a time slot for you, which will be detailed on your name badge.

Workshop Sessions

Getting your business finances in shape

This workshop will cover some key aspects on ensuring financial success for your practice, in particular reflecting on the benefits of good cash management and the interaction with margin and cost discipline.

Main topic areas are:
– Cash cycle – what it is and why does it matter
– Managing debtors
Some quick tips to make cash conversations easier
Asking for deposits/pre-authorisation
Staying on top of insurance debtors/Vet Envoy
– Ideal P&L shape for best performance – managing your margin
– How best to spend money for success
Capex and the business case process
Managing costs positively to drive performance
Key figures from your management accounts pack to keep track of the practice
financial health

We will touch on the differences between newer and more mature practices – but in reality, the same disciplines hold true whether you’re still paying off the bank loan or looking to maximise dividends.

Vicki Curtis - Director @ Indigo Square Consulting Ltd

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Vicki has worked in the field of Leadership and Organisation Development for over 26 years.

With her early career spanning clients including Macmillan and the NHS, Vicki became partner in an international development consultancy, following her Masters Degree in Organisation Consulting from Ashridge Business School.

Vicki’s last in-house role was for Nuffield Health, as Head of Leadership and Organisation Development. Here Vicki commissioned research into wellbeing in the workplace and piloted innovative programmes around mindfulness and mindful leadership.

Now heading up her own consultancy, Vicki works with a range of clients across different sectors and industries. Still working in healthcare (both private and public sectors) Vicki runs both the Compassionate Leadership and the Personal Impact and Influence Programmes for the Leadership Faculty of the Kings Fund. Vicki also facilitates the Coaching and Mindfulness Masterclass for the Oxford Mindfulness Centre (part of the Masterclass Series – Mindfulness In The Workplace – a joint initiative between Oxford and Bangor Universities)

Redefining what it means to be ‘smart’: Emotional Intelligence and Wellbeing

Emotional intelligence (EQ) has become a major topic of interest in scientific circles, and in popular culture, since the publication of a book by the same name in 1995 but it’s been studied for much of the 20th century.

EQ is defined as: ‘The ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.’

Much of the research has centred on examining the relationship between EQ and thriving. There is compelling evidence that EQ can have a significant impact on both physical health and subjective wellbeing.

The good news is that EQ factors are both teachable and learnable, and that these competencies, skills and behaviours, unlike personality traits, can be enhanced by quite simple methods over a relatively short period of time.

In this workshop we will look at some practical tools and techniques to develop the five components of EQ: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social (leadership) skills. We will focus on how you can make a difference to your own sense of wellbeing and resilience as well as developing skills to support collaboration, open communication, stellar performance and outstanding everyday leadership.

The best pet consult

Put your approach to client consults under the microscope!  What are you doing that’s great for your clients?  Which areas do you think you could improve on?  Are you keen to provide consistency of approach across your team? 

Best Pet Consult (BPC) is our first step towards supporting you to consistently deliver in 3 key areas when it comes to client experience, from the moment a client walks through your door:
–          Provide amazing client service across the whole of your team
–          Deliver exceptional pet health care via more focus on preventative treatment recommendations
–          Drive revenue within your surgery

Following an exciting pilot which delivered a significant uplift in health plan sales, kennel cough, dentals, and parasite treatments, we are keen to share how you could utilise some of the tools in your practice.

RX Works – More time with hands on pets, less time with hands on keyboard

RX works is at the heart of every transaction, but can be a barrier to having quality time with the pet and the owner. 

We’re committed to making sure that we minimise the time that you have to spend using RX works so that you can maximise the time you have with the pet. 

In this session we will give you an overview of what we’re doing with RX works to improve the system and data quality, and we’ll share with you the common misuses of RX works and how you can better use the system to eliminate issues and maximise your consult time with the pet.

Carol Carpenter - Founder of Carol Carpenter Training

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In 1996 I started my leadership development business with three things: an empty wall planner; a poster of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, and belief in myself.

My motivation was two-fold: a desire to run my own business, and a recognition that there was a real market for high quality and original leadership and team development, focusing on organisational and behavioural change.

The business has seen steady growth over the last 20 years and we work with a diverse range of organisations such as McDonalds, Virgin Media, Virgin Train, Vision Express, Police Forces, RBS, Allianz, and J Sainsbury Plc.

I have worked within the veterinary sector for over 10 years developing and delivering programmes for clinical practitioners who recognise the need to develop their leadership and interpersonal skills.

I have a reputation for bringing unique and innovative ideas to learning & development in the areas of leadership, management, and change and customer service. But don’t take my word for that, ask the people I work with. “Carol’s work changes behaviours – impactful, insightful and inspiring. “Learning that stays with you for life…never enjoyed a session so much”

Today I am also a speaker on mindset change and personal growth as well as being an executive coach and mentor.

Mind over Matter – Why leaders need a Growth Mindset

Since the dawn of time, people have thought differently, acted differently, and fared differently from each other.  So, if we are all so different, is there a ‘formula’ for success?  Within working life do successful leaders think in a particular way?  Do they have a particular set of beliefs – a certain view of themselves and the things around them?

My work over the last 25 years has shown me that the way you think about yourself profoundly affects the way you live your working life.  It can determine whether you become the leader you want to be.  How can a simple belief transform the way you lead?

In this workshop we will explore two beliefs – two ways of thinking – Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset, first explored by psychologist Dr Carol Dweck.  Believing your qualities are carved in stone – the fixed mindset – limits your leadership ability and supresses personal development.  The Growth Mindset is based on the belief that your qualities can be cultivated through your efforts, and therefore your development as a leader is infinite and never ending.

Attending the workshop will provide you with an opportunity to reflect on your own beliefs about yourself and will help you learn that by changing the way you see yourself and the way you think, you can change the way you work.

Help! Where am I going to find all of my vets from?

We are facing an unprecedented global veterinary workforce crisis. It is one of – if not our BIGGEST challenge. We operate in a challenging market, with constrained supply of vets, high levels of dissatisfaction within the profession, low salary levels relative to equivalent professions, wellbeing challenges greater than other professions, not to mention concerns about global mobility post Brexit. 

In parallel the world of work is changing – people want different things from their working lives with the changes in attitudes being seen across all the generations.  In this day and age online reputation is everything and potential colleagues will trust their peers and online reviews ahead of what you say. Trust is paramount.

The resulting impact of these changes on our practices is huge – revenue being lost, locum costs escalating, patient safety being affected and often a detrimental impact on veterinary teams’ wellbeing.  We know though that when the needs of the vets and nurses are understood and met practices are keeping their vets and nurses, gaining a great reputation and are more successful from both a financial and a team wellbeing perspective. 

In this workshop we will explore the future workforce trends, share with you our thoughts about the challenges we face in the profession, and look at some of the ideas we as a group of JVP’s have come up with around how we can collectively solve these complex challenges. By working together, sharing experiences and ideas we can lead the way in the profession to help us all become the employer of choice.

Better together with Pets at Home

This workshop examines how our relationship with our Pets at Home colleagues support our group ambition to be the world’s best petcare business.

Presented by colleagues from both the vet group and Pets at home leadership teams, a number of key topics will be explored:

 –          We will celebrate our recent success with our Pet care plan recommendation programme where we worked in partnership with our store colleagues to deliver great results.

–          We will share best practice from both our instore as well as our standalone practices to demonstrate the opportunity of working better together for enhanced business results.

–          We will introduce a simple, operational toolkit which you can use in order to support you in building your relationship with local store teams.

–          VIP will be brought to life, and we will share data with you to demonstrate the value to your business of our most loyal clients and customers.

–          We will look to the future and share some of our plans to continue to work better together.

This session will bring to life practical examples and will aim to support Partners and Practice teams to build strong and collaborative relationships. We look forward to sharing with you why we really believe we are truly ‘Better Together ‘.


If you choose to attend this year’s event, the Support Office will collect £150.00 from your CPD budget after the event.

Please note: Your ticket includes accommodation at Celtic Manor Resort on Thursday 16th May 2019. If you would like to extend your stay, you can contact Bugler Smith at

On arrival please head to the main reception, From there, our event team will be on hand to direct you to the event registration area.

Please note that if you would like to arrange any extras to your room, you will need to provide the hotel reception with a credit card, this can be done at check-in or you can pop back to reception after the conference closes at 17:30.

If you have any other enquiries about the National Partner Conference please contact:

JVP Package
£150.00 includes

Conference ticket
for 16th & 17th May

Accommodation on 16th May

Gala Dinner ticket for 16th May

Food and refreshments for your stay

Register Now

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