Vet's Corner

Veterinary Physiotherapy Students Provided with More Options

A hands-on route with a structured roadmap is now available

A dream job working with animals seems out of reach for many people, but thanks to a new portfolio of qualifications, learners can bypass university fees and reach their goal in this growing sector.

Many students are being increasingly put off further education by high university fees and levels of student debt, or fear that they may not have what it takes to achieve a place on a university course in Veterinary Physiotherapy.

But there is now a more inclusive and hands-on route, three new qualifications offered by the Academy of Veterinary Physiotherapy, which provide a structured pathway to a degree equivalent Level 6 qualification in veterinary physiotherapy.  Qualifications are awarded along the way at Levels 4 and 5, supporting learners, and allowing them to start working from as little as around nine months in.

And studying for these qualifications could be a shrewd move, the UK pet market has shown extreme growth in recent years and is valued at £5.9bn, and a qualified Veterinary Physiotherapist can expect to earn up to £25,000 per year once they have qualified. Senior veterinary physiotherapists and consultants may earn up to £65,000 a year.

Wendy Vaughan, founder of the Academy of Veterinary Physiotherapy, which is a RAMP Accredited Education Provider, said: “There is no doubt that the pet and animal care sector is growing, and with more pets and working and competing animals living in the UK than ever before the demand for skilled services is growing, as is the sophistication of veterinary and allied professional services offered.

“There are so many people out there who would excel in the Animal Physiotherapy sector that may be put off by traditional qualification routes, and our new portfolio of vocationally focused qualifications is designed to redress that balance, and make sure that the people with the real passion get their start, regardless of background.

“The welfare and care of animals has long been my passion, along with a real passion for the profession.  I believe that this dream career should be accessible and achievable to anyone with a love for animals who is able to evidence that they meet the required industry standards, through whatever route.

“In line with this, it was my desire from the start to offer a training provision that met high standards similar to those in human care, so sought accreditation from RAMP, the Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners, a Voluntary Industry Regulating Body, who have developed education standards based on the human care sector, bringing a “gold standard” of care to our animals. I genuinely believe that inclusivity and accessibility to qualifications, collaboration and respect across the industry, are key to keeping our industry safe, skilled and successful.”

The Academy of Veterinary Physiotherapy is an approved training provider of the award winning, Ofqual regulated Awarding Organisation iPET Network, delivering regulated qualifications including a Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy, a Level 5 Diploma in Animal Sports Massage and Rehabilitation and a Level 4 Diploma in Animal Sports Massage.

These qualifications are suitable for all of those who would like to work in this growth field, including existing dog groomers, equine grooms, hydrotherapists, trainers, massage practitioners and veterinary nurses, as well as those currently working as a Veterinary Physiotherapist seeking formal recognition through a regulated qualification.

These comprehensive qualifications are made up of practical and theoretical learning across a variety of animal species, with the practical elements focusing on the two main species of canines and equines, allowing learners to get recognition for their knowledge and practical skills in a vocational and friendly way.

Alongside the technical knowledge and skills, there is also tuition and support on study skills, personal development, professional development, resilience and wellbeing from people who have extensive experience of what it takes to be successful in the industry.
The blended learning, flexible and accessible courses will be delivered by Wendy and her team at The Academy of Veterinary Physiotherapy.

Wendy, who is a IRVAP, RAMP and AHPR registered therapist, said: “I am proud to have worked with iPET Network to develop this trio of qualifications, which will make these fields of veterinary science more accessible than ever, while maintaining all important best practice.

“It was important when we created the courses that they had a strong focus on animal health, behaviour and welfare, including exploring themes such as social licence to practice.  There are also key specifics relating to the industry, legislation, regulation and working effectively as part of the multi-disciplinary team.”

“There is a strong focus on anatomy and physiology and musculoskeletal anatomy, with particular focus on function, orthopaedics and neurology, biomechanics and locomotion and exercise physiology including how commonly used equipment affects our animals.

“The course then builds on this with a strong focus on exercise prescription and rehabilitation, including physiotherapy and rehabilitation for post-surgical, neurological, juvenile, geriatric, non-ambulatory and respiratory patients and for palliative and end of life care.

“For anyone wishing to qualify it is important to learn pathology, injury, illness, disease and musculoskeletal dysfunction, concepts of pain, pain management and advanced concepts of tissue healing which are all covered in these qualifications.

“Building on a strong foundation of sports massage and soft tissue skills the courses then teaches the safe and effective use of electro-physical agents (EPAs) and covers advanced clinical reasoning skills and how to conduct physiotherapy assessments and design effective and measurable treatment plans.”

To find out more about the courses go to

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