Development and Validation of a Competency Framework for Veterinarians

Harold G. J. Bok*, Debbie A. D. C. Jaarsma, Pim W. Teunissen, Cees P. M. van der Vleuten, Peter van Beukelen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Changing demands from society and the veterinary profession call for veterinary medical curricula that can deliver veterinarians who are able to integrate specific and generic competencies in their professional practice. This requires educational innovation directed by an integrative veterinary competency framework to guide curriculum development. Given the paucity of relevant information from the veterinary literature, a qualitative multi-method study was conducted to develop and validate such a framework. A competency framework was developed based on the analysis of focus group interviews with 54 recently graduated veterinarians and clients and subsequently validated in a Delphi procedure with a panel of 29 experts, representing the full range and diversity of the veterinary profession. The study resulted in an integrated competency framework for veterinary professionals, which consists of 16 competencies organized in seven domains: veterinary expertise, communication, collaboration, entrepreneurship, health and welfare, scholarship, and personal development. Training veterinarians who are able to use and integrate the seven domains in their professional practice is an important challenge for today's veterinary medical schools. The Veterinary Professional (VetPro) framework provides a sound empirical basis for the ongoing debate about the direction of veterinary education and curriculum development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-269
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • competency-based education
  • curriculum development
  • veterinary professional
  • entrepreneurship
  • VetPro framework

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