Global First as WSAVA and Hill’s Pet Nutrition Launch Certificate in Professional Development and Personal Wellbeing

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and Hill’s Pet Nutrition are marking Mental Health Awareness Month this month with the announcement of a new Certificate in Professional Development and Personal Wellness.

In the face of an increasingly challenging working environment for companion animal veterinary professionals, this online course will help learners to create a career development roadmap and develop strategies to safeguard their wellbeing. It will be available later this year, free of charge to members of WSAVA member associations, made possible by support from Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

Content for the WSAVA Certificate in Professional Development and Personal Wellness will be delivered via video lectures from experts in veterinary professional development, supported by case studies, a downloadable workbook, space for reflection, and links to further resources. As they work through the modules, learners will explore different ways to learn new skills linked to personal goals, create new habits and track their progress. Engagement with the course will be assessed by quizzes at the end of each module.

The content has been designed to be accessible for those with neurodiversity and is underpinned by the principles of wellbeing and self-care as set out in the WSAVA’s first Global Guidelines on Professional Wellbeing. The Guidelines will be launched at WSAVA Congress in September.

The Certificate in Professional Development and Personal Wellbeing is the latest in a series of WSAVA qualifications, based on its highly-regarded Global Guidelines. Long-time Industry Partner, Hill’s Pet Nutrition has also supported the WSAVA Professional Wellness Group since it was founded.

“Since our inception, Hill’s has supported the veterinary profession. As we celebrate our 75th anniversary this year, we’re proud to be involved in a new way to support the profession as mental health is one of the most pressing issues facing the industry we love so much,” said Dr Jolle Kirpensteijn, Global Chief Veterinary Officer for Hill’s Pet Nutrition. “Thank you to WSAVA for the opportunity to collaborate to offer free resources and tools to support wellbeing.”

“The demands of the veterinary profession, exacerbated by factors including staff shortages, barriers to accessing veterinary medicines, and the legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic, are adversely affecting the wellbeing and physical health of many veterinary professionals, causing unacceptable levels of stress and burnout,” said WSAVA President Dr Ellen van Nierop. “In response, we are providing evidence-based resources and tools for our member associations to help them counter the problems that so many of their members face. The new WSAVA Global Guidelines on Professional Wellbeing, created by our Professional Wellness Group for launch at WSAVA 2023 are the first step.

“However, in developing this new Certificate in Professional Development and Personal Wellness, we are going one step further by offering our members a practical, structured learning experience and an opportunity to build a roadmap for success, both at work and in their personal lives. The launch of this WSAVA Certificate is an exciting moment for us and we thank Hill’s Pet Nutrition for its long-standing commitment to veterinary wellbeing.”

The WSAVA Certificate in Professional Development and Personal Wellness course will be available in English and is being submitted for RACE accreditation.

Interest in the Certificate can be registered here:

About the WSAVA

The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 115 member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care for companion animals. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including pain management, nutrition and vaccination, together with lobbying on important issues affecting companion animal care worldwide.

About Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Founded 75 years ago with an unwavering commitment to science-led pet nutrition, Hill’s Pet Nutrition is on a mission to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. Hill’s is dedicated to pioneering research for dogs and cats using a scientific understanding of their specific needs. As a leading veterinarian recommended pet food brand, knowledge is our first ingredient with 220+ veterinarians, PhD nutritionists and food scientists working to develop breakthrough innovations in pet health. Hill’s Prescription Diet therapeutic nutrition plus our everyday foods, Hill’s Science Diet, Hill’s Healthy Advantage and Hill’s Bioactive Recipe, are sold at vet clinics and pet specialty retailers worldwide. For more information about our products, nutritional philosophy, visit or

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