Two year programme

Small Animal Medicine

Postgraduate Certificate (PgC)

The most comprehensive modular small animal medicine programme covering all of the major body systems with an easy route to progress to the RCVS Advanced Practitioner Status

Our Small Animal Medicine PgC attendance programme has been designed to be spread over two years culminating in a Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) exam at the end, ensuring you are well positioned to be successful, with no viva to pass. We understand you have busy working lives and may want to spread your learning, the PgC enables you to have this flexibility with timings to fit around you and practice life. You can also choose to spread the programme over two or three years.

Transform your practice life by gaining recognised qualifications:

  • Achieve not only a Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) but also a General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert)
    – The PgC is a recognised higher education qualification which represents Master Level 7 and provides 60 transferable academic credits
    – On successful attainment of the GPCert(SAM) candidates will be awarded a personalised certificate and their name will be included in the ESVPS register of General Practitioner Certificate holders
  • Qualify towards attaining the RCVS Advanced Practitioner Status

Attendance on the taught modules is typically once monthly on a weekday between 2 pm and 8 pm however, where there are case-based discussion webinars or practical sessions these times may vary.

Inclusive learning support

Our Small Animal Medicine PgC programme now includes twenty modules, five of which contain practical components. The programme will be delivered using a combination of face to face and online learning, practical skills training and eight case-based webinars.

At the end of the programme you will have increased your skills, knowledge and confidence in dealing with more complex cases offering familiar and local treatment for the clients who trust you with their pets and accelerate diagnosis and treatment. Not only will you reduce the need for external referrals, you will increase your practice’s capabilities and income and also progress in your career.

Practical elements on several modules giving you the opportunity to apply theory hands-on.

A “Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine” by Ettinger & Feldman

Our learning management system operated through Moodle providing access to a notes library, discussion forum and other study resources including webinars

A subscription to Harper Adam’s online e-library providing access to 1,000s of scientific articles and abstracts

A dedicated Programme Tutor who will support every individual during their PgC

A dedicated Programme Tutor will provide support throughout the entire programme ensuring you are well placed for your examination.

Practical components:

Clinical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine – maximise the value of your microscopy and haematological skills
Cytology – learn how to examine your own aspirates in-house for a faster diagnosis
Diagnostic Imaging – practise hands-on abdominal ultrasonography
Emergency Medicine – spend two hours in the wet-lab perfecting critical care techniques
Dermatology – improve your diagnostics on this microscope based module
Ophthalmology – focus on the practical examination of the canine eye

Our New Sheffield Practical Training Centre

Frequently Asked Questions

Postgraduate Certificates

What is a Postgraduate Certificate (PgC)?
What is the criteria for enrolment?
Over what time period can I take the taught modules?
Are Improve’s Postgraduate Certificates academically equivalent to the RCVS CertAVP and other postgraduate certificates?
I have previously achieved a GPCert. Can I use this towards a PgC?
Is my practice suitable for studying towards a postgraduate certificate?
Where are the taught programmes held?
How are Improve’s PgC programmes different to other providers?
How many hours will I spend on my certificate?
How will I be assessed?
What resources will be available to support me through the PgC?
Will Improve’s PgCs enable me to apply for the RCVS Advanced Practitioner Status?
How can I fit a modular CPD programme into my busy life?
I want to register on a modular course but I may be away for some of the modules. Does this mean I will miss out?

Clinical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine + Practical Session

Module Information

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the rationale behind selection of appropriate tests for your patients
  • Consider the different sampling techniques, sample processing and identify factors that may affect them
  • Become familiar with the clinical pathology of hepatobiliary and renal disease
  • Structure your approach to anaemia to differentiate between non-regenerative and regenerative types before determining possible underlying causes
  • Transform your understanding of haemostasis to enable you to determine when, why and how it goes wrong
  • Use your knowledge to interpret laboratory data from clinical patients to help you prioritise further investigations
  • Develop your haematological skills by becoming adept at interpreting both normal and abnormal haemograms, identifying reticulocytes and discovering platelet and white cell abnormalities
  • Improve your approach to patients with neutropaenia and marked leucocytosis

When

Where

Speaker

Future dates for this course are currently being developed.

Cytology + Practical Session

Module Information

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the principles and practical aspects of cytological sample collection, storage and preparation
  • Maximise the value of your microscopy skills
  • Perfect your ability to describe the principles of routine cytological examination and how this informs a cytological diagnosis
  • Transform your understanding of the different cytological characteristics of effusions, aspirates and lavage samples
  • Familiarise yourself with some of the conditions most commonly diagnosed by cytology

When

Where

Speaker

Future dates for this course are currently being developed.

Diagnostic Imaging Theory

Module Information

Key learning objectives:

  • Review the principles of radiography, radiology and the significance of radiation protection
  • Appreciate the use of contrast radiography in a variety of situations and using a variety of techniques
  • Understand the principles of ultrasound imaging
  • Familiarise yourself with the basic principles of advanced imaging
  • Compare and contrast CT and MRI as diagnostic tools

When

Where

Speaker

13 Dec 2018 (14:00-20:00) Swindon Virginie Barberet

Diagnostic Imaging Practical Film Reading and Abdominal Ultrasound

Module Information

This practical day will include:

  • Case based discussion
  • Film reading session
  • Practical abdominal ultrasound scanning

Key learning objectives:

  • Develop your ability to critique radiographs
  • Enhance your skills in interpreting radiographs in a systematic and thorough manner
  • Practice your ultrasound imaging skills to help you to differentiate between normal and abnormal abdominal structures

When

Where

Speaker

15 Jan 2019 (9:30-17:00) Sheffield Virginie Barberet
22 Jan 2019 (9:30-17:00) Swindon Virginie Barberet

Respiratory disease Online Module - date tbc

Module Information

Delivered online through our Moodle platform supported by the module tutor/speaker

Key learning objectives:

  • Improve your understanding of the importance of a detailed and thorough physical examination
  • Integrate a dyspnoea algorithm into your investigations of respiratory disease
  • Develop an understanding of the importance of diagnostic aids in the investigation of respiratory disease: radiography; endoscopy; ultrasonography and cytology
  • Consolidate your knowledge of upper and lower airway disease, parenchymal and pleural space disease
  • Familiarise yourself with the principles of primary and ancillary respiratory therapeutics
  • Learn the best approach to the acute management of the dyspnoeic patient

When

Where

Speaker

4 Feb 2019 (19:30-21:00) * Provisional Date Online Susana Silva
* Provisional Dates may be subject to change

Cardiovascular Medicine I

Module Information

Key learning objectives:

  • Extend your understanding of the principles and importance of a physical examination in patients with suspected cardiac disease
  • Familiarise yourself with the principles of electrocardiography
  • Integrate your understanding of the approach to electrocardiographic interpretation to help you identify common arrhythmias
  • Improve your evaluation of thoracic radiographs in reference to cardiac patients
  • Understand the basic principles of echocardiography and its role in diagnosis of cardiac disease

When

Where

Speaker

4 Mar 2019 (14:00-20:00) Swindon Joel Silva
5 Mar 2019 (14:00-20:00) Hatfield Joel Silva
6 Mar 2019 (14:00-20:00) Sheffield Joel Silva

Cardiovascular Medicine II

Module Information

Key learning objectives:

  • Recognise and understand the events involved in the pathophysiology of cardiac failure
  • Define systolic and diastolic failure
  • Appreciate the species differences in prevalence of congenital and acquired cardiac diseases
  • Describe the major congenital cardiac diseases in dogs and cats
  • Transform your understanding of the pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of acquired valvular, myocardial and pericardial diseases
  • Familiarise yourself with the therapeutic options and their applications in patients with cardiac disease
  • Learn how to manage emergency cardiac patients for improved outcomes

When

Where

Speaker

23 Apr 2019 (14:00-20:00) Sheffield Joel Silva
24 Apr 2019 (14:00-20:00) Hatfield Joel Silva
25 Apr 2019 (14:00-20:00) Swindon Joel Silva

Gastroenterology I

Module Information

Key learning objectives:

  • Develop your understanding of deglutition and dysphagia
  • Familiarise yourself with the pathophysiology of:
    • Regurgitation
    • Acute and chronic vomiting
    • Diarrhoea
  • Enhance your diagnostic approach to gastrointestinal abnormalities
  • Describe the principles and basic use of endoscopy in the diagnosis of gastrointestinal disease and when it is indicated

When

Where

Speaker

10 May 2019 (14:00-20:00) Sheffield Ana Jacinto
13 May 2019 (14:00-20:00) Swindon Susana Silva
16 May 2019 (14:00-20:00) Hatfield Susana Silva

Gastroenterology II

Module Information

Key learning objectives:

  • Improve your understanding of the pathophysiology of hepatic and hepatobiliary disease
  • Devise a systematic diagnostic approach to the jaundiced patient
  • Perfect your investigative approach to suspected hepatobiliary disease
  • Understand the pathophysiology of exocrine pancreatic disease
  • Describe the investigative approach to acute and chronic exocrine pancreatic diseases
  • Discuss the therapeutic options in hepatobiliary and pancreatic diseases

When

Where

Speaker

3 Jun 2019 (14:00-20:00) Swindon Susana Silva
7 Jun 2019 (14:00-20:00) Sheffield Ana Jacinto
13 Jun 2019 (14:00-20:00) Hatfield Susana Silva

Immunology Online Module - date tbc

Module Information

Delivered online through our Moodle platform supported by the module tutor/speaker.

Key learning objectives:

  • Learn the basis of immune function and the immune response to better understand the pathophysiology of immune-mediated disease
  • Develop your diagnostic approach to common immune-mediated diseases in small animals
  • Transform your understanding of the basis of therapy for immune-mediated diseases
  • Discuss the use of common immunosuppressive therapies

When

Where

Speaker

1 Jul 2019 (19:30-22:00) * Provisional Date Online James Swann
* Provisional Dates may be subject to change

Emergency Medicine and Critical Care + Practical Session

Module Information

Key learning objectives:

  • Familiarise yourself with a thorough and systematic approach to the assessment of the critically ill patient’s major body systems
  • Enhance your understanding of the minimum database and its’ interpretation
  • Implement your assessment of your patients when considering their fluid, electrolyte and transfusion requirements
  • Understand the principles and practical aspects of critical patient monitoring
  • Recognise imminent cardiopulmonary arrest more promptly
  • Learn how to select and apply both basic and advanced life support

This module includes a practical session where the following techniques will be reviewed:

  • Placing a tracheostomy tube
  • Thoracocentesis
  • Chest drain placement and appropriate management

When

Where

Speaker

16 Sep 2019 (9:30-17:00) * Provisional Date Swindon Simon Tappin
24 Sep 2019 (9:30-17:00) * Provisional Date Sheffield Simon Tappin
* Provisional Dates may be subject to change

Endocrinology I

Module Information

Key learning objectives:

  • Get to grips with the underlying principles of endocrine anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology
  • Become familiar with the clinical signs and diagnostic approaches in cats and dogs with endocrine disorders such as
    • Hypo and hyperadrenocorticism – common and uncommon presentations
    • Hypo and hyperthyroidism
    • Primary and Secondary hyperparathyroidism
  • Understand the basis of medical and (where appropriate) surgical management for diseases affecting the adrenal, thyroid and parathyroid glands

When

Where

Speaker

30 Sep 2019 (14:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Swindon Lucy Davison
1 Oct 2019 (14:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Hatfield Lucy Davison
2 Oct 2019 (14:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Sheffield Michael E. Herrtage
* Provisional Dates may be subject to change

Endocrinology II

Module Information

Key learning objectives:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the pathophysiology and clinical signs associated with endocrine pancreatic disease including insulinoma
  • Describe the investigation and management of diabetes mellitus and diabetic ketoacidosis in the dog and cat
  • Get to grips with understanding the causes of failure to control diabetes and the approach to the unstable diabetic patient
  • Understand the pathophysiology of pituitary endocrine diseases
  • Become familiar with the clinical signs, investigation and management of pituitary endocrine disease in the dog and cat

When

Where

Speaker

4 Nov 2019 (14:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Swindon Lucy Davison
5 Nov 2019 (14:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Hatfield Lucy Davison
6 Nov 2019 (14:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Sheffield Michael E. Herrtage
* Provisional Dates may be subject to change

Medical Oncology Online Module

Module Information

Delivered online through our Moodle platform supported by the module tutor/speaker

Key learning objectives:

  • Be able to understand the principles of tumour biology and staging
  • Formulate a general investigative approach to the cancer patient
  • Develop your understanding of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgical oncology
  • Familiarise yourself with the therapeutic management of common canine and feline neoplasms
  • Enable yourself to recognise and manage common oncologic emergencies

When

Where

Speaker

17 Nov 2019 (9:00-17:00) * Provisional Date Online TBC
* Provisional Dates may be subject to change

Dermatology + Practical Session

Module Information

Key learning objectives:

  • Develop a problem-solving approach to skin diseases
  • Describe the steps involved in dermatologic examination in cats and dogs
  • List and understand the techniques used for the laboratory investigation of skin disease and when they should be used
  • Recommend a rational problem-solving approach to the investigation and treatment of :
    • Alopecia
    • Pruritus
  • Become familiar with the common presentations of bacterial, parasitic and fungal skin disease
  • Identify common dermatologic manifestations of systemic disease and their pathogenesis

When

Where

Speaker

13 Jan 2020 (13:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Swindon Rosario Cerundolo
14 Jan 2020 (13:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Hatfield Rosario Cerundolo
15 Jan 2020 (13:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Sheffield Rosario Cerundolo
* Provisional Dates may be subject to change

Medical Neurology

Module Information

Key learning objectives:

  • Revise your understanding of the principles of functional neuroanatomy
  • Become adept at a thorough and systematic neurologic examination to help you localise lesions
  • List and understand further diagnostic techniques available to investigate neurologic disease
  • Consider the investigation and management of common neurologic syndromes
  • Understand the steps involved in the investigation into the aetiology of seizures in dogs and cats
  • Improve your ability to manage seizures in an emergency and longer term.

When

Where

Speaker

3 Feb 2020 (14:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Swindon Laurent Garosi
4 Feb 2020 (14:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Hatfield Laurent Garosi
5 Feb 2020 (14:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Sheffield Laurent Garosi
* Provisional Dates may be subject to change

Urology I

Module Information

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the diagnostic techniques available to investigate urinary disease
  • Delve into the detail of the pathophysiology of acute and chronic renal failure, glomerular disease and proteinuria
  • Develop your investigative approach into renal disease
  • Improve your therapeutic management of such cases

When

Where

Speaker

2 Mar 2020 (14:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Swindon Susana Silva
4 Mar 2020 (14:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Sheffield Ana Jacinto
5 Mar 2020 (14:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Hatfield Susana Silva
* Provisional Dates may be subject to change

Urology II

Module Information

Key learning objectives:

  • Describe and understand the factors involved in the development of crystalluria and urolithiasis in cats and dogs
  • Understand the principles of management of lower urinary tract disease in cats and dogs
  • Explore the often complicated management of FLUTD and urethral obstruction
  • Examine the possible causes of urinary incontinence, their diagnosis and management
  • Classify canine prostatic diseases and understand their pathogenesis, diagnosis and medical management

When

Where

Speaker

22 Apr 2020 (14:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Sheffield Ana Jacinto
27 Apr 2020 (14:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Swindon Susana Silva
30 Apr 2020 (14:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Hatfield Susana Silva
* Provisional Dates may be subject to change

Infectious Disease Online Module

Module Information

Delivered online through our Moodle platform supported by the module tutor/speaker

Key learning objectives:

  • Compile a list of the major infectious diseases in dogs and cats
  • Describe the diagnosis and management of common infectious diseases in dogs and cats
  • Familiarise yourself with the clinical signs of significant imported diseases occurring in dogs and cats
  • Understand the principles of vaccination and vaccination regimes
  • Learn the steps involved in the pet travel scheme
  • List notifiable diseases in dogs and cats

When

Where

Speaker

17 Jan 2020 (9:00-17:00) * Provisional Date Online TBC
* Provisional Dates may be subject to change

Ophthalmology + Practical Session

Module Information

Key learning objectives:

  • Perfect your ability to perform common ophthalmic examination techniques:
    • Basic neuro-ophthalmological examination
    • Ophthalmoscopy: Distant Direct; Close Direct & Indirect
    • Correct use of Fluoroscein for corneal evaluation
    • Tonometry & Gonioscopy
  • Get to grips with current ocular therapeutics: what do you need to have on your pharmacy shelf?
  • Familiarise yourself with the medical management of common ocular conditions
  • Identify the ocular manifestations of systemic diseases
  • Be able to recognise common ocular conditions that require surgery

When

Where

Speaker

2 Jun 2020 (13:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Swindon Sally Turner
3 Jun 2020 (13:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Hatfield Sally Turner
4 Jun 2020 (13:00-20:00) * Provisional Date Sheffield Sally Turner
* Provisional Dates may be subject to change

Small Animal Medicine Pricing

Booking Options

Payments Initial
Payment
Total
Payable
Payment Options All prices exclude VAT
Full course £10,249.00 £0.00 £10,249.00
Deposit and payment in full £9,198.00 £1,051.00 £10,249.00
Deposit and 12 monthly payments £806.93 £1,051.00 £10,734.16
Deposit and 20 monthly payments £494.92 £1,051.00 £10,949.40

To book any option please click the "Book Now" button and select your preferences in your shopping cart.

Book Full Programme
Start date and location
18 Oct 2018
u
Click here for full course schedule.
This course has already started but you can join part way through and finish any modules you missed during the next course.
Swindon

Module one of this programme has already started. You can book the full course now and complete the modules that have passed on next year's programme.

Start date and location
17 Oct 2018
u
Click here for full course schedule.
This course has already started but you can join part way through and finish any modules you missed during the next course.
Hatfield, Sheffield, Swindon

Module one of this programme has already started. You can book the full course now and complete the modules that have passed on next year's programme.

Start date and location
23 Oct 2018
u
Click here for full course schedule.
This course has already started but you can join part way through and finish any modules you missed during the next course.
Sheffield

Module one of this programme has already started. You can book the full course now and complete the modules that have passed on next year's programme.

Book Individual Modules
Speak to us

Payment Terms & Conditions

  1. The total price includes registration fees with ESVPS and Harper Adams University.
  2. A non-refundable initial payment of £1051.00 is due on registration in order to secure the booking. This can be paid by credit card or bank transfer.
  3. Full payment to be made within 30 days of the commencement of the first module in order to be eligible for the discounted rate.
  4. Direct debit plans are administered and collected on our behalf by Animal Healthcare Limited.
  5. Please contact us for pricing relating to corporate veterinary groups, multiple booking discounts and pricing and payment options for courses taking place in Ireland.
  6. Full details regarding the course cancellation procedure can be found here: https://www.improveinternational.com/uk/terms-and-conditions/

Registration Information

  1. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first served basis.
  2. Where all available places are full, applicants will be offered first refusal for the next available date.
  3. Improve International reserves the right to close the intake early if the number of applications received exceeds the number of available places.
  4. In order to secure a place you must pay an initial payment – details of which can be found above.
  5. Confirmation and enrolment details will then be sent to applicants once we have received a completed application form.

Register your interest

Interested in a programme? Simply click the button, fill out the short form and we’ll be in touch shortly.

Route to a PgC

Route to PgC - Medicine and Surgery

What do our customers think of our training?

The teaching at Improve is excellent and I have been able to take what I have learnt back to use in practice. It’s not just the lectures themselves but the practical work we did straight afterwards which drives home everything, which is why Improve’s modular programmes are so great. The difference it’s made in the […] Read more... Garrick Ponte

BVSc GPCert(SAM) MRCVS

I chose Improve International as they are an established company, they’ve got a good reputation and I have done a number of courses with them previously and had access to top qualified speakers. Read more... Robyn Farquhar

BVSc GPCert(SAM) MRCVS

ABOUT IMPROVE

Improve International was established in 1998 by a group of veterinary surgeons from across the UK. We run Continuous Professional Development training for veterinary professionals to help develop the skills and knowledge required in practice. Our programmes utilise a combination of review lectures, case-based discussion and, where applicable, hands-on practical sessions. We are an international organisation with offices in the UK and Portugal.

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01793 759159

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