Improve International on Crusade to Make Postgraduate Qualifications Accessible Globally3 July 2020 – News
Management Buyout Heralds Major Expansion of E-learning
The directors of veterinary CPD specialist Improve International have completed a management buyout, backed by UK private equity investor RJD Partners. Following the buyout, the company has set out an ambitious plan to expand both the range and flexibility of its training programmes globally to make achieving a postgraduate qualification a realistic goal for every veterinarian.
Improve International was founded by a team of UK vets in 1998 and has trained more than 20,000 veterinary professionals in 20 countries around the world. The management buyout was undertaken following a decision by UK Plc Benchmark, the company’s previous owner, to divest all of its non-aquaculture related assets.
Looking ahead into a ‘post-COVID world’, Improve says that, under its new leadership, it plans to significantly expand its e-learning portfolio, harnessing technologies, including video teaching and virtual/augmented reality, to offer a more engaging and rich learning experience. Recognising the importance of face-to-face training, however, it will continue to offer attended modular training options as well as small group practical teaching sessions at its wet labs in Swindon and Sheffield. These events will complement its online programmes and will provide stand-alone training for vets wishing to learn new surgical and diagnostic skills.
In collaboration with its assessment partner, the International School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ISVPS), Improve will be developing a comprehensive suite of distance-learning (DL) programmes, together with examinations that can be undertaken remotely. In addition to its flagship Veterinary GP Certificate teaching programmes, new training to be offered via DL includes Improve’s popular Nurses Certificate Programmes. Anaesthesia and Surgical Nursing will both be launched early in 2021 with further subjects to follow. For vets who have already gained a Certificate, Improve intends to expand its range of advanced training programmes covering the key disciplines. These will allow continued study and improvement in a chosen area of interest.
Improve also plans further geographical expansion, including running programmes in languages including French, Spanish, German and Chinese.
Dr Heber Alves, previously head of global operations, is Improve’s new CEO and is supported by a management team that includes Improve founder Dr David Babington, Business Development Director and Mr John Douglass, UK Managing Director. Dr Alves said: “Improve is fully owned by a team of experienced veterinary and business professionals with a unique understanding of the profession’s training needs at a global level. Even better, we are backed by a private equity partner with a strong track record in professional education and a commitment to supporting our growth, both organically and through acquisition.
“We start this new chapter in a world changed irrevocably by COVID-19. It is a world in which veterinary professionals are demanding more flexible ways of learning and showing a hunger to achieve additional qualifications. With this in mind, we will be working to offer a combination of high quality practical, remote and blended learning that will make the achievement of a postgraduate qualification a realistic ambition for every vet.
“Despite the undoubted challenges caused by the pandemic, we are excited to embark on this new journey for Improve and look forward to welcoming both our existing delegates and those whose career development we will be supporting in the months ahead.”