ISVPS Introduces More Clinically Applicable Assessment for its Certificates

30 October 2020 – News ISVPS Logo

The International School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ISVPS), which accredits veterinary training courses and awards qualifications for veterinary practitioners and veterinary nurses globally, has enhanced the assessment process for its General Practitioner Certificates (GPCerts) and General Practitioner Advanced Certificates (GPAdvCerts) to ensure that its Certificate assessments deliver the highest quality appraisal while supporting candidates in assimilating their new skills and knowledge.

In addition to the existing multiple-choice (MCQ) question assessment and case report, ISVPS has introduced a new assessment which will test candidates’ problem-solving skills via a ‘spot test,’ during which they will be presented with images, test results, X-rays, videos and other resources.  They will then be asked to demonstrate their experience, knowledge and clinical skills by solving a case-based scenario in which they must justify their approach in a virtual clinical environment.

Candidates will complete the assessment in the form of an online examination using an advanced technology platform. For their convenience, it will be possible to sit the assessment from their home or clinic using remote invigilation technology, which ISVPS has already introduced successfully for its MCQ assessments.

The format of the new assessment has been devised by ISVPS’ International Assessment Manager, Dr Vera Vicinanza, with the content developed by the ISVPS Specialist examiners.

Following a year’s development work, Dr Vicinanza submitted proposals for the new assessment to Harper Adams University’s Programme Approvals Committee for approval which has now been granted. Harper Adams provides the higher education body quality assurance for ISVPS in the UK, while global CPD specialist Improve International delivers the training for its Certificate programmes.

Commenting, Dr Vicinanza said: “We believe that the combination of our assessments will now be even more effective, not only in challenging candidates’ knowledge but also in how they apply it in the clinical setting.  This will help to ensure sufficient self-reflection on clinical cases and that the candidates’ approach to practical situations is tested more robustly than can be achieved via a written case report or MCQ examination alone.

“The introduction of the new ‘spot test’ and case-based scenario assessment, together with the existing MCQ and case report, is a milestone for ISVPS.  We have worked together to take on board feedback from candidates and from our examiners in order to enhance the examination process we offer to candidates and to provide rigorous assessments to ensure that the learning has been absorbed and understood.”


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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