Veterinary Surgeon/Tutor Programme Lead

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To pioneer an exciting new project: Veterinary Student EMS Programme

Job title: Experienced Equine Veterinarian / Clinician

Location: South Oxon / West Berks border

Contract type: Full-time, permanent position

Accountable to: HEROS Charity CEO and Board of Trustees

Salary: Commensurate with relevant experience

Hours: Circa 40 hours per week with flexibility. No out of hours responsibility

Based at: HEROS, North Farm Stud, Fawley, Wantage, Oxon OX12 9NJ


About the programme and position:

With start-up support from The Gerald Leigh Charitable Trust, HEROS is launching a new and exciting Veterinary Student Extra Mural Studies (EMS) programme.  This residential programme will align with the ethos of HEROS charity, in supporting both animals and humans alike, during major transitional periods. As such, this EMS programme is designed to be a completely hands on, practical based course aimed at supporting veterinary students and new graduates, in their first step out of university.

This programme will strengthen trainee veterinary students’ knowledge and their practical skills, whilst they are still studying at university. The course will be focused on general equine work with particular attention to thoroughbreds and former racehorses. We hope that the programme will eventually grow to deliver over 140+ student placements annually.

The chosen candidate will lead by example, inspiring the next generation of new graduates in the day-to-day skills and responsibilities of being an equine vet. The caseload offered within the centre ranges from foals to geriatric, with all levels of athletic disciplines in between. As many cases belong to the charity, the environment will ensure the students are taught in a relaxed and rewarding space – with the candidates having time and schedule flexibility, to ensure the one-to-one training experience with each participant is met.

In addition to teaching and systems to support the highest standards of practice, the postholder will ensure that the EMS Programme is developed, managed and evaluated, and that communications and liaison with universities is managed effectively. The postholder will be expected to work closely with the CEO and also liaise with HEROS’ existing community vet and Education Programme Manager; contribute advice and support for students and help to develop an effective strategy to secure financial self-sustainability in the medium term.



  • VDS and RCVS membership covered.
  • Funding for CPD – to be discussed as required.
  • Holiday allowance 28 days per annum (including bank holidays).
  • Accommodation on site is available in the short term to enable the postholder find suitable accommodation nearby.

Veterinary Surgeon/Tutor and Programme Lead for the Veterinary Student Education Programme based at HEROS, North Farm Stud, Oxfordshire


  • A veterinary degree with MVB, MRCVS or DVM and at least five years’ experience in equine practice.
  • A passion for teaching, particularly in relation to horse welfare.
  • Empathy towards equine patients and students and an understanding of the difficulties and pressures affecting students and new graduates.
  • Excellent communication skills, good team working ethos and interpersonal skills.
  • The applicant must be self-motivated and a diligent vet; a team player with good communication skills, able to lead and inspire your students to improve their skills in this specialised area of horse welfare.
  • A full valid clean driving licence.
  • Experience in teaching and working with thoroughbreds in training and the Racing Industry would be desirable.


Aim of Role:

  • The aim is to strengthen the quality of clinical learning and practical experience for vets, many of whom will work with thoroughbred equines over the course of their working lives and by this means, deliver a better quality of welfare, including the prevention of problems.
  • There is a need to improve welfare at all stages of equine life, including young stock, racehorses in training after racing when they may engage in other equine sports, and into old age.
  • Our estimates show that with growth, this full-time position could deliver up to 144-150 student placements per year.
  • Student vets will learn practical skills to manage a wide range of equine conditions. Focused primarily but not exclusively upon thoroughbred equines, opportunities will be available across the equine age span, including foals, racehorses in training, ex-racehorses pursuing a new career at the end of their racing days, and geriatrics.
  • The Programme is designed to provide “hands-on” training to support and strengthen students’ knowledge and skills in thoroughbred welfare.
  • Students will develop skills to help them to transition from student to graduate veterinary surgeon, gain confidence with equines and learn more about the world of post-racing work.
  • Practical training will include all aspects of equine field work including assessment, management and reporting/communicating findings. Students will learn how to formulate, diagnose, triage and manage cases including appropriate use of complementary, diagnostic equipment such as x-ray, endoscopy and ultrasound machines.
  • Teaching methods will include observational learning and discussion, which will be delivered in relatively small groups, permitting individualised, hands-on learning and the opportunity to challenge and discuss.

In conjunction to observational learning and discussion, the programme will include an extensive practical element.


Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • To deliver and manage a programme of Extra Mural Studies (EMS) in partnership with the HEROS team focused on equine treatment and veterinary care for thoroughbreds and former racehorses preparing for their new lives after racing.
  • To provide practical (hands-on, observational, and theoretical) teaching based on the successful pilot delivered previously by Dr F Compostella in 2021.
  • To deliver the training and support programme administration to liaise with universities, organise student training days (including booking students on courses’ allocating them to the accommodation; assuring quality of placement; student pastoral care; on-site safeguarding and assistance in relation to records and assessment of outcomes) and support work to increase the student numbers.
  • To oversee and deliver a practical, residential five-day clinical training course targeted at experienced veterinary students during their last 3 years of training, or in their first new graduate years. Practical training will include all aspects of equine field work including assessment, management, and reporting/communicating findings.  Each cohort will contain between 4-6 students.
  • To contribute as a member of the Team to the delivery of veterinary training for UK and overseas veterinary surgeons, visitors, veterinary students, volunteers and work experience students.
  • To contribute to the work of the Team to support the health of all the animals at HEROS.
  • To liaise directly and, in consultation with the team, communicate effectively with supporters and external stakeholders including veterinary universities, Horse Welfare Board representatives, the British Horseracing Authority and the Gerald Leigh Charitable Trust regarding the establishment of this new Programme.
  • To provide appropriate monthly, quarterly and annual reports in conjunction with the CEO to the HEROS Trustee Board and the Gerald Leigh Charitable Trust.
  • To evaluate and review the Programme in conjunction with the CEO on an annual basis.
  • To provide advice and consultation to develop an effective strategy to strive for the Programme’s financial self-sufficiency by 2024/25.


General Responsibilities:

  • To help to promote and maintain HEROS’ core values for the welfare of HEROS horses.
  • To communicate effectively and promptly with all colleagues.
  • To comply at all times with HEROS Safeguarding policies, Health and Safety policies and procedures and safe working practices in accordance with current legislation and other policies as agreed with the CEO.
  • To be aware of, and support tolerance of difference and ensure that all learners have equal access to opportunities to learn and develop.
  • To participate in such other duties as may be agreed from time to time with the CEO.
  • To be responsible for agreed KPIs and targets.
  • To monitor and evaluate the project and provide appropriate reports demonstrating progress, achievements, and impact assessments.


Accountability and Support:

  • The applicant will be responsible and report to Miss Grace Muir, Chief Executive of HEROS and relevant members of the HEROS Trustee Board.
  • North Farm Stud staff will directly support the applicant, when necessary, when working with the horses.
  • The applicant will be supported by the Education Team at HEROS and will work as a member of an exceptional team.
  • Further support and oversight will be provided from senior vets Dr F Compostella and Andrew McGonnell (ambulatory vet at HEROS and North Farm Stud and also a member of the Board of Trustees for HEROS).


Quality Assurance:

  • A six-month pilot of the programme has already been undertaken at HEROS and North Farm Stud in 2020/21.
  • Pre and post-course assessments from the pilot indicated a very high level of positive feedback. All students reported that their knowledge and confidence improved, and their practical hands-on skills improved in 100% of cases.
  • Facilities to support the project are second to none at HEROS and North Farm Stud who have an experienced team to support the project.
  • Learning outcomes will be managed and quality-assured by qualified, experienced equine vets in line with RCVS guidelines.


Contact Details:

  • HEROS Charity Number: 1115174
  • Company Registration Number: 5679136
  • Website:
  • Telephone Number: 01488 638820

HEROS Charity is an aftercare and retraining specialist centre based at North Farm Stud in Oxfordshire. The stud offers excellent facilities with purpose-built, modern American-style barns and a range of stabling.  There are two isolation yards, 12 straw turnout shelters and convalescent paddocks, three horse walkers, a lunging and breaking circular covered shed, a 40m x 25m outdoor menage, a state-of-the-art 32m x 54m indoor arena and a dedicated veterinary treatment centre/area which includes wireless x-ray, scanner and scope and other appropriate equipment.  In October 2022, HEROS was appointed by the Horse Welfare Board as the new Primary Aftercare Partner for British Horseracing’s official welfare charity, Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), for the provision of specialist care and support for horses at their first step out of racing and to assist development and implementation of new strategies to strengthen welfare for horses. Since starting operations in 2006, HEROS has rehomed more than 800 ex-racehorses and has also built an impressive educational programme over the past seven years, backed by the Racing Foundation.

  • HEROS Charity Number: 1115174
  • Company Registration Number: 5679136
  • Website:
  • Telephone Number: 01488 638820

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