Vets Course

Emergency Medicine and Surgery

ISVPS General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert)

  • OVERVIEW
  • MODULES
  • OPTIONAL MODULES
  • PRICING
  • FAQs

November 2023 - March 2025

Think like an emergency vet and achieve better outcomes for your patients

Emergencies are stressful situations that often fill veterinary surgeons with dread. This feeling results from the fear of the unknown and the realisation that one decision can make a difference between life and death. Improve International’s NEW Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) Programme in Emergency Medicine and Surgery has been transformed to provide you with the knowledge and confidence you need to deal with these situations and think like an emergency vet!

The most up to date content in emergency practice

This online learning CPD programme is brought to you by worldwide specialists, all diplomates from European or American colleges. Content includes key emergency medical and surgical procedures around the major organ systems which have been peer-reviewed and expanded to include new topics and to provide you with more time to study. The course is built around 14 online modules, each containing an introductory video from the tutor, 9 interactive lessons for you to work through, 2 case studies, notes and pre and post-module questions.

At the end of the programme, you can also choose to attend three optional practical attendance modules which will cover emergency ultrasound, surgical techniques, and several emergency procedures. For those completing the full Emergency Medicine and Surgery Programme, you can purchase these modules at an exclusive price.

This programme is delivered in collaboration with RECOVER (Reassessment Campaign on Veterinary Resuscitation).

RECOVER is an initiative, a collaborative project supported by the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society and the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

Fees for the programme include access to online RECOVER Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support courses, providing an additional 8.5 hours of CPD. Improve International will also be running optional practical RECOVER attendance courses in the UK for delegates wishing to gain their BLS/ALS Rescuer Certification. There will be an additional charge for these attendance courses.

Upon registration to this programme Improve International will request permission to share delegate contact details with RECOVER in the USA for the purpose of granting access to RECOVER materials.

Learn and practise with the best professionals in the field

Our new programme offers you the perfect mix of online and practical learning. The world-leading online platform will allow you to immerse yourself in each subject, through interactive materials and high-quality videos featuring different procedures. Advance your learning at your own pace, with 24/7 access whenever and wherever you are, and gain the confidence to deal with any emergency situation.

This programme can also be undertaken as an attendance course, giving you the flexibility to decide the right learning approach for you. Find out more here.

Key features of this programme:

14 varied modules

Covering key clinical subjects in emergency medicine and surgery delivered over 2 years 

3 face-to-face modules

You can choose to attend 3 optional practical modules at the end of your programme, covering emergency ultrasound, surgical techniques, and emergency procedures

Support and guidance from a Module Tutor who is a recognised specialist in small animal medicine

The specialist in the subject area will provide online support during each module and will be available to answer all your questions

Recognised Course Director

Ludivine Boiron MSC DVM DACVECC DiplACVECC MRCVS American Specialist in Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care oversees the programme ensuring that you have access to the latest content

World-leading online learning experience

Presentations, written notes, diagrams, interactive quizzes and exercises which test your knowledge as you work 

Discussion forum

A discussion forum for conversation, debate and sharing cases with your peers and Module Tutors

Four sessions per month

Each module consists of four sessions spread over one month. Sessions comprise separate lessons and case-based studies to work through at your own pace

100% online

Giving you access 24/7 via our world-leading Learning Management Platform 

Regular assessments

Pre-module and post-module assessments encourage you to reflect on your learning and evaluate your progress. 

Dedicated Programme Tutor

A dedicated Programme Tutor who will support you every step of the way

Interactive and engaging modules

Which allow you to absorb the learning materials in an online environment. 

Know-how

Join the global veterinary online learning CPD specialists and benefit from our know-how and high-quality resources

Programme Details:

Module Summary
  1. The Initial Approach to the Emergency Patient
  2. Supporting the Emergency Patient and Monitoring
  3. Laboratory Diagnosis, Clinical Pathology and Transfusion Medicine
  4. Anaesthesia, Analgesia, Sedation and Therapeutics
  5. Neurological Emergencies
  6. Toxicological Emergencies
  7. Urological, Reproductive and Paediatric Emergencies
  8. Cardiovascular Emergencies & CPCR
  9. Endocrine and Metabolic Emergencies
  10. Respiratory Tract Emergencies
  11. Principles of Surgery and Approach to Trauma and Wound Management
  12. Emergencies in Rabbits, Rodents and Cage Birds
  13. Ophthalmological Emergencies
  14. Gastrointestinal Emergencies and Nutrition in the Critically Ill Patient

Please note the module order may be subject to change

Qualifications

Our Emergency Medicine and Surgery Online Learning Programme offers you a comprehensive range of structured learning with the ultimate flexibility to access the training that you want whilst working around your busy practice life.

You can choose to let the Programme give you new knowledge and skills to take back to practice or you can work towards a recognised qualification.

General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert)

By attending the full online structured programme and following successful assessment including an exam you can gain the GPCert awarded by the International School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ISVPS).

Only registered veterinary surgeons who have been qualified for a minimum of one year can apply to undertake a General Practitioner Certificate.

Postgraduate Certificate (PgC)

A route to a PgC in Small Animal Medicine is available through our partnership with Harper Adams University (HAU).

The PgC is a recognised higher education qualification demonstrating that you have achieved the required standard within a designated subject. The qualification represents Masters Level 7 within the Quality Assurance Agency’s framework for higher and further education. In order to apply for this route, additional assessments will be necessary, please contact us for further information.

For GPCert and PgC fees please see our pricing table – in the pricing tab.

RCVS Advanced Practitioner Status

After completing your Postgraduate Certificate you can apply for the RCVS Advanced Practitioner Status. This is subject to meeting all of the other entry requirements set out by the RCVS in the Applicant Guidance Notes. You will also need to provide evidence of Key Professional Skills knowledge to the RCVS when applying for the Advanced Practitioner Status.

Venue: Online
Date: November 2023 - March 2025

PgC/GPCert in Emergency Medicine and Surgery

November 2023 - March 2025
Online
14 Modules
14 Online sessions
4 Optional Practical Attendance Modules
PgC/GPCert in Emergency Medicine and Surgery
See the pricing tab – pay as you learn options available

ACCREDITED BY:

ISVPS

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:

Harper Adams University

IN COLLABORATION WITH:

RECOVER Initiative
01 - The Initial Approach to the Emergency Patient
E-learning | November 2023
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Appreciate triage systems and detail a suitable initial patient assessment 

  • Explain emergency vascular access techniques including sites, catheter placement, preparations and complications including jugular and intraosseous techniques   

  • Recognise the principles of initial pain management, stabilisation, and monitoring (including the rule of Kirby) 

  • Review health and safety concerns and precautions including managing a situation involving potential zoonoses and nosocomial infections in the ICU 

  • Recognise the pharmacokinetics, potential interactions, and adverse effects of common therapeutics agents: anti-microbials and anti-parasitic drugs (CYTP450 mechanism, MDR1 mutation, species-specific enzyme mutation/deficiency) 

  • Use of physiotherapy, general nursing of CIP 

  • Recognise the administrative, legal and ethical issues involving the critically ill patient

Tutor:
Alex Hatch (BSc (Hons) BVetmed (Hons) MVetmed DipACVECC)
02 - Supporting the Emergency Patient and Monitoring
E-learning | January 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Recognise the techniques to monitor organ function (arterial blood pressure, pulse oximetry, capnography 

  • Identify the procedures to maintain the body temperature 

  • Assess, recognise and treat shock 

  • Develop a strategy for the treatment of shock 

  • Develop your appreciation of the indications for the different types of fluid therapy with their advantages and disadvantages and the need for electrolyte supplementation

  • Explain the need to monitor for complications during treatment and to record central venous pressure 

Tutor:
Poppy Gant (BVSc MVETMED DiplACVECC MRCVS)
03 - Laboratory Diagnosis, Clinical Pathology and Transfusion Medicine
E-learning | February 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Recall sampling techniques, processing, storage,and data recording•
  • Apply knowledge to using the microscope to examine blood smears, urinary sediment and basic cytology and be able to diagnose common acute conditions seen in general practice
  • Assess haemostasis•Interpret clinical laboratory medicine information including haematology, biochemistry, electrolyte,and arterial and blood gas analyses
  • Consider when transfusion should be considered
  • Select appropriate blood products and protocols to minimise adverse outcomes
  • Manage common conditions leading to haematological abnormalities requiring transfusion
  • Define and explain the concept of massive transfusion
  • Identify the diagnosis, pathophysiology,and treatment of acute traumatic coagulopathy
Tutor:
Sabrina Hoehne (DVM Dipl ACVECC Dipl ECVECC)
04 - Anaesthesia, Analgesia, Sedation and Therapeutics
E-learning | March 2024
Online
  • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of sedation and anaesthesia 

  • Approach to patient stabilisation prior to anaesthesia 

  • Select an appropriate parenteral, inhalational or mixed anaesthetic regimes and appreciate their relative advantages and disadvantages 

  • Recognise the main anaesthetic equipment and monitoring techniques, highlighting their advantages and disadvantages 

  • Explore different analgesic techniques (NSAIDs, local anaesthetics, opioids and other analgesics) and when to use them in the emergency patient 

  • Decide about the use of other drugs including neuromuscular blocking agents and sedatives in the emergency patient 

Tutor:
Alessandra Mathis (DVM CertVA DipECVAA MRCVS)
05 - Neurological Emergencies
E-learning | April 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Describe how to perform a neurological examination 

  • Select appropriate diagnostic tests and apply them to individual cases, including radiography and CSF analysis 

  • Manage common neurological emergencies including head trauma, traumatic brain injury, MUO and seizures 

Tutor:
Carlos Ros Alemany (LdoVet DipECVN)
Lluis Sánchez (LdoVet MRCVS DipECVN)
06 - Toxicological Emergencies
E-learning | May 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

 

  • Triage poisoned patients, recalling the general principles of intoxication
  • Recognise the clinical signs and management options fortoxicities caused byinsecticides, molluscicides, rodenticides, herbicides, household preparationsandplants
  • Assess the prognosis of patients presented with the common poisonings
Tutor:
Daria Starybrat (DVM PGCertVMS MVetMed DACVECC DECVECC MRCVS)
07 - Urological, Reproductive and Paediatric Emergencies
E-learning | June 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Apply diagnostic techniques including laboratory investigations and imaging to these cases 

  • Investigate and manage common renal and urinary tract emergencies, namely urethral obstruction, ureteral obstruction and management of nonsurgical acute kidney injury  

  • Recognise the principles of renal, ureteral, bladder and urethral surgery 

  • Recall the steps to correctly perform a cystocentesis 

  • Identify the limitations, principles of placement and maintenance of urinary catheters 

  • Recall the normal reproductive physiology 

  • Identify the physiological aspects involved in the conversion from foetal to neonatal circulation 

  • Diagnose and establish a management plan for common reproductive and paediatric emergencies, namely C section, mastitis, pyometra and prostatitis 

  • Diagnose and establish a management plan for common paediatric emergencies, including hypothermia, hypoglycaemia, failure in passive immunity and malnutrition 

08 - Cardiovascular Emergencies & CPCR
E-learning | July 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Describe the cardiovascular assessment and management of patients presented with cardiovascular emergencies 

  • Utilise and interpret a range of diagnostic techniques including ECGs, radiographs, echocardiographs, and laboratory data  

  • Diagnose and manage acute canine congestive heart failure, feline cardiomyopathy, and aortic thromboembolism 

  • Recognise and manage pericardial disease including pericardiocentesis 

  • Identify and manage cardiac arrhythmias 

  • Consider the predisposing factors likely to result in cardiac arrest, how this changes the approach to CPR and determining prognosis following CPR 

  • Identify the various components of CPR (DABC) and their importance 

Tutor:
Anthony Gonzalez (DVM DACVECC)
09 - Endocrine and Metabolic Emergencies
E-learning | September 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Detail the common metabolic conditions requiring urgent or emergency therapy 

  • Recognise the impact of metabolic disturbances on the patient’s major body systems 

  • Devise an approach to the diagnosis and management of common diseases including hypoadrenocorticism, DKA, thyroid storm and metabolic diseases related to hypoglycaemia  

  • Appreciate the complications encountered during therapy, their prevention and management 

Tutor:
Ludivine Boiron (DVM, MSc, MRCVS, DACVECC)
10 - Respiratory Tract Emergencies
E-learning | October 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Recall the concepts and procedures involved in a general approach to dyspnoea  

  • Triage and create a management plan for patients in respiratory distress 

  • Utilise and interpret a range of diagnostic techniques for respiratory patients including auscultation, radiography, endoscopy and arterial blood gas analysis to localise the underlying cause 

  • Appreciate the methods of oxygen delivery and be able to monitor the efficacy of treatment 

  • Review the problems associated with oxygen delivery 

  • Explain the techniques available for drainage of the pleural cavity 

Tutor:
Céline Pouzot-Nevoret (DVM PhD Dip.ECVECC)
11 - Principles of Surgery and Approach to Trauma and Wound Management
E-learning | November 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Stabilise a patient prior to surgery, plan surgery and manage complications 

  • Appreciate the indications for immediate surgical intervention 

  • Define damage-controlled resuscitation and identify the cases where it applies 

  • Recall surgical asepsis, theatre protocol and the rational use of anti-microbials in surgical patients 

  • Approach the acute management of haemostasis, abdominal and respiratory trauma 

  • Approach external soft tissue wounds, myocardial injury, and musculoskeletal trauma 

Tutor:
Sophie Gibert (DVM, MsC, Dipl ECVS)
12 - Emergencies in Rabbits, Rodents and Cage Birds
E-learning | January 2025
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Interpret the practical findings of a physical examination 

  • Formulate a diagnostic approach to common presentations of emergency conditions 

  • Manage common emergency conditions 

  • Approach the anaesthesia and analgesia of these species in emergency situations 

Tutor:
Graham Zoller (DMV IPSAV (Zoo Med) Dip.ECZM (Avian))
13 - Ophthalmological Emergencies
E-learning | February 2025
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Describe how to perform a systematic ophthalmological examination 

  • Recognise normal features and variants 

  • Formulate a diagnostic approach to common presentations including the red eye, ocular pain, ocular discharge, blindness, proptosis and retinal detachment 

  • Manage common ocular conditions including corneal ulceration, uveitis, and glaucoma 

  • Identify ocular manifestations of systemic disease 

  • Select ocular medications based on their therapeutical principles 

Tutor:
Cristina Seruca (DVM DipECVO MRCVS)
14 - Gastrointestinal Emergencies and Nutrition in the Critically Ill Patient
E-learning | March 2025
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Approach the “acute abdomen” 

  • Recognise common emergency conditions affecting the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, and pancreas 

  • Formulate a diagnostic plan, including the use of imaging modalities, and effective monitoring strategies for these cases 

  • Select the appropriate surgical intervention 

  • Assess acute malnutrition 

  • Recognise the procedures to provide enteral, total parenteral and partial parenteral nutrition 

  • Create a diagnostic and management plan to approach the refeeding syndrome  

Tutor:
Duana McBride (BVSc DipACVECC MVMedSc FHEA MRCVS)

Venue: Online
Date: November 2023 - March 2025

PgC/GPCert in Emergency Medicine and Surgery

November 2023 - March 2025
Online
14 Modules
14 Online sessions
4 Optional Practical Attendance Modules
PgC/GPCert in Emergency Medicine and Surgery
See the pricing tab – pay as you learn options available

ACCREDITED BY:

ISVPS

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:

Harper Adams University

IN COLLABORATION WITH:

RECOVER Initiative

At the end of the Emergency Medicine and Surgery Online Learning Programme, you can choose to book three optional attendance practical modules, delivered by Ludivine Boiron. These modules (details below) will be delivered at our state-of-the-art training venue using the latest equipment and capped to a maximum of 12 delegates. For those wanting to book the full programme, these modules will be at an exclusive price. You can also book these at a later date by contacting your Programme Tutor. Please note, we will be opening these up to our wider veterinary community so let us know as soon as possible, so we can guarantee you a place!

Entry Requirements

Initial registration for the Optional Practical Attendance Modules is open on a first come first serve basis to delegates booking onto the Emergency Medicine and Surgery Online Learning Programme until 1st December 2022. Any bookings made thereafter will be subject to review and acceptance. Improve International has the right to refuse a booking if it does not meet the entry requirements stated above. Please contact us for further information.


01 - Ultrasound (First Group)
Practical | 03/04/2023
Sheffield
Tutor:
To be confirmed
02 - Emergency Procedures (Tubes & Drains)
Practical | 04/04/2023
Sheffield

Key Learning Objectives:

During this practical session you will have an opportunity to practise the following techniques: 

  • CPCR 

  • Feeding tubes placement  

  • Arterial blood collection 

  • Central venous catheter placement 

  • Nasal cannula placement 

  • Venous cut down 

  • Tracheotomy and chest drain placement 

Tutor:
To be confirmed
03 - Emergency Procedures (Abdominal & Urogenital)
Practical | 05/04/2023
Sheffield

Key Learning Objectives:

During this practical session you will have an opportunity to practise the following techniques: 

  • Emergency abdominal surgery including the approach to the acute abdomen and peritonitis, enterotomy and enterectomy 

  • Gastric dilatation/ volvulus and gastropexies 

  • Splenectomy 

  • Perineal urethrostomy in the cat 

Tutor:
To be confirmed
04 - Ultrasound (Second Group)
Practical | 06/04/2023
Sheffield

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Recall the evolution of POCUS in veterinary medicine: from FAST to VetBlue protocol 

  • Describe normal and abnormal images 

  • Recognise pneumothorax, B lines (and their significance), shred sign and lung hepatisation 

  • Review literature 

  • Practical component: 

  • The thorax 

  • Review the different windows to perform a TFAST 

  • Assess the pulmonary and cardiographic views 

  • Recognise the glide sign, the curtain size and the caudal vena cava  

  • Perform an approach to the heart considering La/ao view and ratio 

  • The abdomen 

  • Review the different windows to perform a AFAST 

  • Interpret the scoring system 

Tutor:
To be confirmed

Venue: Online
Date: November 2023 - March 2025

PgC/GPCert in Emergency Medicine and Surgery

November 2023 - March 2025
Online
14 Modules
14 Online sessions
4 Optional Practical Attendance Modules
PgC/GPCert in Emergency Medicine and Surgery
See the pricing tab – pay as you learn options available

ACCREDITED BY:

ISVPS

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:

Harper Adams University

IN COLLABORATION WITH:

RECOVER Initiative
  • Early bird prices
  • Regular prices
Up to one month before the start date
Emergency Medicine and Surgery
Payment Option Initial Payment Remaining Balance Total Payable
PgC Programme £9,559.00 - £9,559.00
GPCert Programme £7,459.00 - £7,459.00
PgC Programme - Deposit and Remaining Balance £1,399.00 £8,160.00 £9,559.00
GPCert Programme - Deposit and Remaining Balance £1,399.00 £6,310.00 £7,709.00
GPCert Programme 12 monthly payments - Total cost £1,399.00 £598.00 x 12 £8,575.00
PgC Programme 12 monthly payments - Total cost £1,399.00 £800.00 x 12 £10,999.00
Payment Option Initial Payment Remaining Balance Total Payable
PgC Programme £11,470.80 - £11,470.80
GPCert Programme £8,950.80 - £8,950.80
PgC Programme - Deposit and Remaining Balance £1,678.80 £9,792.00 £11,470.80
GPCert Programme - Deposit and Remaining Balance £1,678.80 £7,572.00 £9,250.80
GPCert Programme 12 monthly payments - Total cost £1,678.80 £717.60 x 12 £10,290.00
PgC Programme 12 monthly payments - Total cost £1,678.80 £960.00 x 12 £13,198.80
Optional modules
Payment Option Initial Payment Remaining Balance Total Payable
Full Price £1,595.00 - £1,595.00
Payment Option Initial Payment Remaining Balance Total Payable
Full Price £1,914.00 - £1,914.00
Less than a month before the start date
Emergency Medicine and Surgery
Payment Option Initial Payment Remaining Balance Total Payable
GPCert Programme £7,709.00 - £7,709.00
PgC Programme £9,809.00 - £9,809.00
PgC Programme - Deposit and Remaining Balance £1,649.00 £8,160.00 £9,809.00
GPCert Programme - Deposit and Remaining Balance £1,649.00 £5,950.00 £7,599.00
GPCert Programme 12 monthly payments - Total cost £1,649.00 £598.00 x 12 £8,825.00
PgC Programme 12 monthly payments - Total Cost £1,649.00 £800.00 x 12 £11,249.00
Payment Option Initial Payment Remaining Balance Total Payable
GPCert Programme £9,250.80 - £9,250.80
PgC Programme £11,770.80 - £11,770.80
PgC Programme - Deposit and Remaining Balance £1,978.80 £9,792.00 £11,770.80
GPCert Programme - Deposit and Remaining Balance £1,978.80 £7,140.00 £9,118.80
GPCert Programme 12 monthly payments - Total cost £1,978.80 £717.60 x 12 £10,590.00
PgC Programme 12 monthly payments - Total Cost £1,978.80 £960.00 x 12 £13,498.80
Optional modules
Payment Option Initial Payment Remaining Balance Total Payable
Full price £1,795.00 - £1,795.00
Payment Option Initial Payment Remaining Balance Total Payable
Full price £2,154.00 - £2,154.00
The fees include ALL registration and exam fees to achieve both a GPCert from ISVPS and a PgC from Harper Adams University.

Payment Terms & Conditions

1. Payments can be made by BACS, credit card or Direct Debit.

2. Direct Debit plans are administered and collected on our behalf by GoCardless Limited.

3. In certain circumstances, multiple booking and corporate discounts are available, please contact us on 01793 759159 for further information.

4. In order to confirm your place, we must receive payment in full or the relevant initial payment.

5. In addition, if paying by Direct Debit, we must receive the completed mandate prior to course commencement.

6. Please also see our full terms and conditions on our website – Terms and Conditions.

We will charge VAT by default if you are part of an EU country outside of the UK. However, if you can supply a valid intra-community VAT number the invoice will be exempt from VAT.

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. Confirmation and enrolment details will then be sent to applicants once we have received a completed application form.

Venue: Online
Date: November 2023 - March 2025

PgC/GPCert in Emergency Medicine and Surgery

November 2023 - March 2025
Online
14 Modules
14 Online sessions
4 Optional Practical Attendance Modules
PgC/GPCert in Emergency Medicine and Surgery
See the pricing tab – pay as you learn options available

ACCREDITED BY:

ISVPS

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:

Harper Adams University

IN COLLABORATION WITH:

RECOVER Initiative

Frequently Asked Questions

Vet Online Learning

Who can enrol on the Online Learning programmes?
What does the GPCert consist of?
What does the PgC consist of?
Is the PgC programme recognised by other countries?
Can I do the GPCert and the PgC at the same time?
How can I track my progress in the programme?
Does the Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) programme differ from the GPCert?
Do I have to access the programme via a specific browser?
Which modules do I choose for the PgC and when do I have to choose them?
Is the General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert) all online?
How do I submit my case report for the GPCert?
How do I register for the GPCert and/or the PgC?
What do the case logs for the case diary consist of?
Can I defer a module?
If coming from a non-European country – how would face-to-face module attendance work for the PgC?

Venue: Online
Date: November 2023 - March 2025

PgC/GPCert in Emergency Medicine and Surgery

November 2023 - March 2025
Online
14 Modules
14 Online sessions
4 Optional Practical Attendance Modules
PgC/GPCert in Emergency Medicine and Surgery
See the pricing tab – pay as you learn options available

ACCREDITED BY:

ISVPS

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:

Harper Adams University

IN COLLABORATION WITH:

RECOVER Initiative