Proper training of official veterinarians (OVs) is fundamental to achieving their advanced role as risk managers within a risk-based meat safety assurance system (RB-MSAS) addressing the most relevant meat-borne public health hazards. The demography, training opportunities and needs of OVs in Europe remain largely unknown. The objective of this study was to characterise OVs in terms of demography and employment and to identify continuing education and training needs via a survey. An anonymous questionnaire with 32 questions was designed, translated into 17 different languages and disseminated online in 33 countries across Europe. Responses were received from 1786 OVs of 32 nationalities working in 29 countries. The average age of the respondents was 49 years, 54% were male, and their average experience as OVs was 15 years. A minority of 16% held a Master of Science and 10% held a Doctor of Philosophy degree, whereas 36% held a national specialisation diploma and 4% a European one. Professional experience as a veterinarian was reported as a requirement to enter the OV career by 32% of the respondents, with differing training requirements across countries. Regarding continuing education, the last activity was most frequently reported within the last year, on-site practical sessions and direct lectures were the most favoured methods. New EU legislation on official controls was the most reported topic for past and future training activities. A high degree of overall satisfaction with their employment was reported, but nevertheless, 15% of the respondents were dissatisfied. Not all of the respondents were confident with visual meat inspection results or the availability of resources for risk-based meat inspection. Differences were detected between OVs working in the European Union, United Kingdom or European Free Trade Association countries and those working in other European countries. This first characterisation of OVs across Europe suggests a relatively high average age with a low proportion of females compared to the general veterinarian population. These findings indicate upcoming demographic changes that may demand adaptations in education and training. Similar surveys should be carried out periodically to document this process, addressing new professional challenges and demands.

Official veterinarians in Europe: Questionnaire-based insights into demographics, work and training / Gomes-Neves, E.; Cardoso, M. F.; Lazou, T.; Hengl, B.; Bonardi, S.; Blagojevic, B.; Guldiman, C.; Johler, S.. - In: FOOD CONTROL. - ISSN 0956-7135. - 153:(2023), p. 109947.109947. [10.1016/j.foodcont.2023.109947]

Official veterinarians in Europe: Questionnaire-based insights into demographics, work and training

Bonardi S.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Proper training of official veterinarians (OVs) is fundamental to achieving their advanced role as risk managers within a risk-based meat safety assurance system (RB-MSAS) addressing the most relevant meat-borne public health hazards. The demography, training opportunities and needs of OVs in Europe remain largely unknown. The objective of this study was to characterise OVs in terms of demography and employment and to identify continuing education and training needs via a survey. An anonymous questionnaire with 32 questions was designed, translated into 17 different languages and disseminated online in 33 countries across Europe. Responses were received from 1786 OVs of 32 nationalities working in 29 countries. The average age of the respondents was 49 years, 54% were male, and their average experience as OVs was 15 years. A minority of 16% held a Master of Science and 10% held a Doctor of Philosophy degree, whereas 36% held a national specialisation diploma and 4% a European one. Professional experience as a veterinarian was reported as a requirement to enter the OV career by 32% of the respondents, with differing training requirements across countries. Regarding continuing education, the last activity was most frequently reported within the last year, on-site practical sessions and direct lectures were the most favoured methods. New EU legislation on official controls was the most reported topic for past and future training activities. A high degree of overall satisfaction with their employment was reported, but nevertheless, 15% of the respondents were dissatisfied. Not all of the respondents were confident with visual meat inspection results or the availability of resources for risk-based meat inspection. Differences were detected between OVs working in the European Union, United Kingdom or European Free Trade Association countries and those working in other European countries. This first characterisation of OVs across Europe suggests a relatively high average age with a low proportion of females compared to the general veterinarian population. These findings indicate upcoming demographic changes that may demand adaptations in education and training. Similar surveys should be carried out periodically to document this process, addressing new professional challenges and demands.
2023
Official veterinarians in Europe: Questionnaire-based insights into demographics, work and training / Gomes-Neves, E.; Cardoso, M. F.; Lazou, T.; Hengl, B.; Bonardi, S.; Blagojevic, B.; Guldiman, C.; Johler, S.. - In: FOOD CONTROL. - ISSN 0956-7135. - 153:(2023), p. 109947.109947. [10.1016/j.foodcont.2023.109947]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2953852
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