Abstract Title
Concept of veterinary training in a clinical skills lab


M. Dilly
A. Tipold
E. Schaper
J.P. Ehlers




University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation


In Germany, veterinary curricula focus on imparting knowledge, whereas practical competence-based education is mainly performed during the last practical year. Hence, veterinary studies conflict between academic literacy and practical preparation for profession. In 2012 the first German veterinary clinical skills lab (CSL) was set up by funding of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.


Aim of this training concept is to establish a dynamic and interdisciplinary guideline for training skills at the CSL. Therefore, we developed a three-step-concept of training veterinary skills to provide an opportunity for students to train skills in context with the curriculum to foster practical competence.


The aim of this veterinary training concept was to establish a dynamic and interdisciplinary guideline for skills-training at the CSL according to the current curriculum and legal  ordinance for veterinary practice in Germany. Therefore, we developed a three-step-concept of training veterinary skills to provide an opportunity for students to train skills in a continually manner. The long-term goal is the implementation of this trainings concept and assessments of a skills lab training in the curriculum.


Dilly M, Tipold A, Schaper E, Ehlers JP: Neue Wege in der Aus- und Fortbildung: Erstes Veterinärmedizinisches Skills Lab in Deutschland vermittelt klinische Fertigkeiten. Deutsches Tierärzteblatt 7/2013, 945-948

Summary of Work

Concept of Veterinary Training:

Essential competences were classified and embedded in the concept by the following steps:


  1. General skills
  2. Specific skills
  3. Professional skills

Overall, each of the three steps contains a selection of “Day one” skills according to the requirements of the clinical departments of the university and the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE).


Goals of training concept:

  • Provide early excess to basic skills training
  • Ensure that general and specific skills are mastered before animal exposure
  • Expand hands-on clinical skills/experience

Take-home Messages

So far, we assert that establishment of a training concept is at least as important as using simulators for competence-based education.



Funding by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Summary of Work


General skills are essential skills in daily and routine veterinary practice. The skills should be undertaken by each veterinary student during the first and second year of study (at least before first extramural clinical placement training).

Entry: free to every student

Teaching methods:

  • Basic skills simulators ("complete feedback")
  • Web-based videos combined with self-learning opportunities
  • Guidance by working sheets and peer-assisted learning


Simulator´s feedback (“skills”)

Voluntary self-assessment (“knowledge”) by using multiple-choice-questions (MCQ)

Specific skills are used in specialized fields of veterinary practice. Their performance is embedded in a specific clinical situation. These skills should be performed by advanced students after passing the 2nd year of study and fulfilling the certificate in propaedeutics.

Entry: Certificate in propaedeutics, accomplished courses in general skills

Teaching methods:

  • simulation based small group training ("incomplete feedback")
  • peer-assisted learning/apprentice method
  • self-learning opportunities after the course/introduction


Voluntary assessment (“knowledge & skills”) by a tutor (interview, OSCE).


Professional skills are skills in a specific field of interest for the future career of the student. These skills are specific to the species and specialty in veterinary medicine. Students apply to these type of courses before running clinical rotations in the last year of  study.

Entry: Passing 3rd year of study (including degree),certificate in propaedeutics, pre-clinical rotation

Teaching methods:

  • group training
  • mentoring apprentice


Obligatory assessments depending on the type of course (e.g. online-exam, interviews, OSCE…).


Take-home Messages
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