Call for expressions of interest: focus group on GP-referral communications


Due-date for expressions of interest: Friday, 3 July 2020
Email: [email protected]
Focus group to be held late July 2020


The President of the Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria (the Board), Professor Ted Whittem, and members of the Board are inviting expressions of interest on the development of a new statutory Guideline covering GP-referral communications.

The aim of the focus group is to enable an open exchange of views on the ethics, principles and practice of GP referrals. The focus group of 10-15 participants will be held in late July.

In its consideration of stakeholder feedback received from the public consultation in late 2019 on draft revised Guidelines, the Board has identified a number of areas of practice where current Guidelines are either silent or need further development to better reflect the scope and challenges of today’s professional environment.

Focus group details

In line with social distancing protocols, the focus group will be convened using a remote connection platform. Although all participants will be known to each other through the platform, the Board will not publicly disclose the names of any individual participant. The focus group discussion will be recorded to assist with future Guideline development. The recording will be deleted once this use is satisfied.

If you are interested in participating in the focus group discussion, please register your interest before 5pm on 3 July 2020 by sending an email to [email protected].

Your expression of interest should contain the following information:

  • Your name
  • Contact email and telephone number
  • A brief statement of your interest in being part of the focus group
  • Your practice name and type of practice
  • Disclosure of any potential conflict of interest including any association or relationship (past or present) with Board members or VPRBV staff.

Selection process

Expressions of interest will be assessed against the following criteria, and the outcome of the call for expressions of interest will be communicated in the week commencing 6 July 2020. A cap of 10 practitioners will be applied in the event of oversubscription.

Assessment criteria for selection of focus group participants:
  1. order of receipt
  2. if more than 10 responses are received, all responses will be assessed by the VPRBV Board members to ensure a balance of representation from:
    • private general practitioners where specialty referral services attend their premises
    • private general practitioners where specialty referral services do not attend their premises
    • corporate practice
    • registered specialists who provide travelling services in a few different but representative disciplines
    • registered specialists who practise solely from their own facility
    • registered specialists with post-graduate qualifications in a relevant field, e.g. ethics or communications
    • balance of protected attributes (for example, age, gender, ethnicity), and where an applicant self-identifies with a protected attribute and the VPRBV Board members form the opinion that the attribute is one of a cohort where the attribute could have an impact on the deliberation of the guideline.

The Board will also seek a nominee from the Victorian Division of the Australian Veterinary Association and from the Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions.