The Civility Hub

In simple terms, civility is defined as formal politeness and courtesy in behaviour and speech. However, its significance and value extend far beyond this definition. Civility is essential to all aspects of our personal and professional lives. It is what allows us to develop a greater understanding of both ourselves and each other, and is key to positive progression.

Incivility is the opposite of civility, but both are inextricably linked and we cannot hope to understand one without exploring the other.

Incivility encompasses many forms of communication ranging from the subtle to profound. It includes, but isn’t limited to:-

  • Undermining
  • Talking over someone
  • Belittling
  • Shouting
  • Aggression

According to a 2021 Mind Matters Initiative survey of student veterinary nurses, recently graduated veterinary nurses and clinical coaches, 96% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that bullying and incivility was a serious problem in the profession.

A recent VetLed poll of veterinary teams, also revealed similar findings, with 97% of those polled having been on the receiving end of incivility in practice.

Incivility affects our willingness to work and our quality of work, as well as how our teams integrate and collaborate. With such high levels of the veterinary team having experienced incivility, it is therefore highly likely that it will impact on the patient care that teams are able to deliver.

Given the prevalence and impact of incivility, the Mind Matters Initiative have partnered with VetLed to help create guidance, workshops and a toolkit of resources to tackle the challenges posed for all members of the veterinary team.

A list of upcoming events, initiatives, and campaigns can be found below.

VetLed Civility Training

Incivility and bullying in the workplace impact us all, whether we are individually targeted or experience the repercussions of such behaviour as part of a wider workplace culture. These interactive training sessions will look at the importance of civility in practice, how to recognise incivility and understand it’s impacts, and identify the ways in which it can successfully be addressed.

Find out more and book via our training page.

Veterinary Nurse Think Tanks

This interactive Veterinary Nurse Think Tank run by VetLed and sponsored by Mind Matters Initiative in collaboration with the British Veterinary Nursing Association will cover the importance of being aware of your workplace core values and enable you to identify, understand and embrace your personal values, strengths and weaknesses. These sessions will explore the importance of having curiosity, empathy and compassion towards other people’s values.

Find out more and book your place by clicking your selected date and topic below:

Further Resources


VetLed have some fantastic free resources which have been created in collaboration with Civility Saves Lives. You can download these resources via their website.

Civility Saves Lives Website

Civility Saves Lives is a fantastic initiative set up by healthcare professionals aiming to raise awareness of the power of civility in medicine. Their website contains many useful free resources and downloadable infographics full of information about how civility saves lives and practical things we can do on both an individual and collective level to change working culture for the better. Visit the Civility Saves Lives website for more information.

Videos from Dr Simon Fleming

In November 2021, MMI held it’s first Student Veterinary Nursing Wellbeing Discussion forum in collaboration with VN Futures. This was used to build on responses collected in the 2021 MMI survey to help inform our future work in this area.

Part of the day involved a talk on Incivility and Bullying delivered by Dr Simon Fleming, a Trauma and Orthopaedic Registrar with a growing international reputation for his campaigning work to drive up standards in medical education and to drive out bullying in the healthcare sector.

RCVS Leadership Library

The RCVS Leadership Library is a free hub of information, created to help all those working in the veterinary professions to develop and build on their leadership skills. Whilst this isn’t based specifically on civility, the concept spans across many of their resources including information on navigating difficult conversations and inclusive leadership.

Civility blogs