Embarking on your self-directed learning journey
You should feel confident that the modules in this program have been created with you in mind. Because the content has been developed by vets and vet nurses, it’s relevant and accessible for the real-world experience of Australian Vets, animal carers and nurses balancing their busy work tasks and life commitments. Information is in an easy-to-understand format with practical tools to enable immediate climate positive and often cost saving actions. The program is self-directed and based on key adult learning principles which means you can choose how best to manage your time and the tasks within each topic.
The Climate Care Program is a 12-month program with core modules released throughout the year. The course is self-directed but paced out to allow our programs team time to support you as you move through the modules while also providing you with tasks, actions and opportunities to connect with other Climate Champions through our Climate Care Community (see section on 'Your active participation in the Climate Care Community').
Once you're registered and have been enrolled in the Tribal Habits learning platform, you’ll be able to access the first few modules in the Climate Care Program. New modules are released and made accessible to you at the completion and assessment of the previous module. We estimate that completing the introductory module, 'Starting your Climate Care Journey', takes about one hour. It's anticipated that you should allow up to two months to complete the minimum engagement criteria for each topic-based module. You'll have a year to complete the program and assessments.
Note: Access to the Climate Care Program is for 12 months from the date you are enrolled in the program pathway on Tribal Habits.
Creating a system or process unique to your workplace
In preparing to undertake the program, as the Climate Champion consider some ways you can best self manage and direct your own learning, as well as how you might share new information and encourage your colleagues in making positive changes. This could be very practical planning, like how you might best save, store or share the content, activities or tools you'll now have access to within the program. A plan or system unique to your working style and workplace will mean you can meet your team-mates where they are, making behaviour changes easier to adapt to over time. It’ll also ensure easy handover should you - as the Climate Champion - leave the clinic prior to completing the program and have to hand over participation to another colleague.
Some ideas from current Climate Champions:
- Set up a Climate Care Program shared folder on your work hard drive. You could create sub-folders for each module where you save any relevant documents downloaded from the program. This could also be a place to save communications sent out to your team and any other collateral that you might create as a result of your participation.
- A regular spot in your team meetings to talk about your progress through the program and activities they can be a part of!
- Use your internal communication tools to share updates (for example Slack, email or WhatsApp).
Create a 'climate care team’ to support the Climate Champion in your workplace
Rest assured the program has had extensive design input from a collaborative team of vets, vet nurses, sustainability engineers and specialist tertiary educators dedicated to a continuous improvement culture in a rapidly changing world. We know what it's like to work in a busy veterinary clinic, and the program considers the Climate Champion to be one part of a bigger team or community taking action. To help generate momentum, provide support and help facilitate problem-solving, we encourage Climate Champions to find at least one 'buddy', from within their team. Together they'll build a team around them, so that environmentally sustainable practices become embedded in everyday clinic life.
The resources and time your clinic has invested in this program mean you probably already have some supportive colleagues around you keen to learn and take action. However if you find yourself in the position of being in a smaller work team or flying solo, there's a community of veterinary professionals across Australia ready to welcome and support you through our 'Climate Care Champions Facebook Community' group (see section on 'Your active participation in the Climate Care Community').
Through active participation in the program, we believe you and your team can move from talking about what you’d would like to do, to knowing and you’re equipped to do it!
A note about self-care as the Climate Care Champion
We want this program to offer you hope, but we also recognise it can be challenging to learn about the urgency of the need for climate action. And by inspiring you and your team to take action and implement change - no matter how small - we hope this program will provide a sense of empowerment. However, we know that no change is linear, and we expect you may experience frustration, setbacks and barriers to change from time to time. This is normal and expected. It's reassuring to know there are many people and organisations who - like you - are keen to make a difference and are helping people to work together in practical ways to achieve this common goal.
Taking action is an important part of tackling concerns about climate, and the Climate Care Program is designed to help you do just that. If you're experiencing feelings that are impacting your mental wellbeing or behaviours or psychological safety in the workplace, we recommend taking a look at Psychology for a Safe Climate and Love Your Pet, Love Your Vet for support and further resources.