Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions to help guide you in using the Compassion Understood site and taking the Pet Loss Support Training Programme:

Compassion Understood is a Pet Loss Support training and support tool for veterinary practices to help them deliver compassionate end-of-life (4th life stage) care to both pet patients and their owners. The training is suitable for all members of the practice team, from veterinarians to veterinary nurses/assistants as well as the client support team/reception team. The pet owner site is a sensitively written resource for practices to direct their clients to, to help provide owners with information that is reliable, transparent and covers all aspects of the pet loss journey.  

The course is made up of three components: 

Component 1: Preparing for & Nearing End-of-Life

Component 2: The Pet’s Passing 

Component 3: The Client Journey 

Each component is composed of 5 modules, with each module expected to take about 30 minutes. Each component therefore provides about 2.5 hours of learning.The entire course provides about 7.5 hours of learning in total. Participants can take one, two or all three components. 

The modules within each component are as follows:

Preparing for & Nearing End-of-Life

  1. Understanding the pet owner
  2. Introducing the 4th life stage; Quality of life assessment and tools
  3. Decision-making and end-of-life discussions
  4. Introduction to palliative & hospice care
  5. Compassionate communication

The Pet's Passing

  1. Euthanasia: mind-sets & challenges
  2. Bond-centred euthanasia: the vet professional's guide
  3. Home euthanasia & common scenarios
  4. Moving towards bond-centred end-of-life care: building protocols for your clinic
  5. Reflective practice: self-evaluation & team care (including compassion fatigue)

The Client Journey

  1. Moving towards a bond centred approach
  2. The client journey Part 1: before the last appointment
  3. The client journey Part 2: immediately after the last appointment
  4. Supporting the client after their pet's passing
  5. Bringing everything together


Modules are based on a a variety of learning styles, including video, audio and article reading. At the end of each module is a short multiple choice question test which contributes towards passing the component or course. There are also non-compulsory reflective exercises along the way, which the participant is encouraged to complete in a Reflective Journal. Each Component also provides downloadable resources for both the practice and the client. You can read more information on the course in our Course page and in each Component page. 



Compassion Understood training is divided into 3 components and within each of those there are 5 modules. Each module is expected to take about 30 minutes to complete. If you are taking all 3 components this will give you 7.5 hours of CPD. If you take one component (consisting of 5 modules), this will provide about 2.5 hours of CPD. Certificates are provided on completion of each component and can be used to provide evidence of training. 

Practice Plans Get your whole team working together to deliver seamless support from as little as £30 per person per year

Compassion Understood are committed to helping practices engage in implementing a standard approach and delivering a working protocol to ensure your end of life support is exceptional. By investing in the practice plan you are ensuring your whole team is trained with skills equipping them with the behavioural insights, to give them confidence in addressing the subject of death, as well as the clinical knowledge to be able to support their clients through decision making, quality of life discussions, choices, and giving a peaceful, guilt-free death through euthanasia if that is the choice made.

The Practice plan is our commitment to you to help make this happen by introducing a plan that will make your investment achievable and at a price that will fit well within your annual CPD allocation. (from £30.00 per person per year)

For Practice Plan Pricing and Further Details - Click here

Individual Components

The whole course is made up of three components.You can either take, one, two or all three components to suit your budget.

You can read more about how to register for one or more components on the Book a Component page.

Single components from £75.00  

To discuss your practice plan or component requirements further please contact us at or on 01788 228811. 

No, this is not possible as the components each cover a specific area of training and modules taken in isolation would mean that you do not receive the intended learning messages. The components each cover specific aspects of the pet loss journey. Components 1 and 2 follow the veterinary journey, but importantly provide insight into the client’s point of view during the period up to, and at the pet’s passing. The third component focuses on the client journey, and all the touchpoints that the client will make in their interactions with the clinic, such as the initial phone call, coming into the clinic, paying for the euthanasia procedure and aftercare and actions to take after the pet’s death. 

The components have been written with the view that as a veterinary surgeon, you should take all 3. The first two components cover both clinical and non-clinical (communication) aspects. The third component looks at the client journey, setting practice protocols and being able to work as a team for the seamless support of your clients. 

 The veterinary nurse’s role in practice can vary, but if you are a nurse who has any interaction with clients ‘front-of-house’ then it is recommended that as well as the first two components on the clinical and non-clinical veterinary journey, you should take the third component on the client journey and clinic touchpoints. 

The final component (3) does not have any clinical content and focuses in the client journey and setting practice protocols. It is perfect for the non-clinical team who answer the phone and interact with clients and to help develop protocols for the front-of-house team to implement after taking the Compassion Understood training.

Some of our testers have commented that it would be beneficial for the non-clinical team to also take Component (1), which gives extensive pet owner insights and information on the human-animal bond. Depending on your role in practice (in some cases reception team assist the vet in euthanasia) then component (2) might also be applicable. 

Whether you are a student veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse, we would recommend that you should take all 3 components to help prepare you for when you graduate and the vet and the pet journey becomes more of your responsibility. An area that veterinary students will find particularly beneficial is the step-by-step guide to euthanasia in component 2, which will help you to feel confident when you first need to undertake the procedure on your own.

No. Bereavement training is specialised and our course will not give you a qualification that means you can use the term counsellor. What it will give you though is thought-provoking training that will help you change your processes to better support the client through their end-of-life journey with their beloved pet. It will give you information on how to create a bereavement pack that will include details of where owners can find more support if they need it.

More and more veterinary practices find they need to offer more to clients to sustain and grow their business. The recent RCVS and BVA Vet Futures report states: “Vets have told us that they feel growing pressure to deliver higher levels of customer service. They also see better meeting clients’ needs as a key area of opportunity for the future”. Ensuring your clients receive compassionate end-of-life care for them and their pets could help address the (on average) 20% client losses following pet loss and offer your clients the support that they need at this emotional and difficult time.


The Compassion Understood training will give the team member who has completed it a CPD certificate that can be uploaded into your practice documents for the Practice Standards Scheme. The comprehensive training is very client-focused and was developed following research with hundreds of pet owners about how they could be better supported through their pet loss journey. It includes lots of downloadable documents, including client handouts to help them guide their children or companion pets through pet loss, as well as protocols to help provide a repeatable, and positive client experience.

The Compassion Understood Pet Loss Support Training Programme will help you to earn award points in the following areas:

·         A member of the team has undertaken training in bereavement counselling in the last four years and provided internal training to the team. (20 points)


·         There is client information available on coping with the loss of their pets and sources of support. (10 points)