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The EUROWA Project comes to a close

The EUROWA Project Team gathered for their last Team Event to showcase SPECIALIST training and exercise modules, and to evaluate and close the EU-funded project. The event took place from December 12-16 at the RSPCA’s Wildlife Hospital in Mallydams Wood, UK.

One of the meeting aims was to showcase and discuss a number of SPECIALIST module elements. One day of the event was devoted to this showcase and included a Search and Collection exercise held on a beach near Hastings. In this exercise, the project team and RSPCA personnel role-played various levels (BASIC, SECTION HEAD, SPECIALIST, MANAGER). A demonstration of a SPECIALIST Skill Lab was also held.

The exercise began with a briefing of the field team in Mallydams by the MANAGER of Field Operations. During the briefing, tasks and responsibilities were assigned and qualified SPECIALISTS and a SECTION HEAD ran the team through a number of standard checks on health and safety, equipment, transportation, and communication.

On arrival, a Beach Collection Point (BCP) was established and the teams were briefed, after a site safety check, before they started carrying out the field activities. Captured animals were brought to the BCP where the SPECIALIST Veterinarian carried out a triage before the animals were put on transport. After a debriefing at the BCP, the team returned to Mallydams where the exercise was evaluated.

Following the field activities, a literature skill lab was carried out, led by a few team members, who role played candidates for a SPECIALIST qualification who have to present a literature review and discuss this with a group of peers. As the exercise itself also included a range of skill labs for various positions, the value of these exercises for candidates to make significant forward progress in their appreciation of the material, and to check off many items on the list of requirements to receive their qualification, was clearly demonstrated.

The rest of the event was spent discussing details of the EUROWA Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), the creation of a EUROWA network via MoU signature, and the way that the project partners would continue working together in the future.

An important session in the meeting had the various participants assess, in discussion with their colleagues, their own level of qualification in relation to the structure and requirements that the EUROWA project has developed. This session signified the start of the establishment of EUROWA’s roster of expertise in the project’s database.

After an evaluation session in which the project partners and individuals shared their observations on the project and concluded that it has exceeded expectations, the EUROWA project was symbolically closed with an evening reception dinner. Symbolically, because the project does not officially conclude until final reporting to the European Commission.

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