The Colorful CE Story

Colorful CE was founded by Brian Faulkner and Christine Weaver

Colorful CE helps each of the various job roles in veterinary practice contribute to the 4 essential outcomes of successful and sustainable veterinary practice.

Colorful CE is a sister company of Colourful in the UK which was set up by Brian Faulkner FRCVS and Kay Watson-Bray in 2017.

Brian’s training career began when he gave (what became to be known as) his first Colourful Consultation talk ‘on the spot’ as a last-minute substitute during a CPD (CE) event in 2011 when the scheduled speaker was stuck in traffic and unable to attend. This talk led to further talks and so it all began. At the time, Brian was running his own veterinary practice and alongside working as a first opinion veterinarian, he had just finished his Masters in Applied Positive Psychology.

Brian’s Masters’ dissertation studied the psychology behind how various stakeholders related to and within veterinary practice define “A good vet?” as well as “What criteria are they are using when making this evaluation?’

In short, when all of the data collected from interviews with all of the various stakeholders was distilled, it was apparent that in order to satisfy all of their various wants and needs, veterinarians, and by implication, the entire veterinary practice, need to know how to achieve four outcomes; clinical resolution, client satisfaction, financial resolution and colleague satisfaction.

In other words, clinical skills alone are necessary but not sufficient to be ‘a good vet’.

Brian adapted these findings into a model of communication that combined the purposeful pursuit of his 4 ‘colourful outcomes’ with the psychology and the behaviours needed to achieve them during veterinary consultations. This model became known as The Colourful Consultation. In fact, the model was named by a practice manager who quipped that Brian’s talk which was entitled “The Veterinary Consultation” was too boring and she introduced it as “The Colourful Consultation”. Despite Brian’s efforts to shake it, the name stuck as people referred to him as ‘That Colourful Consultation’ guy! In 2016, Brian recorded his talks as webinars, which have now been watched in over 25 countries around the world. Some of them have been translated into subtitles in Spanish, Brazilian-Portuguese, Italian and Russian.

In 2015, whilst delivering his Colourful Consultation talk at a practice, one of the vets asked Brian whether he would ‘say a few words to the [CSR] team’ to help strengthen the connection between the consulting vets and the front of house reception staff. Sticking with a theme, Brian called the talk ‘The Colourful Receptionist’. The Colourful Receptionist became the seed that evolved into the Accredited Veterinary Receptionist Award which was launched in the UK in 2017 and is now the CertCSR delivered by Colorful CE today. Brian joined forces with Kay in 2017 when ‘catching up’ with a drink at a veterinary conference in Wales, UK.  Brian had just become President of the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) at that congress and whilst catching up with Kay, he mentioned an idea he had of creating a formally recognised receptionist qualification. Kay mentioned an idea she had of setting up an association for veterinary receptionists. They agreed to collaborate rather than compete as they brought a fantastic combination of knowledge and experience. Kay had set up and been the director of The European School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ESVPS). As such she had experience in examination accreditation and awarding qualifications.

That meeting at in Wales was the birth of The British Veterinary Receptionist Association, BVRA, which launched formally on October 1st, 2017. The British Veterinary Receptionist Association is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to recognise and raise the status of veterinary receptionists within the veterinary profession.  As of summer 2022, over 8,000 veterinary receptionists have joined the BVRA.

In due course Brian and Kay started receiving calls from abroad – Australia, USA, and Canada – all asking how the Accredited Veterinary Receptionist Award could be exported abroad.   Once such interested party was Christine Weaver, a specialist Vet Tech in Maryland.   Brian, Kay and Christine set up Colorful CE in the USA and developed the CertCSR, which is accredited by the International Veterinary Receptionist Association based in the UK.

Colorful CE will hopefully evolve to deliver the range of courses catering to other roles in veterinary practice (such as communication skills for veterinarians, techs, as well as management courses) that its sister company Colourful does in the UK and all around the world.

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