The College’s Quality Practice program supports the profession in its engagement in continuous quality improvement in the delivery of veterinary care. The program supports the delivery of safe, competent veterinary medicine in Ontario.
What is Quality Practice?
In the regulated professions, Quality Practice is seen as an outcome that follows from an alliance between a College and its professional members. The two groups work together to maintain and demonstrate safe, competent care and service. Quality Improvement and Quality Assurance tools contribute to Quality Practice.
Quality Improvement Toolkit
Veterinarians engage in a range of Quality Improvement activities that include workshops, webinars, online learning modules, consultation with the practice advice service and continuing professional development online tools. The College and the profession are currently engaged in the development of the Quality Improvement Toolkit. The focus of these elements is informed by identification of the areas where there is a risk of barriers to the delivery of, or access to, safe, competent care.
Reporting to the College
Council currently recommends the College’s licensed members engage in 150 hours of CPD activity over three years. Veterinarians annually report their CPD activity hours and currently statistics indicate voluntary completion of an average of 173 hours annually.
Quality Improvement and Quality Assurance
Quality Improvement tools assist professionals with meeting peer expectations in the delivery of quality care by providing learning opportunities that foster the maintenance and enhancement of knowledge and skills. The College assists the profession with Quality Improvement by providing several resources to support this process such as workshops, webinars, policy documents and practice advice.
While Quality Improvement tools are an essential component of Quality Practice, they are only part of the equation. In regulated professions, there is a Quality Assurance component designed to assure the public they will access the quality of care that the profession intends to provide. The development and maintenance of such programs by the profession is in keeping with the public protection mandate of a self-regulated profession. An improvement activity becomes a Quality Assurance activity when it is required, rather than voluntary.
With this, the profession is saying to the public that "individuals must engage in these quality improvement activities that we, the profession, deem to be essential to quality practice". Other Quality Assurance tools include audited CE/CPD logs, peer practice assessment, peer review of medical records, assessment modules, and a tool known as multi-source feedback.
Working with the Profession
It is essential to the success, utility and robustness of a Quality Assurance program that it be developed as a cooperative, respectful alliance between the College and the profession. The College is committed to a rigorous consultative process with veterinarians throughout the program’s development.