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Information for the Public

Jurisprudence Exam

The College's jurisprudence exam requires applicants to demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to apply relevant Ontario legislation and regulations, as well as College standards and guidelines.

2016 Annual Report

The College's 2016 Annual Report "Strengthening Our Foundation" discusses the College's priorities and accomplishments throughout the year.

Proposed Facility Accreditation Model

The purpose of this consultation is for the public, veterinarians and stakeholders to provide their comments on the implementation of a proposed, new facility accreditation and inspection model.

The features of the model are detailed in the report available below. Facility accreditation is a core component of the College’s business, and the College encourages you to share your thoughts.

Why is the College considering a new facility accreditation and inspection model?

The College of Veterinarians of Ontario is one of the few regulatory bodies in the province which has a mandated facility accreditation program. While the current model has been in place since the late 1990’s and has served the public and profession well, the Accreditation Committee had noted emerging issues which raise the question as to the model’s suitability for the future.

Areas of concern include:

  • The increasing number of facility types which increases the complexity of the model’s structure and application;
  • The need for some licensed members in mixed practice to hold multiple accreditation types; and
  • The significant increase in the number of requests at the Accreditation Committee for exemptions from the defined and published Standards.

Feedback from licensed members also indicates a preference to review the current facility accreditation and inspection model. Input from post-inspection surveys has highlighted a desire for a more outcomes-based approach to facility accreditation, which is common in other professions.

The Accreditation Committee presented its concerns and feedback from licensed members to Council. Council established the Accreditation Models Task Force (AMTF) in June 2014 to complete a full review of current and emerging models for facility accreditation. In October 2015, the AMTF made recommendations to Council on a cost-effective, contemporary model for facility accreditation and an inspection process which would be effective, flexible and responsive.

The objectives of the proposed facility accreditation model are to:

  • Provide assurance that appropriate quality standards are being met using an outcome-based, cost-feasible approach,
  • Provide a dynamic, progressive facility accreditation program that allows for change and growth in the profession, and;
  • Enhance and strengthen the image of the veterinary profession.

What is being proposed?

The Veterinarians Act requires veterinarians in Ontario to practise veterinary medicine from accredited facilities. The current process defines a particular set of standards for a particular facility type. The proposed facility accreditation model makes an important shift towards a model for veterinary facility accreditation that reflects the services and scope of practice of the facility. This new model permits a veterinarian to define the scope of the practice that is provided in association with the facility. Such a model allows for flexibility and nimbleness in facility accreditation as veterinary care and service evolves.

Further, this proposed model decreases the accreditation cycle length to three years, from a current length of five years, and requires the facility director to conduct an annual self-assessment of accreditation requirements. These two changes contribute to supporting continuous attention to ensuring a facility meets the standards to successfully achieve accreditation.

The proposed model identifies the need to engage licensed veterinarians as facility accreditation inspectors. The use of technology is also intended to be leveraged to contribute to the efficiency of the accreditation process. 

While the proposed model provides licensed members with latitude in determining the services and care type that are provided from a facility, it does recognize that there are requirements for Essential Standards that reach across all facility types, regardless of the type of care or service that is offered. 

This more modern model of facility accreditation is being proposed to enable the veterinary profession to have a flexible and evolving accreditation program that meets the public’s need for facility accreditation while creating a better assurance of public accountability related to veterinary facilities.

Next steps?

For detailed information on what is being proposed for the future of facility accreditation, you are encouraged to read the Proposed Facility Accreditation Model Report available below and complete a brief questionnaire to share your thoughts.

To assist with understanding, the College is also offering a webinar to present the model. A recording of the webinar is also available for those who were unable to participate.

All perspectives shared during this consultation will be compiled into a report and shared with the College Council. The report will also be available online.

Download Proposed Facility Accreditation Model


This consultation is now closed.

Anonymous on Nov 18, 2016 08:28

Why would the CVO make Workplace Health and Safety part of accreditation? This is the Ministry of Labour's mandate. The CVO's mandate is to "Strengthening the veterinary profession through quality practice and public accountability." Adding Workplace Health and Safety doesn't strengthen the CVO's mandate. What if an inspector wanted to see my workplace sexual harassment protocol as per Bill 132? And I were to tell the inspector that it is in each employees confidential employee file. Would the inspect be able to force me to show him/her the employee confidential file? Enforcement of the Occupational Health and Safety Act falls under on Ministry of Labour and NOT under the Veterinary Act. The CVO has no jurisdiction

The College of Veterinarians of Ontario on Nov 24, 2016 03:19

The Essential Standards are still in the formative stages and the content will be further defined in the next phases of development. Thank you for this helpful feedback. reply

Anonymous on Jan 19, 2017 04:48

I agree that Workplace Health & Safety is already more than covered by the government as is Hazardous & Biomedical Waste. reply

Tim on Nov 21, 2016 10:29

Looks good but one thought. In the example section you have a spay neuter clinic doing microchips, wellness checks and vaccines. The scope box of confinement/hospitalization and diagnostics are not checked off yet they will be keeping animals on site and doing blood work as part of the wellness checks. If they are doing vaccines then they need to able to handle acute vaccine reactions whereas a spay neuter clinic not doing vaccines doesn't have to able to handle that type of emergency yet they both seen to tick off the same boxes. This makes me think that I do not understand how to use the boxes properly or do not understand the model.

The College of Veterinarians of Ontario on Nov 24, 2016 03:22

Confinement/hospitalization refers to overnight confinement. This facility would still permit keeping animals on site for a period of time. Thank you for noticing this; it was an oversight in not checking the box next to diagnostics. The report has been edited to reflect this change. Thank you for your helpful comments. reply

Jeff Rabinovitch on Nov 25, 2016 05:22

Having read the proposed Accreditation model, it is unclear what defines the difference between a "Hospital" and an "Office". Additionally, the "Yearly Fee" will be seen simply as a way to increase fees without need - this needs to be explained further.

The College of Veterinarians of Ontario on Nov 30, 2016 12:38

Currently O.Reg. 1093 states that “It is a condition of a certificate of accreditation for a companion animal office that the veterinary services provided in or from the facility do not include radiology, major surgery, overnight confinement or, except for observation and continuing care on the day of treatment, hospitalization.” Whereas the hospital can provide all of these services. Any future refinement to the definition of an “office” would be developed in the next phases of this project. Yearly Fees – This is still in the formative stages. The breakdown of the fees will be further defined in the next phases of development. Thank you for this helpful feedback! reply

Anonymous on Dec 09, 2016 06:16

Minimal standards for facilities is the requirement and is just that Minimal Requirements. Any additions should be recommendations only. Looks to me like an expensive make Staff work project. Find it hard to believe that any facility owner would come up with something like this. Inspectors that need CE. Laughable. Who assesses what is considered minor or major surgery? As a surgeon what, many would consider major I consider minor. etc. the list goes on. 3 year vs 5 yrs $$$. yearly Assessment $$$ etc you provide 3 services 3 month later you want to add dentistry and are required to have another accreditation. Paperwork and massive cost increases.

Dr. Lianna Titcombe on Dec 15, 2016 06:47

I am in favour of a new accreditation model that is " effective, flexible and responsive to the evolution of veterinary medicine". As a mobile home hospice veterinarian my scope of practice and therefore the supplies needed are limited compared to those of a general practitioner. Rather than having to account for an extensive list of "deficiencies", I would prefer to have a certification of accreditation that is restricted to hospice and palliative care, and I would commend the College for recognizing this new, emerging field of veterinary medicine.

Frederick Panola on Dec 19, 2016 12:20

1 - I strongly believe that inspecting facilities by licensed veterinarians creates direct conflict of interest, and should be avoided. I do not see any methods or vehicles designed in the new model to prevent such conflict of interest. 2 - The descriptions to justify the annual fees that the facilities will have to pay are very vague and unclear or at least in my judgment not fair and unjustifiable. In case these fees are levied, college must provide complete transparency with details, and accountability to inquiries put forward by practice owners about how these funds are spent. 3 - College must provide guarantees in the new model that all facilities in Ontario that provide veterinary care and services are subject to the same standards. These facilities include OSPCA spay and neuter clinics.

Anonymous on Dec 22, 2016 07:36

The idea that random inspections will prevent perceived activities such as the sharing of equipment or staging inspections is offensive! The implication suggests the College believes its members are intentionally trying to deceive the accreditation process. Truly, how random will these inspections be? Let us imagine a critical letter that is written about the College of the Veterinarians of Ontario, suddenly the author of that letter is now subject to a random inspection. Let us say a complaint is lodged against a member suddenly that member is now subject to a random inspection. Are these inspections random or are they at the whim of the College? Will it be blind and at arm’s length from the registrar and executive committees? A random inspection by definition is an uninvited warrantless invasion of private property and it must be dropped from this proposal.

College of Veterinarians of Ontario on Jan 05, 2017 09:11

Random inspections are just that. A number of facilities each year would be determined by Council - perhaps 75. A mathematical query would be set within the database which would select the facilities to be visited. Facilities selected would have no intentional connection to the complaints process, comments by veterinarians on a College consultation, etc. Interestingly, the call for random inspections has come overwhelmingly from feedback from veterinarians in practice. reply

Anonymous on Jan 20, 2017 02:05

Where is the evidence that practice owners are in favour of random inspections? If a veterinarian passes accreditation or has a yearly assessment is there a period in which they will not be subjected to a random inspection? Why burden a veterinarian with a random inspection within a year of being accredited or assessed? Will there be a limit on the number of random inspections a clinic can have within a certain time frame? For example one intrusive invasion of privacy every five years. If a veterinarian's internet connection will not support Skype for a yearly assessment will a phone call work? reply

College of Veterinarians of Ontario on Jan 31, 2017 10:06

The use of Skype was only one of the suggestions provided to leverage technology in the proposed facility accreditation and inspection model. The use of this technology would be evaluated on a case by case basis and of course, will take into account the veterinarian’s access to the internet and internet connectivity. The actual details as to how the yearly assessments will be reviewed has yet to be determined. reply

Chiara Switzer on Jan 10, 2017 07:56

I applaud you for finally instituting random inspections of veterinary facilities - it's something that's been long overdue, in my opinion.

Anonymous on Jan 12, 2017 11:37

Will this mean practices can "opt out " of providing emergency services?

College of Veterinarians of Ontario on Jan 19, 2017 04:21

Thank you for your question. A member is still responsible for providing services outside of regular practice hours by providing options to their clients to access emergency care. What is optional for a practice is whether or not they obtain the designation of an emergency clinic which requires that a member and an auxiliary are actually on duty in the facility and available for service with reasonable promptness, (a)every weekday from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. on the following day; (b) every weekend from 7 p.m. on Friday to 8 a.m. on the following Monday; and (c) every statutory holiday from 7 p.m. on the day before the holiday to 8 a.m. on the day following the holiday. The additional scope of practice services are in the development phase and if the proposed model moves forward, there would be work to determine what these would be and how they are defined. reply

James Dykeman on Jan 14, 2017 09:15

I oppose increasing the frequency of accreditation. For my small rural practice it is disruptive (pulling all the trucks off the road for inspection) and expensive, and I have seen no evidence that the practice would improve the quality of veterinary medicine delivered to producers.

Anonymous on Jan 19, 2017 04:29

I do not believe that the need for accreditation of different types of facilities justifies random inspections and more frequent accreditation. "Provide assurance that appropriate quality standards are being met using an outcome-based, cost-feasible approach" I fail to see how more frequent accreditation makes anything more cost-feasible. It means more expense to the College and thus more expense passed down to the veterinarian. In addition, if you are looking at "outcome-based" standards then why not increase the accreditation rate for clinics that had deficiencies instead of ALL clinics?? Our inspector this year told us ' I found nothing....and I always find something! ' and praised us for our clinic environment . So now I get to pay to be accredited more often?? This is ridiculous. Has there been a sudden surge in clinics failing the accreditation at 5 years?

Stan Henderson on Jan 20, 2017 10:23

As cvo moves to more peer review this is an excellent opportunity to integrate that principle. I think an honour system every 3 years would be an invaluable technique to have the membership take more responsibility for practice standards. Practices would be inspected by a colleague who would obviously accept responsibility that this practice meets accreditation standards. This would be an introduction to peer review and promote collegiality with neighboring practices. There could be a provision that a different member do the inspection every 3 years or 5 % of practices would be randomly inspected by CVO.

James on Feb 01, 2017 06:22

One reason as cited for why the College is implementing this new model is because of the increasing number of exemptions requested. However in the 2016 annual report the number of facilities requesting exemptions has declined since 2014. The data does not support the College's own reasoning? The other reason cited for this new model is because of the increasing number of deficiencies. I believe in the webinar the most common reason was the drug log not being done weekly. If there are an increasing number of deficiencies wouldn't an educational awareness campaign be more cost effective and easier to implement then initiating a very complicated and costly new program?

Anonymous on Feb 03, 2017 01:17

How would a situation in which different scopes of practice will be using different components be addressed? Eg. Hospital does not do surgery but mobile does offer it. Can limited diagnostics be done in house and most laboratory work sent out?

College of Veterinarians of Ontario on Feb 08, 2017 10:51

Thank you for your questions. Under the current Regulations, food-animal and equine mobiles are permitted to do surgery but companion animal mobile is not; as the model is developed, this would be further explored and defined. With regard to diagnostics, facilities may determine what diagnostics are done in-house versus at external labs; in model development, this would be an area that is further explored as well. reply