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College of Veterinarians of Ontario proposes new model for accrediting veterinary facilities

November 18, 2016

Supporting safe, quality veterinary care is central to the work of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (College). The accreditation and inspection of veterinary facilities is one of the key tools that enables the College to assure the public access to quality veterinary care in Ontario.

At its September meeting, the College Council approved a proposed new model for the accreditation of veterinary facilities for open consultation.

"As a key part of the College's quality practice program, a robust facility accreditation program ensures veterinary facilities provide a professional environment and contain the essential equipment for patient care. Members of the public accessing veterinary care can have peace of mind knowing a facility has the necessities for the species being served," said Jan Robinson, Registrar and Chief Executive Officer at the College.

Recently, the College undertook a review of its model for accreditation and is pleased to propose a new model for consideration by the public and the veterinary profession. The proposed new model continues to effectively enable a veterinarian to demonstrate that his/her facility meets the provincial standards for his/her practice and facility type while at the same time supporting responsiveness to the evolution of veterinary medicine.

"Council is pleased with the proposed model and looks forward to hearing feedback from the public and the profession," said Dr. Larry Caven, President of the College. "Our current model, which has served us well for many years, now is a long list of facility types and that can be frustrating for veterinarians who serve a diverse group of species and are required to be accredited for multiple facilities or request exemptions from the standards. What is proposed is more flexible and enables a veterinarian to define his/her practice at the outset and then be required to fulfill the appropriate required standards. Of course, all veterinarians are required to meet and maintain essential standards which pertain to items such as medical records, health and safety, and pharmaceutical management."

Consultation on the future accreditation model is open until January 31, 2017. Further background information and an online tool for providing feedback can be found at

"There is no doubt it is a significant change to the College's accreditation model and it is important that we hear from the public and the profession to identify their support or any areas of concern," said Dr. Caven.

In June 2014, Council established an Accreditation Models Task Force to review the current model and consider various emerging models for facility accreditation. The task force's recommendation to Council suggested a cost-effective contemporary model which would be effective, flexible and responsive to the evolution of veterinary medicine. If approved by Council, the proposed new facility accreditation model will require legislative changes for final implementation.

The College protects and serves the public interest through the regulation of the practice of veterinary medicine. Accordingly, veterinarians are licensed, facilities are accredited, standards and policies are developed and maintained, and an investigations and resolutions process is available. The College licenses approximately 4,500 veterinarians and accredits over 2,300 facilities in Ontario.