Veterinarians in Ontario must practise from an accredited veterinary facility. Accreditation ensures all veterinary facilities in Ontario provide a professional environment and contain the essential equipment required for patient care. Veterinary facilities are inspected for specific equipment requirements; proper patient records; safe drug storage; a medical reference library; and orderly and sanitary premises.
There are currently more than 1,500 veterinary practices operating 2,300 facilities (including mobiles) in Ontario. All veterinary facilities, including mobile facilities, must meet the College’s accreditation standards.
Ontario’s veterinary facilities are inspected by the College every five years. When facilities meet all requirements, they receive a Certificate of Accreditation. A facility must have achieved accreditation prior to operating and also upon relocation, change in facility category or a change in ownership. Veterinarians must meet the requirements described in the Minimum Standards for Veterinary Facilities in Ontario. Ontario veterinarians demonstrate a commitment to veterinary health care by meeting the accreditation requirements and supporting the inspection program established by the College.
Veterinary facilities must meet, or qualify for exemption from, the Minimum Standards for Veterinary Facilities in Ontario. Inspected facilities are granted a Certificate of Accreditation, usually for a five-year period. Inspections are conducted when certificates are due to expire; new practices open; facilities (such as mobiles) are added to practices; ownership changes; and facilities relocate.
When a deficiency is noted during an inspection, there are rare situations when the licensed member may request an exemption from the specific requirement that was noted as deficient.
The Accreditation Committee has the authority to make a decision on the request for an exemption. If granted, the exemption would be noted on the public register, available through a search on “Find a Veterinarian,” as a condition and limitation on a facility's Certificate of Accreditation.
Facility Designations and Terms
The names of Ontario's veterinary facilities require approval by the Registrar. The designation or name of a veterinary facility must contain appropriate terms. Facility names that clearly meet the requirements are approved by the Registrar. Applications for facility designations that do not clearly comply with the regulations may be referred by the Registrar to the Accreditation Committee for final decision-making.