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Information for the Public

Profession-based Regulation

In Ontario, veterinarians have the privilege of profession-based regulation. This means the government trusts the veterinary profession to keep the public interest, rather than self-interest, at the forefront in regulating the practice and conduct of veterinarians.

There are mechanisms in place to ensure the work of the College is guided by the public interest. Public members are appointed by the provincial government to serve on Council and Committees.  The College and Council are accountable to the provincial government through the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The College is funded by the licence fees paid by each veterinarian in the province.

Ontario’s veterinarians value professionalism and are committed to ensuring that the public receives quality, ethical care. Regulatory colleges, many of which exist in human health care, were established to protect the public’s right to safe, effective and ethical service.

Legislation and regulations are in place to protect the public interest. Here are some examples:

Consent: Informed client consent is required for treatment.

Privacy and Medical Records: Veterinarians can only provide information to you or someone you authorize to represent you. You must consent to the release of your information, unless it is required or permitted by law.

Professional Conduct: The public, including clients, have the right to file a complaint with the College if they have concerns about the care provided by a veterinarian or the actions or conduct of a veterinarian.

Licensure: The College is responsible for ensuring that licensed members meet the educational requirements and standards of qualification to practise veterinary medicine in Ontario.

Accreditation:  Veterinarians must practise from a professional environment which meets the standards to be granted a Certificate of Accreditation, which is posted in the veterinary facility. Look for the Certificate when you visit your veterinarian.

Quality Assurance: The College’s Quality Practice program promotes continuing competence and continuing quality improvement among the profession.