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Information for the Public

The College protects your right to safe, competent and ethical veterinary care. When you require the services of a veterinarian, you can expect to receive safe, quality care from a highly-trained licensed professional.

Proposed Facility Accreditation 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.

To assist with understanding, the College is also offering a webinar to present the model.

All perspectives shared during this consultation were compiled into a report and are available below.

Download Proposed Facility Accreditation Model

Download Report on Consultation

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