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Information for Veterinary Professionals

As a licensed member, you will find helpful information in this section to assist you with making changes to your licence and managing the accreditation of a veterinary facility. You will also find information concerning professional conduct and quality practice. 

Accreditation Process - New Practice

The Accreditation Program has resumed normal operations and onsite facility inspections. Disruptions during the pandemic have resulted in a high volume of facility inspections at this time and staff appreciate your understanding as we manage the backlog. Contact

A Guide to the Accreditation Process explains the need for facilities to demonstrate compliance with the Minimum Standards for Veterinary Facilities in Ontario, as well as the procedures with respect to the accreditation of facilities for the College .

Improved and Efficient On-Line Services Now Available

Visit the Professional Practice Portal to access online services. (You will need to know your username and password to access the Professional Practice Portal.)

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Veterinary facilities in Ontario must have facility names approved by the College. Facility names must be consistent with Part IV, section 41 of O.Reg.1093 (see below) and not easily confused with other similar facility names or professional corporations. The College does not approve facility names in relation to legality under the Copyright Act. It is the responsibility of the veterinarian to verify copyright ownership.

The rules for the naming of the facility indicate that the name shall contain:

(a) a geographical reference appropriate to the location of the facility or the surname of a member who is or was associated with the practice;
(b) the word “animal”, “pet” or “veterinary” except, (i) if the practice in or from the facility is restricted to one   particular species, the name of that species or specialty or one of the words “animal”, “pet”, or “veterinary” or both the name of the species or specialty  and one of the words “animal”, “pet”, or “veterinary”, and (ii) if the practice in or from the facility is restricted to poultry, the word “poultry” with or without the word “veterinary”; and,
(c) an appropriate term as indicated in the table below:

Class of Veterinary Facility Appropriate Terms
Companion Animal Hospital Clinic, Hospital or Services
Companion Animal Office Office or Services
Companion Animal Mobile Office Mobile Office or Mobile Services
Companion Animal Mobile Mobile, Mobile Services or House Call Services
Remote Area Companion Animal Mobile Remote Mobile or Remote Mobile Services
Companion Animal Emergency Clinic Emergency Clinic or Emergency Hospital
Companion Animal Spay-Neuter Clinic Spay-Neuter Clinic
Food-Producing Animal Hospital Clinic, Hospital or Services
Food-Producing Animal Mobile Mobile, Services or Mobile Services
Equine Clinic Clinic, Hospital or Services
Equine Mobile Mobile, Services, or Mobile Services
Emergency Equine Mobile Emergency Mobile, Emergency Services or Emergency Mobile Services
Poultry Service Clinic or Services
Specialty Animal Hospital Clinic, Hospital or Services

In addition to the words required above, a name may contain any additional words to convey information about the veterinary facility that,

  1. Are factual, accurate and verifiable;
  2. Will not lead the public to confuse the facility with another facility;
  3. Will not mislead the public as to the nature of the services provided at the facility; or
  4. Could not reasonably be regarded by members as likely to demean the integrity or dignity of the profession or to bring the profession into disrepute.

Step 1: Apply for a Facility Name

  • Log into the Professional Practice Portal
  • Click on Forms and Applications
  • Click on Facility Accreditation
  • Click on Application for New Facility Name – complete and submit the form.  There is no fee.

An email will be sent in 1-2 weeks regarding the decision on your application for facility name.

Please be advised the College does not release any information with respect to pending practices until the practice has been inspected and permitted to open. You may advertise the opening of your clinic but cannot include a date as it is subject to the successful completion of the inspection.

Step 2: Prepare for the inspection

In the interest of public safety, the inspector, on the date of the inspection, will be ensuring that your facility meets:

  • All the requirements as outlined in the Minimum Standards for Veterinary Facilities in Ontario (MSVFO) pertinent to your facility type;
  • The records portion of the facility standard by confirming that you have in place medical/surgical protocols, patient record templates, pharmaceutical registers and anesthetic/surgical logs. Below is a link to medical record templates; and
  • The municipality has granted you occupancy and issued an occupancy permit, if applicable.

If the inspector arrives for the inspection, and it is evident that the facility is not ready to be inspected or be permitted to open as a result of not meeting all the requirements of the minimum standards pertinent to your facility type, you will incur a fee for a second inspection. The inspector will endeavour to re-schedule as soon as possible, however, scheduling conflicts may arise.

Step#3 Application for Opening a New Facility

  • Log into the Professional Practice Portal
  • Click on Forms and Applications
  • Click on Facility Accreditation
  • Click on Application for Opening a New Facility – complete and submit the form.  The inspection fee must be paid before an inspection will be scheduled.

The Accreditation Inspector will send an email with the date and time of the inspection. Please Note: Inspectors’ are generally booking 3 weeks in advance.

“What happens after the inspection is complete?”

  1. If the facility has met the standards, the facility director will sign an Acknowledgement and Undertaking, and will be provided with a Temporary Waiver of Enforcement, permitting the facility to open
  2. For minor deficiencies, such as not having a weigh scale, an email will be sent letting the facility director know that the Inspection Summary Report is available in the Professional Practice Portal. Any deficiencies noted during the inspection will be outlined in this report and instructions on how to correct these deficiencies are explained in the Professional Practice Portal
    1. 30 days are provided to provide proof of correction of any noted deficiencies.
  3. In 90-120 days, the inspector will return to check the medical records.
  4. If the medical records check is satisfactory, the certificate of accreditation will be issued and mailed.

Authority of the Accreditation Committee

The Accreditation Committee is a statutory committee of the College with the primary responsibility for deciding upon and directing the issuance of Certificates of Accreditation for those facilities that are referred to it by the Registrar. The Accreditation Committee may not pass a regulation, by-law or standard.

The Accreditation Committee:

  • May exempt an applicant or veterinary facility from compliance with any qualification, requirement or standard for a Certificate of Accreditation
  • Determines the eligibility of applicants and facilities for Certificates of Accreditation that have been referred to the committee and after considering application for issuance or renewal of the Certificate of Accreditation, may direct Registrar:
    • To issue or to renew the Certificate of Accreditation
    • To refuse to issue or to renew the Certificate of Accreditation
    • To issue or to renew the Certificate of Accreditation subject to the conditions and limitations the Accreditation Committee specifies
  • Reviews existing policy and considers new policy items, as directed by Council and makes recommendations for changes or additions to/updates of the Minimum Standards for Veterinary Facilities in Ontario
  • Has the authority over facility name approvals
  • Shall appoint a time for, give notice of and hold a hearing to determine the allegations in respect of a Certificate of Accreditation
  • Make referral to the Registrar over concerns about potential professional misconduct

Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB):

The HPARB is an independent tribunal established by the provincial government whose function is to review decisions of statutory committees of all the regulated health professions in Ontario.

If the owner/director of the veterinary facility is not satisfied with a decision of the Accreditation Committee, the he/she has 30 days from receipt of the decision to file an appeal with HPARB.

The powers of HPARB regarding certificates of accreditation are as follows:

  • Confirm the proposed decision of the Accreditation Committee;
  • Require the Accreditation Committee to direct the Registrar to issue or renew a certificate of accreditation for the appropriate class of veterinary facility; or
  • Refer the matter back to the Accreditation Committee for further consideration and the Board may make recommendations.