The New Facility Accreditation Model
Accreditation of veterinary facilities is one of the core components of the College’s regulatory functions and is an important part of the College’s overarching quality practice program.
Over the past 30 years, the practice of veterinary medicine has evolved. In 2014, the College sought to renew the approach to facility standards and inspections. This was driven by new practice models and changing services to enhance access and care delivery, and an opportunity to generally enhance standards within veterinary facilities. The profession has also experienced shifts in the mixed practice model – in the past 30 years, species-specific practice has become the norm and now we are starting to see an increased interest in a mixed species model.
Based on work done by the Accreditation Models Task Force and Expert Advisory Group a contemporary model for facility accreditation and a flexible and responsive inspection process have been developed.
New Facility Accreditation Standards
The proposed accreditation model will enable a flexible, and dynamic program that will meet the needs of facility accreditation, enhance accountability related to facilities, and inspire greater public confidence in how physical facilities are overseen. The new model would permit a veterinarian to define the scope of practice that is associated with the facility and meet those facility standards that are relevant to their scope. This will improve flexibility and reduce administrative burden as veterinary care and services evolve. With a continued focus on patient and public safety, an outcomes-based approach to the standards for veterinary facilities has been developed.
How does the new facility accreditation model work?
The Facility Director, who is a veterinarian, would demonstrate to the College how the practice meets the facility standards that apply to the veterinary services they provide. The new model recognizes that there may be numerous ways to meet the standard.
All facilities will be required to meet a set of Essential Standards that apply to all scopes of practice and species (e.g., infection control, biosecurity, medical records, etc.). Additional required standards will be specific to the veterinary services provided (i.e., surgery, radiology).
Each practice pays an annual accreditation fee based on their scope of practice. A smaller, limited scope of practice may only need to meet the Essential Standards. A larger, full-service practice will need to meet the Essential Standards and the Additional Scope of Services Standards that would apply to their scope of practice.
Facilities that meet all the standards at the time of inspection would receive a five-year Certificate of Accreditation. Those with deficiencies would receive a three-year Certificate of Accreditation. There is a reduced annual fee for practices that meet all the standards when they are inspected.
Next Steps - Consultation
At its December 2022 meeting, the College Council approved the new accreditation standards and fees for consultation – which will include all licensed members and stakeholders.
The College will notify licensed members and stakeholders when the public consultation opens and will be provide instructions on how to submit their comments as well as having access to the document with the updated draft standards and proposed changes to the College’s By-law – Schedule A Fees.