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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. 

Prepare for Inspection

All veterinary facilities must meet the College’s accreditation standards. Veterinary facilities are inspected for specific equipment requirements; proper patient records; safe drug storage; a medical reference library; and orderly and sanitary premises. The Minimum Standards for Veterinary Facilities in Ontario details the requirements for each category of veterinary facility.

Inspected facilities are granted a Certificate of Accreditation, usually for a five-year period.

Outside of the regular renewal cycle, an inspection is needed for:

  • Change in ownership
  • Relocation
  • Adding/Changes to the facility
  • New practice

To assist you with preparing for your inspection, the College provides inspection forms to ensure you are familiar with the requirements to achieve a Certificate of Accreditation. Reviewing the sample inspections forms is a key step in ensuring success in your inspection.

The requirements of each category are tailored to meet the requirements of the type of practice and the needs of the animals served.

Click on the facility type below to review the sample inspection form. Also, PDF versions of the forms are now available for download.

Companion animal hospital
Companion animal office
Companion animal mobile office
Companion animal mobile
Companion animal emergency clinic
Companion animal spay-neuter clinic
Food-producing animal hospital
Food-producing animal mobile
Equine clinic
Equine mobile
Emergency Equine mobile
Poultry Service
Remote Area Companion animal mobile
Specialty animal hospital – dentistry
Specialty animal hospital – ophthalmology
Specialty animal hospital – companion animal referral hospital
 

Update - Gas Scavenging System

The College’s facility accreditation program assures the public that all veterinary facilities provide a professional and safe environment for patients, clients, and staff.

The College Council establishes the facility standards that all veterinary facilities must meet for accreditation. All accredited veterinary facilities are under the oversight of a licensed veterinarian who is designated the facility director for the purposes of accreditation. The facility director is responsible for ensuring that a veterinary facility is operated in accordance with the facility standards and meets these standards for the duration of the certificate of accreditation. Involving veterinary team members in facility accreditation helps ensure that everyone is aware of how the veterinary facility is meeting the College’s standards.

In the Minimum Standards for Veterinary Facilities in Ontario, there is a requirement for a hospital to have a gas scavenging system contained in the anesthesia area which complies with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). This standard is in the spirit of adhering to the main purpose of OHSA which is to protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job.

Waste anesthetic gases (WAG) are anesthetic vapours, that leak into the surrounding environment and can result in worker exposure. The sources of WAG are leaks from anesthetic equipment, improper installation of scavenging systems, leaks from patient’s masks and exhalation of gases by patients. Short term exposure to WAG can cause fatigue, drowsiness and headache. Anesthetic gases cannot be detected by odour until their concentrations are much higher than occupational exposure limits. Therefore, the proper maintenance of the gas scavenging system plays a valuable role in protecting you and your veterinary team members.

In an effort to assist facility directors in complying with this requirement, the Accreditation Committee of the College has clarified that at inspection, the facility director is expected to provide documentation to an accreditation inspector that the gas scavenging system has been inspected and verified by a qualified technician from an independent third-party company within the previous 24 months or within the timeframe recommended by the manufacturer. 

The Accreditation Inspectors will continue to also inspect:

  1. hose connections for obstructions or kinks. 
  2. tubing connected to the exterior of the building for vent coverage.
  3. local exhaust or room ventilation to ensure that it is functional.
  4. charcoal filters to determine if they are checked and/or replaced on a regular basis by veterinary facility staff.

It is a reasonable expectation for facility directors to ensure the safety of hospital staff, clients and patients based on the hazards that exist in the hospital.  Effective scavenging of waste anesthetic gas is a crucial method of decreasing exposure in the veterinary practice. 

If you have questions about facility accreditation and inspections, contact Aneeta Bharij, Principal Accreditation, abharij@cvo.org or ext.2230.

Resources:

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety: https://www.ccohs.ca/

OVMA – Waste Anesthetic Gas Exposures: https://www.ovma.org/assets/1/6/Waste_Anesthetic_Gas_Exposures_-_Rachel_Pinto_(final)1.pdf

Occupational Health and Safety Act, RSO 1990: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90o01