This May, when the AVMA and three other international veterinary accrediting bodies met, they agreed that their respective processes are quite similar as far as accreditation standards, but that their rigor in applying those standards is less clear.
As a result, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Australasian Veterinary Boards Council, and AVMA approved a statement of understanding affirming their desire to work together to more thoroughly understand each other's accreditation programs.
The AVMA Executive Board approved the statement of understanding at its May/June meeting.
The signatory organizations stated that the familiarization methods could include the exchange of site visitors and reports, which would help determine whether greater harmonization of their individual processes would be valuable.
The statement of understanding concludes by saying: "All parties understand this creates no obligation to any party; however, all parties recognize that if appropriate, mutual recognition or some other accord could be beneficial to the world veterinary community and the society it serves."
In a related recommendation, the board approved travel and funding for attendance by the AVMA delegation at a second meeting of the accrediting bodies, to be held in London in 2003 or 2004.
AVMA President-Elect Joe M. Howell, a member of the AVMA delegation, told the board, "This is the first time we're really having a look at how they apply the standards. The written standards look similar [to the AVMA's]."