June 01, 2010


 AVMA global outreach efforts strengthened

Posted May 18, 2010

An international group dedicated to discussing accreditation of veterinary medical education will reconvene after a three-year hiatus.

AVMA Executive Board members approved a recommendation from the Committee on International Veterinary Affairs at its April meeting to host a meeting of the International Accreditors Working Group in late 2010 or early 2011 at a cost of $7,500.

The working group will comprise representatives from the AVMA, including the Council on Education; the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons; and the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council, in addition to one nonvoting observer each from the South African Veterinary Council and the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education.

Their primary job will be reviewing the joint accreditation site visit conducted by the AVMA COE, RCVS, and AVBC this past October at Murdoch University Division of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences in Australia and discuss the potential for future joint accreditation site visits. The AVMA has participated in these meetings since 1999. The group's last meeting was held in October 2007 at AVMA headquarters. It was there the group agreed to conduct a combined accreditation site visit to Murdoch University and allow the university to submit a single self-study report that would fulfill the requirements for all accrediting groups. The composition, size, and conduct of the combined site visit team were also decided at that time.

The COE reported to CIVA that the joint site visit to Murdoch University was a success. Each accrediting entity was satisfied that it reached a valid individual accreditation decision on its own on the basis of its established standards, according to background information in the CIVA recommendation. An added benefit was that the school consolidated all necessary documentation into one self-study report and hosted a single site visit, saving it time and money.

At its February meeting, CIVA reviewed a request from Dr. Reuben Rose of the AVBC and one of the co-chairs of the Murdoch site visit to hold another group meeting to discuss global challenges and opportunities facing veterinary medical education—namely, new educational modalities, including the distributive model for clinical education; outcomes assessment; day-one competencies; and veterinary public health.

CIVA, in its recommendation background, noted that the topics are timely, given the AVMA's ongoing involvement in the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) initiatives regarding the setting of minimum veterinary education standards (see JAVMA, April 1, 2010).