August 01, 2010

 
EXECUTIVE BOARD COVERAGE

 ECFVG English-language waiver guidelines change

posted July 18, 2010

A modification to the English-language waiver policy of the AVMA Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates has changed the requirements for candidates seeking an exemption from the examination requirement within the second step of the certification program.

The AVMA Executive Board approved at its June meeting in Schaumburg, Ill., a recommendation by the ECFVG to revise the policy. The new wording says the English-language examination may be waived for candidates who have successfully completed at least three years of secondary school in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada (except Quebec), so long as the language of instruction was English.

Before, the policy had said that the English-language examination could be waived for candidates whose native language was English (ie, candidates for whom The World Almanac listed English as the official language or as one of several common languages in their country of birth) and who had successfully completed at least three years of English-language secondary school.

According to the background to the recommendation, the move comes after longstanding concerns by the commission that some candidates who were granted a waiver of the English-language examination requirement on the basis of the former policy did not have adequate competence in interpreting and speaking the English language to be successful in steps three and four of the ECFVG program.

Dr. Elizabeth A. Sabin, assistant director of the AVMA Education and Research Division and staff consultant to the ECFVG, explained that the new policy language was modeled after U.S. federally recognized language-proficiency guidelines that are used for certification purposes by groups such as the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.