January 15, 2000


 Education standards refined

Posted Jan. 1, 2000

Several changes will be implemented to improve the AVMA Council on Education's method of evaluating educational facilities that undergo accreditation or approval processes.

An important new policy was adopted that states that initial or continued approval of a foreign veterinary school or college should be contingent upon:

  • the licensing body of that foreign country recognizing that graduates of AVMA-accredited US and Canadian schools/colleges have met the same educational standards as graduates of the AVMA-approved foreign veterinary college/school, and
  • the foreign countries conferring licenses to graduates of AVMA-accredited US and Canadian veterinary schools/colleges that are identical to those given to graduates of that country's AVMA-approved veterinary school/college, by a licensing process no more difficult than that required of graduates of that country's AVMA-approved veterinary school/college.

The AVMA/Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges Joint Committee submitted a recommendation to the board to appoint a six-member accreditation review panel to examine ways to enhance the veterinary school/college accreditation process. The panel will meet in conjunction with regularly scheduled COE meetings, with the intention of improving dialogue, increasing emphasis on outcomes assessment, analyzing the essentials, and improving quality and value of the evaluation process.

The six members who were appointed to serve on the panel are: Dr. Daryl Buss, Dr. James Voss, and Dr. Charles Newton from the AAVMC and Dr. Jenks Britt, Dr. Deborah Kochevar, and Dr. Richard Hawe from the AVMA COE.

Modifications made to COE Essentials reflect ideas of member veterinarians and of deans of AVMA- accredited veterinary medical colleges and schools who were asked to comment on the proposed changes. The essential on finances was modified to require colleges to provide reasonable assurance that finances would be adequate to ensure sustainability of the educational program.

A COE essential on continuing education was changed to more clearly encourage colleges to establish programs or mechanisms that will provide meaningful opportunities to enhance the continued professional growth of veterinarians. In its previous form, the statement encouraged continuing education offerings.

During its April 1999 meeting, the AVMA Executive Board granted a request from the COE to resume the foreign veterinary college approval process. The COE delayed accepting applications until November 1999 to refine guidelines to be used in the approval process. The Process for Approval Status of Foreign Veterinary Colleges was accepted by the Executive Board.

Modifications to the AVMA Approval Process for Foreign Veterinary Colleges were made. A line was deleted that indicated that foreign college approval functions to assist graduates who choose to practice veterinary medicine in the United States. A statement was added that requires colleges seeking approval status to submit to the COE five copies of a VHS video detailing the physical facilities and educational programs of the college.