International interest in COE accreditation grows

Fall 2009

Recently, a Council on Education site visit team concluded a consultative site visit to the University of Copenhagen's veterinary medicine program. Earlier this year a team conducted a consultative site visit to the University of Liverpool's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

A consultative site visit differs in many ways from the usual comprehensive site visit. The school interested in accreditation must be an established veterinary school. Unlike U.S. and Canadian schools, the COE has no process for assisting developing foreign veterinary schools.

The school's first step is to send a letter of intent requesting a consultative site visit. The COE never solicits applications for accreditation.

After a date has been scheduled, the school must submit a detailed self-study 12 weeks in advance of the visit. The self-study will be reviewed by the COE Evaluation Committee and AVMA staff in order to determine if the school meets most or all of the standards. If it is determined that the school does not meet one or more of the standards, then a consultative site visit will be canceled, and the college will be notified of the perceived deficiencies.

What to expect during a consultative site visit
A consultative site visit team, composed of two COE members and one AVMA staff member, is smaller than the team that performs a comprehensive visit, which may have as many as eight members. The consultation usually takes three to four days, after which an unofficial written report, generally five to six pages in length, is sent to the school. This report will note the school's readiness for a comprehensive site visit while listing the school's strengths and perceived deficiencies. The report might also include comments and recommendations to the school for improving its self study, designing the agenda for the site visit or other matters. This report is not approved by the full COE; however, it is presented to the Council during one of its meetings for informational purposes.

The COE remains committed to improving the quality of veterinary medical education and thus advancing animal and human health. By reviewing and accrediting foreign veterinary programs the COE ensures a worldwide level of quality veterinary education equal to that enjoyed in the U.S. and Canada.


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