New vetting process examines candidates

Summer 2009

Elections for new COE members took place at the AVMA's July 2009 Annual Session under the auspices of a new candidate nomination and review process, several years in the making.

In 2007 the AVMA Council Selection Task Force met several times to evaluate the process used by the AVMA to select COE members. During its meetings the Task Force noted that in order to maintain its high standards the COE accreditation process requires the input of personnel on the COE who are knowledgeable about veterinary medical education and committed to its improvement. COE members must be good communicators, as unbiased as possible and willing to commit a significant amount of time to the accreditation process.

The Task Force was determined to ensure that the best and most qualified members continued to be appointed to the COE. During its review the Task Force studied the current AVMA nomination process as well as the nomination procedures of 16 different accrediting bodies. By the end of the year they presented a recommendation to establish the Candidate Qualifications Review Committee (CQRC), which was approved by the AVMA Executive Board.

The CQRC is composed of one member from the AVMA Executive Board, one member from the AVMA House of Delegates, one member from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, one current member of the COE, and one public member, either a current or past public member of the COE.

In November 2008, the CQRC fulfilled its first charge when it established a qualification review process as well as criteria for candidates.

Candidates are evaluated based on their:

  • Demonstrated interest in the scope and future of veterinary medicine
  • Demonstrated interest in veterinary education
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and the ability to communicate electronically
  • Ability to critically evaluate data, formulate questions and reach conclusions
  • Appreciation and openness to the need for change in the future of veterinary education
  • Basic understanding of the role of accreditation in education
  • Demonstrated competence in the designated area of veterinary medical activity that will be represented on the Council

Interested applicants must provide the CQRC with:

  • A curriculum vitae no longer than two pages that demonstrates competence in the designated area of veterinary medical activity, which the candidate will represent on the Council;
  • a 400-word personal statement illustrating the candidate's background, interests, and capacity to participate in veterinary education accreditation; and
  • be available, during the evaluation process, for a 10-minute phone interview.

A unique aspect of the process is a problem solving exercise. The candidates are presented with a fictitious college's self study report, covering just one of the 11 Standards used in COE evaluations. This exercise helps the CQRC assess a candidate's ability to critically evaluate data, formulate questions, and reach conclusions, as well as illustrate their basic understanding of the role of accreditation in education.

The CQRC also formalized a Council member's responsibilities to inform a candidate on what will be expected of them, if they are chosen:

  • Invest approximately 17 days per year away from home, with additional preparation time for meetings or site visits
  • Travel nationally and internationally
  • Sign a statement of confidentiality
  • Abide by the COE Code of Conduct
  • Read the COE Standards and view the COE orientation DVD
  • Maintain an AVMA membership

In the spring of 2009 the CQRC used this process for the first time to review several applications from candidates. The CQRC does not elect the candidates but instead reviews candidate qualifications then provides recommendations on these to the AVMA House Advisory Committee. The candidates are voted on by the AVMA House of Delegates.

 


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