ECFVG News - June July 2005

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I.   News from the AVMA Staff and ECFVG Members

II.  ECFVG Program News (updated July 2005)

III. CPE Update


I. News from AVMA Staff and ECFVG Members

February 2005 ECFVG Meeting
Changes to ECFVG Membership


February 2005 ECFVG Meeting

June 2005

The ECFVG met at AVMA Headquarters in Schaumburg, IL on February 24-25, 2005. This was the last regularly scheduled meeting for Dr. Deborah Kochevar, current ECFVG Chair and Council on Education representative, and Dr. Donald Draper, former ECFVG Chair and National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners representative. The ECFVG presented certificates of recognition and gave a sincere thanks for a job well done to Drs. Kochevar and Draper at the end of the February meeting.

The agenda for the recent meeting was full and included review of petitions received from ECFVG candidates, discussion of proposed new CPE sites (see CPE Update below), and changes coming to the TOEFL (see Step 2: Changes Coming to TOEFL September 2005 below). In addition, the Commission carefully considered modifying the current Quality Assurance Program from a CPE-only program to an ECFVG-wide program.

The Commission forwarded one recommendation to the AVMA Executive Board for consideration; it was subsequently approved:

  1. That beginning with ECFVG applications received on and after January 1, 2006, the Executive Board discontinue the CPE Quality Assurance Program fee ($1,000) and initiate a program-wide Quality Assurance Program fee of $725. (See Step 1: New Program-wide Quality Assurance Fee to be Initiated January 1, 2006 below)

Additional actions taken by the ECFVG in February included development of procedures to enhance communications with stakeholders such as members of state veterinary regulatory boards, ECFVG candidates, and students at and graduates of non-AVMA accredited veterinary colleges. These communications will be both Web-based in the form of ECFVG News Alerts, so check this site on a regular basis, and distributed as directed mailings.

The ECFVG also made several changes to existing ECFVG procedures, including:

  1. Modified the "periodic monitoring" section of the CPE quality assurance document.
  2. Incorporated three revised sections into the CPE Manual of Administration and approved the new examiners' master Manual of Administration, both of which will be initiated with examinations administered on and after August 1, 2005.
  3. Added new wording to the petition for reconsideration within the ECFVG Appeals Procedure.

The Commission discussed the Web-based clinical skills benchmarking survey developed in collaboration with Thomson Prometric. Survey instructions were distributed on March 1, 2005 to the 27 accredited US veterinary colleges with a 2005 graduating class. The survey deadline was June 1, and results will be used by the ECFVG in the ongoing audit of the postgraduate evaluated clinical year to ensure skills assessed during that year coincide with skills assessed in the CPE and those taught at accredited US schools.


Changes to ECFVG Membership

June 2005

At the April 2005 AVMA Executive Board meeting, the Board appointed Dr. Gail Kunkle to the ECFG, representing the Council on Education (COE). Dr. Kunkle is a 1974 graduate of the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology. She is currently a faculty member at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Kunkle has served on the COE since 2003, representing small animal clinical science. Her term on the ECFVG begins July 2005. Welcome, Dr. Kunkle!

Also in April, the Executive Board approved restructuring the position representing the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (NBVME) on the ECFVG at the end of the current member's term (July 2006). After July, the NBVME position will be converted to a nonvoting liaison position representing a test vendor with whom the Commission has a current relationship. This change is consistent with the relationship the ECFVG has had for a number of years with other test vendors and consultants.


II. ECFVG Program News

Program Statistics
New Program-wide Quality Assurance Fee to be Initiated January 1, 2006  – 
Changes Coming to TOEFL September 2005 (updated July 2005)  – 
ECFVG Considers New Step 3 Examination  – 
NAVLE Registration  – 
NAVLE Retake Policy  – 
CPE Fees Changing for New ECFVG Candidates as of January 1, 2006  – 


Program Statistics

June 2005

From January 1, 2005 through June 8, 226 new candidates enrolled in the ECFVG program. The new candidate population is diverse, having graduated from more than 75 different non-AVMA accredited veterinary colleges in more than 40 countries around the world. Twenty one percent are native-born citizens of the United States and 79% are native-born citizens of other countries.

During that same time, 100 candidates completed the program and were awarded ECFVG certificates. New certificate holders are graduates of 42 different veterinary schools in 24 countries. Total number of certificates awarded since the current ECFVG program was initiated on January 1, 1973 now exceeds 3,100.


New Program-wide Quality Assurance Fee to be Initiated January 1, 2006  – 

June 2005

In April 2005, the AVMA Executive Board approved a recommendation from the ECFVG to replace the $1,000 CPE quality assurance program (QAP) fee with a restricted program-wide QAP fee of $725, beginning with new candidates enrolling in the ECFVG program on and after January 1, 2006. The new fee is in addition to the ECFVG enrollment fee of $275. The program-wide QAP will be restricted for use to fund processes to enhance quality of any of the steps of the ECFVG certification program.

Initiation of the program-wide QAP and discontinuation of the CPE QAP will result in a decrease of $275 in overall program costs for those candidates electing to take the CPE to complete the fourth and final certification step. Candidates who enroll in the certification program before January 1, 2006 and elect to take the CPE after January 1, 2006 will be required to pay the CPE QAP only.


Changes Coming to TOEFL September 2005  – 

Updated July 2005

As reported in the April 2004 ECFVG News Update, Educational Testing Service (ETS) will be introducing its new Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (iB-TOEFL) this September Please see the ETS Web site (www.ets.org/toefl/nextgen/) for detailed information.

The new iB-TOEFL consists of four sections—listening, reading, writing, and speaking—integrated in one examination delivered via the Internet at secure testing locations. It will be introduced in phases, beginning in the United States on September 24, 2005. Concomitant with the phased introduction of the iB-TOEFL, ETS will discontinue the computer-based TOEFL. In the United States, the computer-based TOEFL will be discontiued this September. Because the iB-TOEFL incorporates a speaking assessment, ETS will discontinue the TSE after the iB-TOEFL is available worldwide, anticipated to be June 2006.

ECFVG candidates who have, as of September 2005, passed the TOEFL but not the TSE:

  • Can take the TSE alone until ETS discontinues its administration; ECFVG will continue to accept TSE scores.
  • Can take the new iB-TOEFL and achieve a passing score (all section scores and total score required)
  • Can take the CAEL or IELTS and achieve a passing score (all section scores and total score required)

ECFVG candidates who have, as of September 2005 passed the TSE but not the TOEFL:

  • Can take the computer-based or paper-based TOEFL in another country until ETS discontinues its administration worldwide; ECFVG will continue to accept computer-based and paper-based TOEFL scores.
  • Can take the new iB-TOEFL and achieve a passing score (all section scores and total score required)
  • Can take the CAEL or IELTS and achieve a passing score (all section scores and total score required)

Minimum passing scores for the new iB-TOEFL have been established by the AVMA and ECFVG on the basis of information provided by ETS.


ECFVG Considers New Step 3 Examination  – 

June 2005

The purpose of ECFVG Step 3 is to assess basic and clinical veterinary sciences knowledge of graduates of non-AVMA Council on Education-accredited veterinary schools. For many years, the ECFVG has used the national veterinary licensing examination as the Step 3 assessment tool, because it was believed this examination served as a valid assessment of basic and clinical veterinary sciences knowledge and provided a good screening test for the final step of the ECFVG program. In the late 1990s, the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (NBVME), which owned and administered the then current licensing examinations (the National Board Examination and Clinical Competency Test), announced it would be replacing both with a new computer-based examination—the NAVLE. During development of the NAVLE, the ECFVG anticipated that it would continue to be appropriate for use as the Step 3 assessment tool. However, since its first administration in November 2000, the NBVME has indicated that the NAVLE is not an assessment of basic veterinary sciences knowledge, but is purely a licensing examination. Concerns have also been expressed from several quarters since 2000 regarding the use of a licensing examination in an educational equivalency certification process. For these reasons, the ECFVG has been considering other options for a Step 3 assessment tool.

In December 2004, and with AVMA Executive Board approval, the Commission distributed a request for proposals to a number of test vendors for a new computer-based assessment of basic and clinical sciences knowledge to replace the NAVLE in ECFVG Step 3. Proposals have been reviewed extensively, and a vendor recommendation has been forwarded by the ECFVG to the Executive Board for consideration this month. Should a vendor be selected, the ECFVG anticipates initiation of a new Step 3 exam in 2007. Once initiated, the licensing examination will no longer be part of the ECFVG educational equivalency certification program, and certificate holders, who will continue to meet the educational prerequisite for licensure in the majority of states, will be required to complete all licensing requirements, including examination, established by a given state


NAVLE Registration  – 

June 2005

The NAVLE registration deadline established by the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (NBVME) is at least 92 days prior to the opening of the testing window. For the November/December 2005 testing window, the deadline established by the NBVME is August 15, 2005. The application deadline established by individual state veterinary regulatory boards may differ from that established by the NBVME. Contact NBVME (www.nbvme.org) or the state veterinary regulatory board (www.aavsb.org/DLR/DLR.aspx) directly with questions regarding the NAVLE registration process.

The NBVME office has assumed responsibility for approving candidates and reporting scores for the Virginia, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania state boards. Application forms specific for each of these states are available on the NBVME web site. The NBVME will charge a $50 application fee for candidates seeking approval to take the NAVLE through these states.

Candidates needing verification of ECFVG program status sent to a state board or the NBVME for NAVLE approval should plan accordingly. ECFVG policy states that requests or consent for release of information (verification) to state boards, or other interested parties, of ECFVG candidate enrollment, status, or certification must be made in writing two weeks prior to any deadline. The ECFVG cannot be held responsible for last minute requests or letters of verification that have been lost in the mail. Verification requests made by telephone will not be honored. The ECFVG will send the requested verification at no charge.


NAVLE Retake Policy  – 

June 2005

The following new NBVME policy regarding the NAVLE is excerpted from the May 2005 National Board Report, which is available online at www.nbvme.org/pdf/may05.pdf. "In order to protect the NAVLE from compromise and to help assure its integrity, it is the policy of the NBVME that a candidate may not sit for the NAVLE more than five (5) times during a five year period from the first attempt. Each of the final two attempts must be at least one year from the previous attempt. This policy will take effect beginning with the fall 2005 NAVLE administration. Any previous attempts by a candidate to pass the NAVLE prior to the fall 2005 administration will not count toward the five attempt limit. Notwithstanding anything hereinbefore to the contrary, in the event state law permits an applicant to take the NAVLE more than five times, or if state law restricts an applicant to fewer than five attempts, state law shall prevail. A candidate who successfully completes the NAVLE may not retake the examination without the express written permission of the NBVME and the state through which the individual seeks to retake the examination."


CPE Fees Changing for New ECFVG Candidates as of January 1, 2006  – 

June 2005

In April 2005, the AVMA Executive Board approved a recommendation from the ECFVG to replace the $1,000 CPE quality assurance program (QAP) fee with a restricted program-wide QAP fee of $725, beginning with new candidates enrolling in the ECFVG program on and after January 1, 2006. This means that for candidates who enroll in the program on or after January 1, 2006, a one-time quality assurance fee of $725 will be required, but the CPE fees will decrease by $1,000, and overall program costs for candidates electing to take the CPE will decrease by $275. Candidates who enroll prior to January 1, 2006 have not paid the one-time program-wide $725 quality assurance fee, and as such, will continue to pay the $1,000 CPE quality assurance fee in addition to the $5,000 CPE administration fee.


III. CPE Update

Approved CPE Sites Increase from Five to Seven

June 2005

On June 7, 2005, the ECFVG approved the Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) to administer the clinical proficiency examination (CPE) in Las Vegas, Nevada on an ongoing basis. Approval was based on the report of the first evaluated CPE administered by WVC to eight ECFVG candidates on May 23-26, 2005. Three evaluators, including a CPE site consultant and two testing consultants from Thomson Prometric, participated in examiner training and observed the entire 3.5-day May CPE. The WVC CPE team will administer examinations to 20 candidates a month for 10 months a year, beginning June 27-30, 2005. The site, which is the first non-university affiliated site approved by the ECFVG, will adhere to the all CPE quality assurance requirements put into place by the AVMA and ECFVG.

Also on June 7, the ECFVG approved the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine to administer a single observed CPE. Approval was based on the pre-examination report submitted by a CPE site consultant and a testing consultant from Thomson Prometric. The same evaluators will observe the first CPE in Missouri, anticipated to be mid-August 2005. The ECFVG will consider the report of the evaluated CPE prior to granting approval to the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine to administer the CPE on an ongoing basis.

To fill new testing positions in June, July, August, and September, ECFVG staff will be contacting (via telephone and E-mail) candidates in the order in which they:

  1. Were previously assigned a late 2005 CPE test date.
  2. Had previously submitted a 2005 CPE application.
  3. Had previously submitted a request for a CPE application.

Once all examinations through September 2005 are filled via telephone and E-mail contact, staff will mail a 2005/2006 CPE application to remaining eligible candidates. Those candidates will be able to rank order preferred testing dates and sites and will have 30 days to return a completed application, after which they will be assigned a test date in the order in which their original request was received. Applications returned after that 30 days will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

The ECFVG thanks all candidates for their patience as it has worked diligently over the past several years to increase CPE capacity while ensuring delivery of a standard and high quality exam. To allow staff to concentrate on calling candidates and scheduling exams, the Commission respectfully asks that individual requests for information regarding the new sites be minimized. Necessary questions can be directed to ECFVG.