ABVS - Disciplinary Actions

July 2017

A. As a result of findings on review of an annual or five-year in-depth report of a recognized veterinary specialty organization (RVSO), or recognized veterinary specialty (RVS), or after appropriate investigation of a complaint by a third party, the ABVS may recommend withdrawal of recognition or assignment of probationary status to a RVSO, or RVS. Such actions would automatically apply to any independent certification board which is affiliated with the parent RVSO, or RVS. Causes for withdrawal of recognition or change of status are:

1. Failure to meet standards for an RVSO, or RVS as listed in Sections II, III, or IV, respectively, of the Policies of the ABVS.

2.  Failure to promptly address or correct deficiencies identified during an annual or five-year in-depth review.

3. Actions by an RVSO, or RVS that are considered detrimental to the veterinary profession or the public interest.

4. Failure to submit required reports.

B. The following procedures shall apply in considering recommendation of disciplinary action by the ABVS:

1. Notice of the proposed disciplinary action will be delivered to the president and secretary of the RVSO involved no less than 30 days prior to a regularly scheduled or special meeting of the ABVS at which the matter is to be considered. This notice will include a detailed outline of the complaint(s) received or alleged deficiencies.

2. A meeting will be held at AVMA headquarters. A majority of representatives to the ABVS must be present.

3. Representatives of the RVSO will be given an opportunity to present relevant information and their views on the matter. Travel costs for representatives of the RVSO, other than their representative to the ABVS, will be at other than AVMA expense.

4. In executive session, and in the absence of all representatives of the RVSO involved, the ABVS will discuss appropriate action(s) to recommend. Possible actions include:

a. Conclusion of the review with no further action.

b. Recommendation to the AVMA EB that probationary recognition is assigned to the specialty organization.

c. Recommendation to the AVMA EB that recognition of the specialty organization is withdrawn.

5. Any recommendation forwarded to the AVMA EB must be approved by a two-thirds majority of ABVS members present and voting.

6. Any recommendation for action forwarded to the AVMA EB must include a full description of the reasons for the recommendation.

7. A specialty organization assigned probationary recognition must be in full compliance with all criteria within a time frame directed by the ABVS. Failure to comply within this time frame will lead to withdrawal of AVMA recognition. Extensions of this time limit may, in rare circumstances, be considered by the ABVS in response to a written request if the organization has demonstrated significant progress to correct the deficiencies and has a solid, well-constructed plan to achieve full compliance.

C. The AVMA EB will consider each recommendation for disciplinary action forwarded by the ABVS. The EB may:

1. Return the recommendation to the ABVS for further consideration, indicating the reasons for return of the recommendation.

2. Request from the RVSO (or its affiliated independent certification board) a written presentation of its view on the matter and the reasons why it believes the ABVS recommendation should not be approved.

3. After reviewing any presentation from the RVSO (or its independent certification board), return the recommendation and related documents to the ABVS for further consideration, or approve the ABVS’s recommendations for disciplinary action.

D. The AVMA Executive Board will make the final decision regarding the status of the veterinary specialty organization. Decisions of the Executive Board are reported annually to the AVMA House of Delegates.