ECFVG policies and procedures - Complaints procedure

January 2013

The ECFVG will review complaints related to the following aspects of the program:

  • Candidate performance/compliance with guidelines regarding any of the four steps of the certification program.
  • CPE site compliance with the CPE Manual of Administration.

Complaints must be written, addressed to the ECFVG, and signed with a personal signature for consideration. Contents of complaints will be discussed with the candidate or site. The candidate or site will be given the opportunity to respond to the complaint, and that response will be used by the ECFVG in resolving the complaint.

The ECFVG is interested in sustained quality and continued improvement in the assessment of veterinary educational equivalence, but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for individual matters of admission, appointment, promotion, or dismissal. The ECFVG also does not address complaints against licensed veterinarians who are ECFVG certificate holders. Such complaints should be directed to the appropriate state veterinary regulatory board.

Interested parties may submit an appropriate signed complaint to the ECFVG regarding performance of an ECFVG candidate or compliance of a CPE site. The ECFVG will take every reasonable precaution to protect the identity of the complainant from being revealed to the candidate or site; however, the ECFVG cannot guarantee confidentiality of the complainant.

An appropriate complaint is defined as one alleging:

  1. An ECFVG candidate has not complied with requirements of one or more of the four steps of the certification program as outlined in the ECFVG Policies and Procedures Manual, or a CPE site has not complied with requirements outlined in the CPE Manual of Administration or ECFVG Policies and Procedures Manual, respectively; and
  2. The practice, condition, or situation is of a continuing or pervasive nature, as opposed to an unfair or arbitrary act of an individual or an act isolated in nature.

In accordance with the role of the ECFVG, matters will be addressed in an investigative manner rather than as a mediator. Only written signed complaints will be considered by the ECFVG. The ECFVG strongly encourages all parties to attempt resolution of complaints before they are brought to the Commission. If the complaint includes issues already being addressed by other entities, the Commission will take no action on the complaint until such adjudication or litigation is concluded.

Any written complaint concerning the quality or ethical conduct of an ECFVG candidate or CPE site will be received by AVMA staff, who will acknowledge receipt of the complaint within seven (7) working days. AVMA staff will make a preliminary review of the initial complaint and report to the ECFVG Chair within 30 days of receipt of the complaint. As part of this review, staff will determine whether the complaint is appropriate for review by the Commission (ie, whether the complaint is related to items that have specific impact on the assessment of educational equivalence or program guidelines/requirements).

After review of the complaint and staff report, the ECFVG Chair will report his/her findings to the Commission and the complainant within 30 days from receipt of the staff report. If, in the judgment of the ECFVG Chair, the complaint appears to be of sufficient substance to affect the status of the candidate or site, it will be investigated further by the full Commission. Upon completion of the investigation, the Commission will take appropriate action to bring the candidate or site into compliance with established program requirements. If an investigation of the complaint by the Commission is deemed necessary, it should be completed within a period of not more than six (6) months after receiving the report from the Chair.

If an adverse decision is made concerning the candidate or site, the candidate or site shall have the right of appeal (see ECFVG Appeal Procedure). In any case, the candidate or site complained against will be informed of the nature and source of the complaint and the resultant action, if any, contemplated by the Commission before such action is taken. The complainant will be notified in writing of the results of the investigation and any action taken.