ECFVG News - May July 2006

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I.   News from the AVMA staff and ECFVG members

II.  ECFVG program news

III. Summary of ECFVG fees

I. News from AVMA staff and ECFVG members

May 2006

The ECFVG met at AVMA Headquarters in Schaumburg, IL on February 24-25, 2006. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Phil Bushby representing the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). This was Dr. Bushby's final ECFVG meeting at AVMA Headquarters, as his six-year term on the Commission ends July 2006. The AVMA Executive Board has appointed Dr. Philip Nelson to replace Dr. Bushby as the AAVMC representative for the 2006-2012 term. Thanks to Dr. Bushby for a job well done, and welcome to Dr. Nelson!

The Commission met with members of the AVMA Communications Division to establish short-term and long-term communication plans to educate and inform stakeholders about the ECFVG program. It is anticipated that an ECFVG "toolkit' will be available by late spring, early summer 2006.

The ECFVG Step 3 Examination Steering Committee reported that development of the new Step 3 examination was underway, with several conference calls already taking place to develop the job analysis survey. The launch date for the survey, which is designed to validate knowledge statements and clinical skills for the new Step 3 examination, is May 15, 2006.

The Commission discussed several requests from state boards and the Canadian National Examining Board to allow graduates of accredited schools to take the Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE) as an assessment of practical clinical skills. The Commission formed a subcommittee to study the feasibility of allowing graduates of AVMA/Council on Education-accredited colleges to sit for ECFVG examinations (eg, the new Step 3 examination once developed or the CPE). The subcommittee will report its findings to the ECFVG this summer for additional discussion at the fall Commission meeting.

Staff reported that three sections of the CPE Manual of Administration remain to be reviewed and revised: Small Animal Practice, Radiology, and Anesthesiology. The Commission set as a goal to complete Anesthesiology and Small Animal Practice by fall 2006, with Radiology to potentially be revised completely in conjunction with the development of the new Step 3 examination.

The Commission approved a new standard operating procedure for obtaining and reviewing reports of CPEs administered. This will ensure ongoing and consistent communication between all CPE sites and the ECFVG. The Commission also reviewed the schedule for CPE site evaluations. Four of the seven ECFVG-approved sites will be evaluated by a site consultant and a testing consultant in 2006, with three being evaluated in 2007

The ECFVG submitted a memorandum in support of a recommendation to the AVMA Executive Board from the American Board of Veterinary Specialties (ABVS) that the AVMA join the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA). AVMA membership in NOCA will provide the ECFVG with access to resources related to best certification practices. The Board subsequently approved this recommendation.

The next ECFVG meeting will be October 19-20, 2006 in Schaumburg. Dr. Don Prater, representing Government Service, will serve as ECFVG Chair for the 2006-2007 Association year.

II. ECFVG program news

Program statistics
ECFVG candidate eligibility for the NAVLE to end April 2007  – 
Examination development survey online May 15 - June 15, 2006  – 
ECFVG candidates registering for the NAVLE  – 
NAVLE irregularities  – 
NAVLE fee increase  – 
Postgraduate evaluated clinical year to be discontinued  – 

Program statistics

May 2006

From January 1 through May 1, 2006, 90 new candidates registered in the ECFVG program. The new candidate population continues to be diverse, having graduated from more than 35 different non-AVMA/Council on Education-accredited veterinary colleges in more than 25 countries around the world. Twenty-eight percent are native-born citizens of the United States and 72% are native-born citizens of other countries.

During that same time, 111 candidates completed the program and were awarded ECFVG certificates. New certificate holders are graduates of more than 30 different veterinary schools in approximately 27 different countries. Total number of certificates awarded since 1965 exceeds 3,700.

ECFVG candidate eligibility for the NAVLE to end April 2007  – 

July 2006

The National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (NBVME) recently informed the ECFVG that at its June 23, 2006 meeting, the NBVME "approved a motion to allow ECFVG candidates to continue to take the NAVLE as part of the ECFVG program through the 2006-2007 testing cycle (November-December 2006 and April 2007 administrations), but not after that." Further, the NBVME indicated that after the April 2007 NAVLE administration, "ECFVG candidates will have to pass the new step 3 examination before they will be eligible to be approved by a licensing board to take the NAVLE as part of the licensure process." The ECFVG anticipates its new Step 3 examination will be initiated by fall 2007. Please contact the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners ( with questions regarding NAVLE eligibility. Questions regarding ECFVG certification may be addressed to ECFVGatavma [dot] org (ECFVG).

Examination development survey online May 15-June 15, 2006  – 

May 2006

On May 15, the AVMA sent individual E-mail messages inviting a broad representation of the profession to fill out an online survey to validate knowledge statements and clinical skills for the new ECFVG Step 3 examination. This examination is being designed to assess the basic and clinical veterinary sciences knowledge of graduates of non-AVMA/Council on Education accredited schools. The Association encourages veterinarians who receive an E-mail announcement to fill out the online survey, which is accessible through a link in each E-mail invitation. The ECFVG Step 3 survey will remain online until June 15, 2006. Results of the survey will be reported back to the Step 3 Steering Committee and will guide development of the Step 3 examination blueprint. More information is available by contacting Annie Liu, AVMA testing coordinator.

The online survey was developed by the ECFVG Step 3 Steering Committee (Drs. Bushby, Hayes, and Prater) working in cooperation with Thomson Prometric and aided by CPE examiners and a 10-member veterinarian task force.

Once the new ECFVG Step 3 examination is launched, anticipated for 2007 ECFVG certificate holders, who will meet the educational prerequisite for licensure eligibility, will then need to successfully complete all state licensing requirements, including any national and state examinations, such as the NAVLE.

ECFVG candidates registering for the NAVLE  – 

June 2006

ECFVG candidates intending to apply for the November/December 2006 North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) CAN NO LONGER do so through the California Veterinary Medical Board. Candidates can apply for the NAVLE through any state board that accepts ECFVG candidates. Please note that ECFVG candidates may take the NAVLE at ANY testing center throughout the United States or Canada regardless of where they originally applied to take the examination.

ECFVG candidates who anticipate seeking licensure in California will need to apply for California licensure directly through the California Veterinary Medical Board AFTER completing the ECFVG certification program. Such ECFVG certificate holders will need to request that the ECFVG office send verification of certification to the California Veterinary Medical Board. A NAVLE score transfer will also be required for state licensure (see

Additional questions regarding the California Veterinary Medical Board's requirements for NAVLE applications or licensure should be addressed directly to the Board ( Questions regarding the ECFVG certificate program can be directed to ECFVGatavma [dot] org (ECFVG) (800-248-2862, ext 6623).

NAVLE irregularities  – 

May 2006

The ECFVG was contacted by the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (NBVME) regarding its ongoing investigations into charges of irregular behavior related to NAVLE security. The NBVME has a complete report in its February 2006 newsletter (National Board Report), which is available online at The ECFVG takes examination security seriously and stands ready to work in cooperation with the NBVME to respond proactively to ongoing examination security threats.

NAVLE fee increase  – 

May 2006

As reported by the NBVME in its February 2006 newsletter (National Board Report), which is available online at, NAVLE fees will increase to $465 for the 2006-2007 testing cycle (Nov/Dec 2006 and April 2007) and $480 for the 2007-2008 cycle (Nov/Dec 2007 and April 2008).

Postgraduate evaluated clinical year to be discontinued July 1, 2007  – 

May 2006

As reported in the January 2006 News Update and commencing July 1, 2007, the postgraduate Evaluated Clinical Year (ECY) will no longer satisfy the Step 4 requirements for ECFVG certification and will instead be considered an instructional clinical year.

Candidates currently enrolled in ECY programs will have until July 1, 2007 to complete the ECY and have it count as the final step towards certification. The 12 ECY sites can continue to admit ECFVG candidates into ECY programs as long as the program is structured to allow candidates to finish prior to July 1, 2007. In addition, petitions for approval of clinical experience at an AVMA-accredited college of veterinary medicine when the experience is out of sequence or at a program not yet approved by the ECFVG will continue to be accepted and reviewed only if all required evaluations will be completed before July 1, 2007.

The ECFVG does recognize the value of a clinical educational year for non-native-born US citizens educated in other countries to voluntarily gain experience with the standards of US veterinary medical practice and culture. For this reason, the ECFVG strongly encourages ECY sites to promote and offer instructional clinical years for those candidates who need the additional educational experience to be successful.

III. Summary of ECFVG fees for new candidates

May 2006


Enrollment for two full years: $275
One time Quality Assurance Program (QAP): $725


Re-enrollment for two years: $27.50


iB-TOEFL: $140 (USD if taken in the USA) through June 2006; $150 after July 1
CAEL Assessment: $140 (CDN; offered in Canada only)
IELTS: $140 (USD if taken in the USA)


NAVLE: $465 (2006/2007 test cycle); $480 (2007/2008) test cycle


CPE: $5,000 plus airfare to site, lodging, and meals.
ECY (through June 30, 2007): fee set by site administering evaluated experience