ECFVG News - September 2008

View by section:

I.    ECFVG program news and upcoming changes

II.   Fall ECFVG meeting

III.  ECFVG program statistics

IV. ECFVG fees for new candidates

I. ECFVG program news and upcoming changes

ECFVG Policies and Procedures Manual
iB-TOEFL Standard Setting
CPE Retake Policy
Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE) changes
Basic and Clinical Sciences Examination (BCSE)
Appeal Procedure Changes
Changes to Commission Membership

ECFVG Policies and Procedures Manual

The ECFVG Policies and Procedures (P&P) Manual is posted online. Prospective and active candidates are encouraged to read the P&P Manual to be sure they understand program steps, appeals and complaint procedures, score reporting policy, and test expectations. Also available online is contact information for ECFVG Staff; the Candidate Bulletin for the Basic and Clinical Sciences Examination (BCSE), and an up-to-date roster of Commission members.

iB-TOEFL Standard Setting

In June 2008, the ECFVG hosted an iB-TOEFL standard setting workshop to evaluate the current passing points for the English language examination, which is used in Step 2 of the certification program. Experienced staff from Educational Testing Service (ETS), which administers the iB-TOEFL, facilitated the workshop. Seventeen veterinarians, both native and non-native English speakers, from across the US and Canada and representing private and public practice, academic veterinary medicine, state and provincial regulatory boards, and ECFVG certificate holders, participated in the two-and-a-half day workshop. Recommendations and a full report will be considered by the Commission at its September 2008 meeting during review of program requirements for Step 2—assessment of English language ability.

Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE) Retake Policy

At its April 2008 meeting, the Commission made a change to the CPE retake policy to ensure all candidates have an equal and timely opportunity to retake failed sections. The new retake policy states that any candidate who fails 1, 2, or 3 sections of the CPE will be allowed two additional opportunities to retake and successfully pass the failed sections as long as the candidate applies for the retake within six months of each failure and accepts one of the first available retakes offered. Failure to successfully pass the retake sections within these 2 attempts or failure to accept one of the first available retakes will necessitate the candidate retaking the entire CPE. This new policy will allow all candidates who need to retake 1, 2, or 3 failed sections two opportunities to retake and pass the failed sections.

Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE) changes

Starting January 1, 2008 the Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE) will begin the new six-section format approved by the ECFVG during its October 4-5, 2007 meeting. All candidates who are currently registered for a CPE administration after January 1, 2008 were sent a new Manual of Administration. If you are registered for an examination in 2008 and have not received this new Manual of Administration, please contact bcurranatavma [dot] org (Ben Curran), ECFVG Testing Coordinator at 800-248-2862, ext 6682.

Further information about the new six-section CPE can be found under Step 4.

Basic and Clinical Sciences Examination (BCSE)

The Basic and Clinical Sciences Examination (BCSE) has now been administered to over 775 first-time candidates from the ECFVG and the Canadian National Examining Board.

Beginning in September 2008, the ECFVG will allow rescheduling within the same testing window. Rescheduling must be done through Prometric, and additional fees may apply. The cancellation policy has not changed; cancellations are not allowed and will result in forfeiture of all fess paid. Please see "Scheduling your testing appointment" in the BCSE Candidate Bulletin.

The 2009 BCSE testing windows are set as follows:

Application Deadline Test Window
January 15, 2009 March 2-16, 2009
April 1, 2009 May 1-15, 2009
June 15, 2009 August 1-15, 2009
October 15, 2009 December 1-8, 2009

In April and August, 2008, the ECFVG brought in subject matter experts (veterinarians) in the various domains of the BCSE to participate in item writing and item review workshops as part of the ongoing test development process. These experts came from across the United States and Canada, represented many areas of the veterinary profession, and included ECFVG certificate holders and non-certificate holders. The Commission sincerely thanks these dedicated men and women who are so essential to the development and maintenance of our rigorous and sound BCSE.

Appeal Procedure Changes

At its April 2008 meeting, the ECFVG approved modifications to the Appeal Procedure within its Policies and Procedures Manual. The revised procedure will be posted online in September 2008. Modifications were made primarily to clarify composition of the review panel, codify activities of the ECFVG appeals subcommittee, and decrease the total time required for consideration of an appeal.

Changes to Commission Membership

In June 2008, and on recommendation of the Commission, the AVMA Executive Board approved adding an eighth voting member to the ECFVG beginning in July 2009. This will be an at-large position. As with the other voting members on the ECFVG, this new position will be appointed by the AVMA Executive Board from nominations received. All voting members of the ECFVG, except the member representing Senior Administrative Executives of State Veterinary Licensing Boards, must be veterinarians.

In 2007, the Executive Board approved adding a non-voting liaison position to the Commission representing CPE site coordinators. This non-voting member is appointed by the Commission and serves a once-renewable three-year term. Dr. Phil Bushby, coordinator at the ECFVG-approved Mississippi State University CPE site, currently serves in this position for the July 2007-July 2010 term.

Also in June 2008, the AVMA Executive Board approved a one time adjustment to term lengths for new ECFVG members who will begin their terms in July 2009. Normally, terms are six years, but between 2008 and 2009, terms of four of eight experienced ECFVG members will come to an end, leaving the Commission with only three experienced voting members. To ensure continuity and experience in Commission representation for subsequent years, new members appointed in July 2009 to represent senior administrative executives of state veterinary regulatory boards, the Canadian National Examining Board, and ECFVG certificate holders will serve one-time seven year, four year, or five year terms, respectively.

II. Fall ECFVG meeting

The fall ECFVG meeting will be September 4-5, 2008 at AVMA Headquarters in Schaumburg, IL. Dr. James Corte, representing clinical practitioners holding an ECFVG certificate, will serve as the ECFVG Chair and Dr. Phil Nelson, representing Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, will serve as Vice Chair.

III. ECFVG program statistics

From January 1 through December 31, 2007, 435 new candidates registered in the ECFVG program. During that same time, 384 candidates completed the program and were awarded ECFVG certificates. Thirty-four percent of those awarded certificates are native-born citizens of the United States and 66% are native-born citizens of other countries. Total number of certificates awarded since 1965 exceeds 4,300.

Between January 1 and August 19, 2008, 284 new candidates have registered in the ECFVG program, and 187 candidates were awarded ECFVG certificates.

IV. ECFVG fees for new candidates

Initial Registration

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


Re-enrollment for each subsequent two year period, beginning January 1, 2008: $100.00

English Language Examinations

iB-TOEFL: $150 (USD if taken in the USA)
CAEL Assessment: $140 (CDN; offered in Canada only)
IELTS: $140 (USD if taken in the USA)

Step 3

Basic and Clinical Sciences Examination (BCSE): $75

Step 4

CPE: $5,000 plus airfare to site, lodging, and meals.