In 1971, the House of Delegates approved a "Procedure for Recognizing Graduates of Colleges of Veterinary Medicine Outside the United States and Canada." That procedure included a provision for the formation of "a special committee to be named the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates, advisory to the Council on Education, which shall be appointed by the AVMA Board of Directors to maintain continuing surveillance over procedures for acceptance of graduates of colleges of veterinary medicine outside the United States and Canada." Today, the ECFVG continues to carry out its two-part charge:
- To evaluate the professional competence of graduates of non-AVMA/Council on Education-accredited colleges of veterinary medicine listed by the AVMA, to the benefit of such graduates and of the state and provincial veterinary licensing agencies, and of other concerned parties; and
- To allow utilization of ECFVG examinations and other assessment resources to evaluate the professional competence of graduates of AVMA/Council on Education-accredited colleges of veterinary medicine when such utilization is to the benefit of the state and provincial veterinary licensing agencies, and other concerned parties.
Recommendations pertaining to changes in ECFVG policies are forwarded to the AVMA Board of Directors for consideration and approval. Decisions related to candidates and internal operational policies such as the Basic and Clinical Sciences Examination (BCSE) procedures, Clinical Proficiency Examination Manual of Administration, petitioning processes, and application and other forms are made by the ECFVG alone and are independent of the AVMA. Further, such decisions are not influenced by the partner organization or its recognized affiliate organizations. Since the inception of the current certification program (January 1, 1973) through December 31, 2018, the ECFVG has awarded more than 6,535 certificates.
The ECFVG shall consist of 12 voting members as follows: one (1) member representing the AVMA Council on Education (COE); two (2) members representing State Veterinary Licensing Boards (either appointed members [veterinarian or non-veterinarian], senior administrative executives, or other staff members of state veterinary licensing boards); one (1) member representing the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC); one (1) member representing Government Service; one (1) member representing the Canadian National Examining Board (NEB); two (2) members representing Clinical Practitioners holding an ECFVG certificate, with at least one being a non-native English speaker; one (1) member representing Public Health or Food Safety; one (1) member representing Medical or Health Educators with expertise in clinical assessment methods; one (1) member representing Veterinary Surgery or Anesthesia (must be board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons or the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists); and one (1) member representing the Public. All members except members representing State Veterinary Licensing Boards; Medical or Health Educators, and the Public must be veterinarians. ECFVG certificate holders may be appointed to positions other than the 2 designated specifically for ECFVG certificate holders with the stipulation that certificate holders must comprise less than 50% of the twelve positions. ECFVG certificate holders must have completed the ECFVG program no less than 5 years prior to nomination to the ECFVG. Individuals associated with or employed by the institution or site that administers the Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE) are not eligible for membership on the ECFVG.
Appointments for all voting representatives except the public member, AAVMC and NEB representatives, and one member representing state veterinary licensing boards are made by the AVMA Board of Directors for terms of six years beginning at the close of the AVMA annual meeting. One of the members representing state veterinary licensing boards shall be appointed by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). The member representing AAVMC shall be appointed by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. The member representing NEB shall be appointed by the Canadian National Examining Board. ECFVG members who have served terms of three years or more are not eligible for re-appointment. The term of the representative of the Council on Education terminates concurrently with the end of the representative's term on the Council. If a position other than the public member position remains vacant for twelve (12) consecutive months, it will be advertised as an At-Large Veterinary Position for appointment by the AVMA Board of Directors for the remainder of the term of the original vacancy, after which it will revert to its original categorization.
The public member is appointed by the Commission when a vacancy exists, for a non-renewable six-year term that begins at the close of the AVMA Annual Convention. Criteria used in the selection of public members specify that they shall not be:
- A veterinarian.
- A current or former employee of a college of veterinary medicine.
- A vendor to the ECFVG.
- Currently or formerly affiliated with any other constituent group represented on the ECFVG.
One Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE) site coordinator from an ECFVG-approved site may be invited to attend ECFVG meetings as a non-voting liaison. The liaison may be asked to recuse him-/herself when requested by the Chair of the Commission.
The ECFVG office is located in the Education and Research Division at AVMA Headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois. ECFVG information, including an application form, can be found on the AVMA Web site (home page: www.avma.org) at www.avma.org/education/ecfvg/default.asp.