Board approves next steps in CPE outsourcing plan

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To improve quality assurance and provide for future refinement of the Clinical Proficiency Examination, the Executive Board in April approved two more measures toward fulfilling the goal of outsourcing administration of the CPE to a testing or professional agency with expertise in that area. The CPE is administered to candidates in the AVMA's Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates program.

One of two CPE-related task forces authorized by the board in April 1999 was charged with developing a "request for proposals" (RFP) to define the requirements needed to outsource administration of the CPE. In April 2000, the board accepted the RFP created by the Request for Proposals Task Force.

To discuss testing and licensing procedures, and answer questions arising from the RFP, the AVMA has scheduled a pre-bid conference that prospective vendors must attend. The conference will be held during the 2000 Council on Licensure, Enforcement, and Regulation meeting this September in Miami. The board will send three AVMA representatives: Dr. Jan E. Bartels, chairman of the RFP Task Force; Dr. Philip A. Bushby, ECFVG site coordinator; and Dr. Donald G. Simmons, director of the AVMA Education and Research Division.

Complete proposals will be due from vendors by Jan 2, 2001.

Second, to evaluate proposals submitted by bidders, the Executive Board has approved formation of a peer review panel comprising five members and one consultant. The panel will review the bids and make a recommendation to the board as to the ones that are acceptable.

Dr. Jan E. Bartels will chair the peer review panel. Serving with him will be Dr. Philip A. Bushby; Dr. Wallace B. Baze, chairman-elect, representing the ECFVG; Dr. Deborah T. Kochevar, representing the Council on Education; a representative to be named by Canada's National Examining Board; and a psychometrician, as a consultant.

It is anticipated that a decision will be made by April 15, 2001.

Tied in with the initiative of outsourcing the CPE is another goal: locating additional, qualified sites where the examination can be administered, to shorten the waiting period for foreign graduates who are ready to complete this final step of the ECFVG program. Currently there are only three test sites: Mississippi State University, Oklahoma State University, and Tuskegee University.

Besides the RFP Task Force, the board in April 1999 created and charged another task force with designing quality control measures to be used in establishing private sites or nonaccredited-college sites for CPE administration. Then, this past November, the board approved the document developed by this task force. Once those quality control measures were developed, the board invited qualified private sites — any other than an AVMA-accredited or -approved school of veterinary medicine — to apply to become a CPE testing site. No new sites have been selected, but a number of private practices have expressed interest.