Board approves changes to ECFVG program

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The AVMA Executive Board acted on a number of recommendations to further enhance the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates certification program. These included approving expanded rules of conduct for the Clinical Proficiency Examination and discontinuing the postgraduate evaluated clinical year as an assessment method for step 4 of the program.

Effective Jan. 1, 2006, the detailed Rules of Conduct for the Clinical Proficiency Examination will ensure that standard examination rules and consequences of irregular behavior are understood by examiners and examinees alike. The rules, which are based in part on those used by the National Board of Medical Examiners for its U.S. Medical Licensure Examination, have been distributed to CPE sites and ECFVG candidates taking the CPE in 2006.

Also approved was discontinuation of the postgraduate evaluated clinical year as step 4 of the certification program, starting July 1, 2007. At the same time, encouragement was given to the 12 AVMA-accredited schools and colleges that administer the ECY to continue offering a clinical educational program for foreign veterinary graduates wishing to gain cultural and veterinary experience in a U.S. veterinary teaching hospital prior to taking the CPE. This decision came after years of serious research and deliberations aimed at ensuring the ECFVG process is standardized, psychometrically sound, and legally defensible.

Board members approved a formal procedure for ECFVG candidates requesting accommodations for the CPE on the basis of the American with Disabilities Act. The commission developed the ECFVG Policies and Procedures for Testing Accommodations in cooperation with an ADA accommodations consultant.

Revisions to the Spoken Section of the English Language Waiver Requirements were approved on the basis of the ECFVG recommendation that ever-evolving communications technology allows assessment of a candidate's English language skills by means other than the telephone or in-person interviews.

The Executive Board approved a revised Policy on Periodic Monitoring of the Clinical Proficiency Examination, which incorporates changes the ECFVG believes are necessary.

For instance, additional and recurrent examiners' training is needed to ensure all examiners receive updated, standardized instructions on how to administer and grade the CPE.

Each of the seven ECFVG-approved CPE sites will also be evaluated between the fall 2005 and fall 2007 meetings of the ECFVG, which will result in some sites being evaluated more than once every four years, as was the case under the old policy.

In addition, the evaluations will more accurately assess the quality of examination administration, because both a CPE site consultant and a consultant from a private testing company will jointly conduct the site visits.

The $130,500 cost of implementing the new policy will be funded from the CPE Quality Assurance Program.

Finally, the board approved retaining the memberships of the three-member ECFVG Step 3 Examination Steering Committee regardless of whether a member's term on the commission has expired. This allows the steering committee to attend ECFVG meetings as necessary until the new Step 3 examination is developed and initiated, which is expected in 2007.

Approved policies and information on the ECFVG program