The Australasian Veterinary Boards Council Incorporated (AVBC Inc.)

March 30, 2014 | By

Assuring the quality of veterinary professional standards.

The Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) serves its nine member boards, through:

  • providing a forum for communication and discussion of areas of mutual interest and policy development;
  • providing the framework for public and industry confidence in veterinary standards; and
  • assuring and promoting educational standards in the accreditation of veterinary schools, the National Veterinary Examination and specialist accreditation.

Background

AVBC was incorporated in Victoria in December 1999 by agreement of the state and territory Veterinary Boards of Australia and the Veterinary Council of New Zealand. Their aim was to create a legal entity with authority to speak and act on behalf of all registering authorities. The impetus was the devolution of the National Veterinary Examination from the federal government to the Boards.

The AVBC Inc. assumed the functions and finances of the former Australian Veterinary Boards Conference. The Conference was set up in 1985 to provide the various state and territory veterinary boards the opportunity to discuss issues affecting the practice of veterinary science in Australia and to assist in the standardisation of acceptable veterinary practice. As veterinarians belong to a fairly mobile profession and at that stage were required to register separately in almost every state/ territory in which they wished to practise (and adhere to the particular legislation in force in that jurisdiction), such a meeting was held on an annual basis. In 1988 the then New Zealand Veterinary Surgeons Board made an application to become a participant and commenced attending meetings in 1990.

The AVBC Inc. has no legislative power to impose any decisions made at meetings on any participating member Board. The annual conferences have in the past provided a venue for general reporting and have addressed specific issues, for which over time there has been Australia-wide agreement, for example the recognition of overseas qualifications.

Membership

The state and territory Veterinary Boards of Australia, the Veterinary Council of New Zealand, the Australian Veterinary Association Ltd (AVA) and the New Zealand Veterinary Association Ltd (NZVA) are members of the AVBC Inc. Each member must appoint a delegate (usually the President) and these delegates have a specific role to communicate the point of view of their organisation and must vote accordingly. The AVA and the NZVA are not contributors to the financial support of the AVBC Inc. and are not entitled to vote.

Structure

In May 2008, the AVBC adopted a new constitution with new by-laws and committee structure. The Executive Committee was replaced by a Management Committee which takes responsibility for day-to-day governance issues. A Finance Committee was established to develop policies for the appointment of auditors, as well as to determine budget allocations and reporting templates.

The four standing committees became Standards Committees under the 2008 by-laws. They are the Veterinary Schools Accreditation Advisory Committee (VSAAC), the Advisory Committee on the Registration of Veterinary Specialists (ACRVS) and two standing committees which oversee the National Veterinary Examination (NVE): NVE Panel in Veterinary Science and NVE Board of Examiners. At any one time there may be several working groups constituted to investigate matters such as veterinary specialist titles and continuing professional development.