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AVBC spreads the word at the AVA national conference in Adelaide

The Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) was represented in several sessions at the recent Australian Veterinary Association annual national conference in Adelaide. The interactive sessions were well-received with lots of questions from the audience and feedback sharing appreciation for the insights presented.

In his presentation, AVBC Chair Dr Peter Gibbs, updated the audience on the initiatives being undertaken by the Sustainable Practice Committee, including changes to continuing professional development (CPD) for veterinarians, and updates to regulation of veterinary nurses and veterinary technicians. A new approach to CPD is being developed, as well as a project focusing on supporting new graduate transition to practice. AVBC is committed to progressing national registration of veterinary nurses and veterinary technicians to align Australia with international standards and to best protect the health and welfare of animals. Dr Gibbs’ session generated lots of positive feedback from the audience, with various attendees asking how they can get behind these initiatives to ensure their success.

Emerita Professor Rosanne Taylor, Co-Chair of AVBC’s Veterinary Schools Accreditation Advisory Committee (VSAAC), provided an update on AVBC’s new Accreditation Standards which will be used to evaluate veterinary education and training programs in Australia and New Zealand. Professor Taylor also shared an update on the implementation of AVBC’s new Day One Competencies for veterinary graduates, which have been developed to ensure that New Zealand and Australian veterinary graduates are prepared for their first day on the job. These standards come into effect from 1 January 2024, and Professor Taylor emphasised that VSAAC will be supporting veterinary schools in their transition to the new Standards. AVBC will progress further engagement with practitioners about these topics.

Five of AVBC’s member boards were represented on panel discussions which provided a platform for two-way communication between board representatives and attendees on pertinent matters within the veterinary profession. This included a session on “Veterinary Boards: Limiting or enabling the profession”, with the discussion focused on the work the veterinary boards do outside of complaints investigation (including CPD requirements) and registration of overseas veterinarians. Another session centred on veterinary board complaints – detailing common reasons for complaints, what the complaints process involves and what are the common outcomes. The session alleviated a lot of the fear associated with veterinary board complaints, as panel members reassured attendees that the boards’ approach emphasises risk mitigation, with most complaints allowing an opportunity for growth and improvement. A memorable question from an audience member was, “Why doesn’t everyone know about this?!”.

AVBC plans to continue sharing further insights into veterinary board complaints processes and engaging with practitioners through various channels. We invite you to follow AVBC’s LinkedIn page for updates and check out our website for further insights and information about the regulation of veterinary practitioners in Australia and New Zealand.