What is Veterinary School Accreditation?
Accreditation of veterinary schools is an integral part of quality assurance procedures for veterinary education. In general, the process operates regionally and includes a number of countries in each system. In Australia and New Zealand the system is managed by the Veterinary Schools Accreditation Advisory Committee (VSAAC) which reports to the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC).
As part of its annual revision of procedures VSAAC is mindful of the desire of different veterinary accreditation bodies to adopt comparable standards and procedures in order to facilitate movement of veterinarians between different countries. VSAAC also notes developments in accreditation procedures in other professions and has attempted to adopt procedures that are consistent with contemporary thinking in the area.
Meetings of veterinary accreditation bodies in the UK in 2004, Australia in 2007 and in the USA in 2002, 2007 and 2011 sought to understand and find common ground in some of the jurisdictions responsible for veterinary accreditation – namely the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association, AVBC and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons with recognition of the key role of the European accreditation system, EAEVE. Successful joint visits of the AVMA and AVBC / RCVS were held in 2007 at Massey University, 2009 at Murdoch, 2012 in Sydney and 2013 in Melbourne. EAEVE and the South African Veterinary Council have sent observers to the site visits and been involved with International Accreditation Working Group Meetings since 2007.
Policies, Procedures and Standards
The procedures for accreditation in Australia and New Zealand are described in the Policies Procedures and Standards publication. These place a great emphasis on the attributes of veterinary graduates and how veterinary schools are developing and delivering the veterinary curriculum to ensure that their graduates have developed these attributes.
AVBC is conscious of the fact that nothing stands still and committee members are keen to see the development of an active process whereby the profession debates the issue of accreditation. It is the desire of the Veterinary Schools Accreditation Advisory Committee (VSAAC) that the outcome of these discussions will drive future developments of veterinary accreditation in Australia and New Zealand.
AVBC Accredited Veterinary Schools and their status
AVBC accreditation decisions fall in to four categories:
- Accreditation for seven years subject to the usual periodic reports. The AVBC reserves the right to revisit a school granted accreditation subject to periodic reporting requirements. If periodic reports are satisfactory, re-accreditation will be subject to an on-site assessment in the seventh year.
- Accreditation for seven years subject to certain conditions being addressed within a specified period and to satisfactory periodic reports.
- Accreditation for shorter periods of time. If significant deficiencies are identified, the AVBC may award limited accreditation with conditions and for a period of less than seven years.
- Accreditation may be denied where the AVBC considers that the deficiencies are so serious as to warrant that action.
Accredited Veterinary Programs
Veterinary degrees which are currently accredited as a result of the VSAAC process in Australia and New Zealand are:
- The University of Queensland (to 2017)
- James Cook University (to 2016)
- The University of Sydney ( to 2019)
- Charles Sturt University (to 2017)
- The University of Melbourne (to 2020)
- Murdoch University (to 2016)
- Massey University (to 2021)
- The University of Adelaide (to 2016)
AVBC Inc makes every attempt to ensure that all material contained herein is accurate and complete but recommends that users check with the AVBC for the most up to date information.