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Licensure Policies

The College's licensure policy documents have been developed to increase the clarity of licence requirements, to assist veterinarians understand Restricted licensure and to outline the general expectation and processes for veterinarians engaged in a Registration Committee-imposed supervision arrangement. For more information about the College’s policies please review the individual policy documents below.

Restricted Licensure

Regulation 1093 under the Veterinarians Act permits the issuance of restricted licences. A restricted licence is defined as:

“a licence with conditions or limitations imposed by a committee”

A restricted licence may be requested by an applicant when an applicant does not meet any or all of the requirements for a general licence. The requirement to having earned a basic degree in veterinary medicine is non‐exemptible.

An application for a restricted licence is reviewed by the Registration Committee and is assessed on its own merits. In order for a review to be completed, the College must be in receipt of:

  • an application for licensure and payment of the application fee, and
  • a letter addressed to the Registration Committee outlining the request for a restricted licence and the reasons why the request should be granted.

If applicable, additional documentation may also be submitted:

  • a current resume detailing the applicant’s experience in veterinary medicine to date,
  • letters or employment support forms confirming the applicant’s employment and providing details of relevant duties and hours, and
  • any other information that the applicant believes would support his/her request.

The Committee reviews each application and all material received to determine if it will issue a restricted licence inclusive of any terms, conditions and/or limitations. Each decision is unique and made based on the merits of the application.

Terms, conditions and limitations are defined as follows:

Term – a specified length of time that the licence is active.

Condition – a requirement that must be met in order to practise (e.g. a course to be completed, level of supervision)

Limitation – a restriction that often implies avoiding certain actions (e.g. a limitation on practise scope or employment location)

The Committee issues a decision, inclusive of any terms, conditions and/or limitations, with its reasons. A decision of the Committee is appealable to Health Professions Appeal and Review Board.

(approved by the Registration Committee ‐ May 2014)

Transcripts Evidence of Basic Degree

The Registrar shall accept official transcripts sent directly from the educational institution as evidence of successful completion of the basic degree in veterinary medicine where the applicant is unable to produce the original degree for presentation to the College.

(approved by Registration Committee ‐ 2013)

English/French Language Proficiency

As per Reg. 1093, all applicants must demonstrate proficiency in either English or French to be eligible for licensure with the College. If the applicant’s primary and secondary education was conducted in English or French, or if the undergraduate veterinary education was conducted in English or French, the applicant is considered to have fulfilled the College’s language proficiency requirement.

If the applicant’s primary and secondary education and undergraduate veterinary education was conducted in a language other than English or French, the applicant can satisfy the language requirements by submitting evidence of proficiency to the College in one of two ways:

objective evidence of proficiency is demonstrated by satisfactory test results taken within the last two years in each area of language competence; OR, if test results have expired,

other evidence that he/she is able to communicate in English or French at a level of proficiency that is sufficient for the practise of veterinary medicine.

Acceptable Test Results

​The Registrar will generally accept one of the following sets of objective test results as evidence of language proficiency:

English Test
Minimum Score
Details
Internet‐based TOEFL (iB‐TOEFL)

 

Reading – 23
Listening – 25
Speaking 22
Writing ‐ 22

 

No minimum overall score is required. Must achieve at least the minimum passing scores for each of the four sections of the exam.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – Academic Version

Listening ‐ 6.5
Writing ‐ 6.0
Speaking ‐ 7.0

Must achieve an overall score of at least 6.5. Must achieve the minimum passing score for each of the three sections.

Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Listening – 60
Writing ‐ 50
Speaking – 60
An overall score of no less than 60 must be achieved.
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) Reading – 85
Listening – 85
Writing – 85
Speaking ‐ 3
 
French Test Minimum Score Details
Exam of French of the
Office de la langue francaise (OLF) of the Government of Quebec
Writing – 60
Writing comprehension – 60
Oral communication – 60
Oral comprehension ‐ 60
No minimum overall score is required.
 Applicants must provide a score report for one of the language proficiency tests that is no more than two years old. Applicants must achieve the minimum scores for all required sections of a test on the same administration or attempt.

Test results must be submitted as follows:

 
Test

 

Method of submission

What to do
iB‐TOEF

 

Send scores directly to the College through the Internet

Visit http://www.toeflgoanywhere.org/ and enter the College’s name into the search engine. The CVO’s institution code is 3981.

IELTS

 

The College will verify results online through the IELTS portal.

Send a legible copy of test results to the College for verification. College staff must be able to read the Test Report Form number in the bottom right hand corner of the report.

CAEL,
OLF and MELAB

Test scores must be received directly from the testing institution. 

Provide the testing institution with the College’s address.

Other Evidence

The Registrar will consider other evidence that the applicant is able to communicate in English or French at a level of proficiency that is sufficient for the practise of veterinary medicine.

The process of providing sufficiently persuasive information to establish to the Registrar’s satisfaction that the applicant has met the language proficiency requirement is substantially more onerous than that of taking one of the standard language proficiency tests. Nevertheless, individuals have the right under the legislation to have the Registrar consider other evidence should an applicant wish to do so.

There is no restriction on the type or amount of information that may be submitted by the applicant to support the application. The following is a list of examples of what might be submitted with a cover letter:

  • Evidence of having authored veterinary publications in English or French
  • Evidence from a professor/supervisor attesting to language proficiency over a period of time (such as a residency or graduate program in an English speaking institution)
  • Evidence of a long‐standing history of working in a veterinary‐related environment where services were provided in English or French (verified by regulated professionals or recognized academics)
  • Evidence of successful English or French language proficiency test scores other than those listedin this policy.

(revised by Registration Committee ‐ 2016)

Document Translation

Purpose

(revised by Registration Committee ‐ 2016)

This policy has been developed to outline document translations requirements for documentation that is provided to the College of Veterinarians of Ontario for the purposes of licensure.

Scope

This policy will apply to licensure applicants whose documentation is not in English or French. Generally, this documentation is veterinary medicine degrees and letters of professional standing.

Background

Applicants seeking licensure are required to provide acceptable documentation related to their intended licence type. There are instances where these documents have not originally produced in either English or French. In these instances, applicants are required to provide a certified English or French translation of the document to the College.

Policy

To ensure that all translations are submitted in a consistent and fair manner, the College has adopted the following requirements:

1. Unless otherwise specifically directed, the translation must be submitted in original hard copy and be completed by either:

(i) The Embassy, High Commission, or Consulate to Canada of the country that issued the document;

(ii) A Canadian Embassy, High Commission, or Consulate in the country from which the applicant emigrated;

(iii) A translator accredited by the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario;

(iv) A translator accredited by a federal, provincial, or municipal government in Canada; or

(v) When extenuating circumstances arise, another person or organization deemed acceptable

by the College’s Registrar.

2. At all times, the translation must be accompanied by an original hard copy of the translator’s statement that contains:

(i) The translator’s official stamp and/or ID number;

(ii) The translator’s address and phone number;

(iii) The date that the translation occurred;

(iv) A statement by the translator that the translation is accurate and a true representation of

the document; and

(v) The printed name and original signature of the translator.

(approved by Registration Committee ‐ 2018)

Difficulty obtaining required documents

Despite their best efforts, some applicants are unable to obtain the documents required to support their application due to circumstances that are beyond their control.

Examples of such circumstances include:

  • An institution (such as a school or governmental organization) is unable to provide the requireddocument because it no longer exists, is not functioning or has lost records due to war,upheaval, natural disaster or other crisis;
  • An institution is refusing to provide the required documentation for an improper reason;
  • Contacting an institution to request a document raises a wellfounded fear of discrimination o persecution for the applicant or his/her family.

This list of examples is not exhaustive and other circumstances “outside an applicant’s control” will be considered on a case by case basis.

Process

Any applicant indicating that it is impossible to obtain documents will be provided with an opportunity to describe their particular situation for consideration.

1. When an applicant advises the College that documents are not available, staff will ask for a letter to be submitted detailing the reasons why the document is not available.

2. The Registrar will then determine whether it is appropriate to accept alternative documentation given the facts presented.

Alternative Documents

Alternative documentary proof from sources other than the originating institution might include:

  • a certified/notarized copy directly from the applicant
  • copies of documents from another institution (regulatory body, testing agency)
  • transcripts from academic studies in veterinary medicine
  • an affidavit, which is a formal legal document in which an individual describes circumstances or knowledge and swears that the information provided is true in the presence of a notary or lawyer.
  • affidavits from third parties (such as professors or colleagues) with personal or expert knowledge relating to the applicant’s circumstances, academic credentials or qualifications.

​Appeal

Applicants may appeal the Registrar’s decision by asking for a referral to the Registration Committee.

(approved by Registration Committee ‐ 2014)

AVMA‐COE Accredited School Graduand Exemption

Background

Under Ont. Reg. 1093 ss 3 (1) (i), applicants for licensure must provide evidence that they have earned a basic degree from an AVMA‐COE accredited veterinary school or an acceptable unaccredited veterinary school by presenting the degree itself (or a notarized copy thereof).

Since degrees are not issued until the educational institution holds its convocation ceremony, graduands who have completed all degree requirements but who have not yet convocated are not eligible for a licence issued by the Registrar. Therefore they must request an exemption to the requirement, which by law may be considered and decided by the Registration Committee only.

Policy

The Registration Committee will consider, in lieu of the degree, an original letter from the Dean (or equivalent) of the relevant AVMA‐COE veterinary college – Canadian or otherwise ‐ confirming that the applicant

  • has completed all degree requirements for the program, and
  • is expected to graduate at the stated convocation ceremony date.

In these cases the Registration Committee will generally direct that a Restricted Licence be issued with the condition that official transcripts issued after convocation must sent to the College directly from the educational institution within 6 months of the licence date. Upon receipt of official transcripts (or other acceptable documentation) stating that graduation has taken place and the degree therefore issued, the Registrar is then permitted to issue a General licence to the licensee. If the College does not receive official transcripts (or other acceptable documentation) within 6 months of the licence date, the restricted licence will be revoked.

Authority

Under Regulation 1093,

3. (1) The requirements for the issuing of any licence are that the applicant,

(i) submits his or her basic degree from an accredited veterinary school or an acceptable unaccredited veterinary school or a copy of the degree that is,
     (i) notarized by a person authorized to notarize documents in a Canadian jurisdiction, or
     (ii) certified by a person authorized to practice law in a Canadian jurisdiction. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 1093, s. 3 (1); O. Reg. 431/00, s. 1; O. Reg. 398/07, s. 2.

Under the Veterinarians Act,

ss. 14 (5) the Registration Committee has the authority to exempt an applicant from compliance with any qualification or requirement for a licence.

(approved by Registration Committee ‐ 2014)

Licensure with Supervision Condition (imposed by the Registration Committee)

Introduction

The goal of a Supervision condition on a licence is to facilitate access to clinical experience for a veterinarian who has not met all of the entry‐to‐practice requirements as outlined in section 3 of Regulation 1093. In order to mitigate risk and protect the public interest, the supervision process includes ongoing assessment of the supervised licensee.

Background

Under paragraph 14 (6) (c) of the Veterinarians Act, the Registration Committee is authorized to direct the issuance of a licence subject to conditions and limitations, including levels of supervision. The level of supervision determined appropriate is based on the information and documentation submitted by the applicant. Usually a Restricted Licence is the category of licence that is granted with Supervision.

Some examples of when the Registration Committee might impose a Supervision condition include:

  • applicants who have passed the NAVLE but not the Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE);
  • applicants with impairment issues;
  • applicants who are the subject of current disciplinary or incapacity proceedings;
  • applicants with previous discipline findings; and
  • applicants who are highly experienced in a specialty or scope of practice but not board certifie (or otherwise trained beyond the basic veterinary degree). In this circumstance, there is often an additional limitation placed on the licence that specifies a particular place of employment or employment environment.

Purpose of Policy

This policy sets out the College’s general expectation and processes for a veterinarian engaged in a Registration Committee‐imposed supervision arrangement with regard to:

  • level of supervision;
  • qualifications required of a supervisor;
  • requirements for the supervisor;
  • requirements for the supervisee;
  • approval process; and
  • termination of agreement

Levels of Supervision

The applicable level of supervision required will be specified by the Registration Committee and will appear on the undertaking that must be signed by the licensee and on the licensee’s record on the Public Register.

Definitions of the commonly specified levels of supervision:

  1. Condition of Immediate Supervision: the supervising veterinarian is on the same premises as the supervisee and can see and hear the supervisee when the supervisee is engaged in professional activities.

  2. Condition of Direct Supervision: the supervising veterinarian is on the same premises as the supervisee and, although not present to see and hear the supervisee, is accessible to the supervisee in a timely and appropriate manner.

  3. Condition of Indirect Supervision: the supervising veterinarian is not on the same premises as the supervisee, is accessible to the supervisee in a timely and appropriate manner.

Qualifications of Supervisors

Providing supervision is a privilege and is not a right. It is a time‐consuming activity and should not be entered into lightly by any member of the profession. A veterinarian who wishes to supervise a licensee must generally meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Hold a General Licence with no conditions or limitations
  • Has at least 3‐5 consecutive years of full‐ or half‐time practice experience
  • Has been in active practice in Ontario for at least the past two years
  • Has no discipline findings within the past 5 years
  • Must not be the subject of any current disciplinary or incapacity proceedings
  • Has no active undertakings
  • Is not under an active Registrar’s or Complaints Investigations
  • Has no current referrals from Executive or Complaints Committees to Discipline
  • Has no conflict of interest (any real or perceived), such as personal relationships (e.g,employment, family, dating, business, friendship, etc.) that may interfere with the supervision or objective evaluation
  • Has no other factors, such as but not limited to, a history with the College or reported concernsraised by past supervisees or employees, that, in the opinion of the Registrar reasonably demonstrates that the veterinarian could not provide a suitable supervision experience.

Each suggested supervisor is to be pre‐approved by the Registrar prior to the licensee commencing work. The Registrar has the authority to decline the supervisor of choice if any of the above criteria apply, without needing to provide written reason(s) for such decision. The confidentiality rights of the proposed supervisor may in fact preclude the Registrar from advising the proposed supervisee of the reasons why a proposed supervisor has not been approved.

Requirements for the Supervisor:

In addition to agreeing to provide the supervision (to the level specified in the undertaking) to the supervisee when he/she is engaged in any and all professional activities, the supervisor must also agree to:

  1. Provide sufficient supervision and ongoing monitoring at the level required, that assures both supervisor and clients of safe practise;

  2. Understand the supervisee’s learning objectives and communicate his/her role to other staff and to clients;

  3. Orient the supervisee to the practice (including equipment, protocols and documentation requirements) and to the specific condition, needs and/or goals of individual patients/clients;

  4. Ensure that duties assigned are commensurate with the supervisee’s ability, experience, comfort level and learning style, as well as the complexity of the environment/practice setting;

  5. Provide an environment that will facilitate learning and clinical growth;

  6. Provide feedback to the supervisee regarding performance on a consistent, timely basis, based on the criteria established by the College and submit those reports to the Registrar as per schedule stated in the Undertaking (see attached assessment form);

  7. Ensure that that the supervisee describes him‐ or herself as a “Veterinarian working under Supervision”

  8. Immediately notify the Registrar in writing if the following situations occur:

a. the supervisor has reasonable grounds for belief that the supervisee has performed any act of professional misconduct or serious neglect

b. the supervisor has reasonable grounds for belief that the supervisee is impaired

c. the supervisor has reasonable grounds for belief that the supervisee’s practice may expose patients or  clients to risk of harm or injury

d. the supervisor has reasonable grounds for belief that the supervisee is practising below standard

e. the supervisor is unable to continue in the role, or unable to fulfill obligations on a timely or temporary basis, e.g., due to illness, vacation, personal emergency, etc.

Requirements for the Supervisee:

In any Registration Committee‐imposed supervising arrangement, the Supervisee must:

  1. Accept primary responsibility for his or her actions. Complaints regarding the conduct or actions of a supervisee could result in an investigation by the College of both the supervisee and the supervising member.

  2. Identify him or herself as a Veterinarian working under Supervision.

  3. Submit an undertaking to the College that is signed by him or herself and any/all members of the College holding a General licence who agree to supervise their practise, at any/all locations.

  4. Notify the College of any supervisor changes, as these changes must first be approved by the Registrar before a new supervision undertaking may take effect.

  5. Ensure that assessment reports are submitted to the College on time.

  6. Adhere to any recommendations made by the supervisor.

Approval Process

Prior to beginning supervised practice:

a. the supervisee and supervisor must sign an individualized and situation specific undertaking to formalize the agreement with the College and

b. the Registrar must approve the agreement

Termination of Agreement

The Registrar reserves the right to terminate the supervision arrangement and may disentitle someone to act as a supervisor if there are reasonable grounds for the Registrar to believe that that the supervisor is no longer an appropriate choice.

If the supervisor or supervisee terminates the undertaking, they must do so in writing, and the supervisee is not permitted to practise until the Registrar has approved a new undertaking signed by the supervisee and a new supervisor who is acceptable to the Registrar.

(approved by the Registration Committee ‐ 2014)

Supervision of Non‐OVC AVMA‐COE Accredited Veterinary Students

Background

The Veterinarians Act specifically exempts undergraduate students enrolled in the DVM program at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), and only at the OVC, from the need to be licensed with the College for the duration of their program. The provision permits them to participate actively in externships and other clinical activities under appropriate supervision, both on campus during coursework and in clinical practice placements in Ontario when they are placed in elective rotations or in externships.

Several other AVMA‐COE accredited veterinary programs allow their veterinary students to complete clinical rotations in Ontario, yet these students are not exempted in the Act from the requirement for licensure. The College believes that the intent of the legislation is to facilitate the learning process for students enrolled in an accredited veterinary medical undergraduate program, permitting them to practise for the purposes of completing their program under appropriate supervision.

Policy

The College will permit clinical‐placement students from non‐OVC programs to work under supervision1 in Ontario practices without requiring licensure, if the following conditions are met:

1. The Dean of the AVMA‐COE accredited veterinary college program has provided a letter confirming that

a. the student is actively enrolled2 in the DVM veterinary program, and

b. the DVM veterinary program has procedures in place for monitoring the student’s performance throughout the clinical placement; and

2. An undertaking between the College and a supervising veterinarian in Ontario has been

submitted to the College before the placement begins, and has been signed by a licensee of the College who is

i. in good standing;

ii. holds a General Licence;

iii. is willing to supervise the student; and

iv. is acceptable to the Registrar.

Authority

This policy addresses a legislative gap that has been added to the list of items for consideration under the strategic key objective for 2014‐2017, “Modernization of the Legislation.”

(approved by Council ‐ 2014)
 


1 Direct Supervision: the supervising veterinarian must be on the same premises as the STUDENT LEARNER, but not necessarily within sight or hearing, and is accessible to the STUDENT LEARNER in a timely and appropriate manner.
Immediate Supervision: the supervising veterinarian is within sight and hearing of the STUDENT LEARNER at all times when he/she is engaged in professional activities; the supervision will be such that it allows the veterinarian to be assured that the STUDENT LEARNER can safely and competently carry out his or her clinical responsibilities.
 2 Actively enrolled: the student must be currently participating in studies and coursework, and is not on leave.

Emeritus

Background

An eligible former licensed member who has resigned his or her licence may apply for emeritus status in order to have their membership history and involvement in the College recognized. Emeritus status is regarded as a very high honour to the individual and in the profession.

Policy

1. A licensed member who has resigned his or her licence may apply and be considered for emeritus status if he or she:

a. has held a licence under the Act or registration under a predecessor of the Act, or a combination, continuously for 25 years or more;

b. has never had a finding of professional misconduct or gross neglect;
c. was in good standing at the time his or her membership ended; and
d. is fully retired from the practice of veterinary medicine in Ontario.

2. Emeritus status holders are entitled to receive the general mailings of the College and notice of meetings and may speak at meetings but are not eligible to vote on any matter.

Process

All applications for this special status must be reviewed by the Registrar. If approved, the Registrar will issue a certificate to the applicant. The public register will display the former licensed members who have requested and qualified for this status.

For the purpose of clause 1(c), a member is in good standing if his or her licence is not suspended and the member,

a. is not in default of payment of any fee prescribed by the regulations made under the Act,

b. is not in default of providing the College with any information required by or under the regulations made under the Act, and

c. is not the subject of proceedings in respect of professional misconduct, gross neglect or impairment

A person with emeritus status must abide by the following terms:

a. undertake to not practice veterinary medicine or re‐apply for licensure in Ontario in the future;
b. agree to use only the title “Veterinarian Emeritus”; and
c. agree and acknowledge that the emeritus status can be removed by the Registrar if he or she concludes that the status holder has acted in a manner that is inconsistent with the status.

(approved by Council ‐ 2015)

Short‐Term Licence Policy

Background

To obtain a Short‐Term licence with the College, an applicant must meet all legislated requirements and provide payment of appropriate fees. These fees are listed in the College’s By‐Laws and indicate that an applicant must pay a licence fee of $250.00 for each issuance of a Short‐Term licence.

Policy

Applicants who apply and obtain multiple Short‐Term licences will be capped at a maximum of four short term licences per calendar year regardless of the amount of time that each Short Term licence is approved for. If an applicant needs to apply for a licence after he or she has been issued four Short‐Term licences, he or she will be directed by College staff to apply for a General or Restricted licence.

Legislative Authority

R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 1093: Licences, s. 3(1)(f), s. 8 College By‐Laws, Schedule 2, fees

(approved by Registration Committee – September 2016)

Determining Applicant Suitability to Practise

The College’s Determining Applicant Suitability to Practise explains how the College assesses information about an applicant’s suitability to practise; and identifies the criteria that the College uses when conducting such an assessment.

Licensure in Emergency Situations

Under the Licensure of Veterinarians in Emergency Situations Policy Statement, the Registrar is authorized to carry out the following actions pertaining to application for licensure made in response to a declared emergency:

  1. to issue and, where necessary, renew a short-term licence to veterinarians who are directed by a federal or provincial government body to perform specific veterinary services solely for the short-term, special purpose of dealing with the specified emergency situation.
  2. to waive application and licensure fees;
  3. to accept, as the nature of the emergency warrants, the Chief Veterinarian of Ontario or of Canada as the supervising veterinarian of short-term licensees, waiving the requirement for an undertaking to be signed by both parties;
  4. to waive the documentation requirement to have letters of standing sent from other jurisdictions, instead confirming that the applicant holds active licensure in good standing through direct communication with the regulator of the originating jurisdiction.

Jurisprudence Exam

The College's jurisprudence exam requires applicants to demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to apply relevant Ontario legislation and regulations, as well as College standards and guidelines.