Some of you may have noticed we have a new sticker on the clinic window. This same logo is also on our website. The logo is of the CVO or College of Veterinarians of Ontario. The College of Veterinarians of Ontario is the agency that licenses all veterinarians legally practising in Ontario and is responsible for accreditation of all practices legally operating in Ontario. CVO is often confused with OVC (Ontario Veterinary College) which is the school for veterinarians in Guelph from which all of our vets have proudly graduated.
So what does Licensing mean? It means that the Veterinarians practising in Ontario are required to meet high standards of care in their Veterinary Practice. We are required to regularly pursue continuing education in order to expand our knowledge and make sure that we keep up with ever evolving standards of care. We are obligated to maintain thorough and complete records and follow the veterinarians act (the laws which govern the veterinary profession). The Veterinarians act explicitly tells us what we can and cannot do in ethical practice. This is why we cannot prescribe medication to pets we have not examined recently. It would be against the law. If we break this law we are subjected to punishment by the CVO. These punishments can include fines, license suspension and permanent revocation of licenses. We take these things very seriously.
Accreditation means that our facilities meet the standards for a veterinary hospital. We are subject to regular inspections and must meet minimum standards of hygiene, equipment and record keeping. Sure that doesn’t sound like much but it does give the public some reassurance that when they walk into a veterinary practice it will be sanitary and properly equipped to handle most situations.
It is important to note that the CVO exists to protect the public. To make sure veterinarians are practising to acceptable standards in clinics that maintain appropriate hospital standards. They make sure the laws are followed and that there are consequences to not following the law and not maintaining practice standards. This ensures that our profession is worthy of the trust our clients place in us every day.