During the last year, EBVS has worked hard on different areas of its core activities, with the aim to further improve its functioning, to strengthen collaborations with other organizations, and to better serve the public, its animals, and the veterinary profession.
In December 2016, we submitted an application to the European Union for approval of a Common Training Framework (CTF) for veterinary specialization in Europe, in accordance with the Directive 2013/55/EU. As you know, the EBVS has worked very hard on different lines to finalize the application. We are grateful to all colleagues within and outside the EBVS for the support and excellent collaboration during the past years: the EBVS board members, the EBVS national representatives, the ECCVT, the representatives of the European Commission, the national veterinary competent authorities and the national veterinary associations of the different European countries. Our application implies that EBVS and its colleges must:
- run their businesses in accordance with the European principles of quality assurance,
- have training programmes that are in line with the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) level 8, and
- have veterinary specialists who maintain the required knowledge, skills and competences for this highest EQF level.
Having a legal framework for veterinary specialization in Europe will:
- be a benchmark standard for veterinary specialist education,
- increase the credibility of the specialist skills towards society to improve animal health, wellbeing and public health, and
- ease the mobility of our specialists across member states.
We hope to receive a positive evaluation by the European Commission and expect feedback during the next months.
The number of diplomates has steadily grown since the establishment of the EBVS in 1993. EBVS currently includes 26 veterinary specialist Colleges, comprising more than 38 distinct specialties with 4345 veterinarians. This huge diversity in disciplines, embedded in different colleges, shows the richness and beauty of our profession and veterinary specialisation in Europe. As the umbrella organization for veterinary specialties within Europe, EBVS is grateful and proud to have so many colleges, managed by dedicated, competent and motivated diplomates.
At last year’s AGM, the three EBVS working groups were transformed into committees, implying that they do not only work ad hoc, but have a more permanent character: the Standards and Quality Assurance (SQA) committee, the Communications committee, and the Governance and Code of Conduct (GCC) committee. All of them are very important for the EBVS and the executive committee. Their work is not only important for the internal functioning of EBVS, but also for the external contacts, in particular the communication with other national, European and international organizations.
Following discussions at the last two AGMs, and in order to avoid problems in protecting the specialist titles, the Executive Committee has sought legal advice and decided to proceed applying for the registration of ‘EBVS’ as a word mark. Its approval will allow us to protect our titles when combined with the new trade mark.
A 5-year strategic plan was approved during the AGM in 2015. A major part of this plan has already been carried out. The application for a CTF has been finalized and submitted to the EC, the required changes to improve the standards and quality of the specialist training provided by the Colleges have been implemented, and the work of the three committees, most of the actions through which the EBVS strategy would be achieved, have been addressed.
Our CEO, prof. D. Raptopoulos, has worked very hard for EBVS since 2013. He has performed his task with great enthusiasm, dedication and collegiality, and we are of course very grateful to him. I cannot imagine running EBVS properly without a CEO. Dimitris has spent a tremendous amount of time and energy to finalize the CTF dossier and to run all other EBVS businesses. As decided during the last AGM, he will end his activities on 31 December 2017. The Executive Committee has prepared a job description for a new CEO with applications open until 31st August 2017.
As president of EBVS, I am also grateful to the colleagues within the Executive Committee and to the EBVS secretariat for their hard work and the intensive collaboration during the last year.