Overview

The Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria (Vetboard Victoria) is inviting your feedback on revised guidelines on appropriate standards of veterinary practice and veterinary facilities.

Vetboard Victoria's guidelines assist veterinary practitioners who are practising in Victoria to deliver appropriate and effective services within an ethical framework. Veterinary practitioners have a professional responsibility to be familiar with the guidelines and to apply the guidance they contain. The guidelines are also used by panels sitting on disciplinary hearings convened by Vetboard Victoria to consider the professional conduct of individual veterinary practitioners.

Vetboard Victoria is asking veterinary practitioners, pet and livestock owners, animal welfare organisations and carers, other stakeholders in the veterinary profession, and the general community for their feedback on the proposed guidelines.

The aim of this consultation is to ensure Vetboard Victoria's guidelines reflect contemporary expectations of users of veterinary services, the veterinary profession and the general community. You can download the proposed guidelines and a consultation paper discussing the proposed changes below.

Give us your feedback

Before you give us your feedback, we invite you to read the proposed guidelines and consider the questions in the consultation paper. You can also refer to Vetboard Victoria's current guidelines and the 'Guidelines in context' document which includes detailed notes and FAQs (see 'Supplementary documents' on this page).

There are two ways to give your feedback:
  1. You can fill in some or all of the questions in our survey - click on the tab below RESPOND VIA SURVEY, or
  2. You can upload a prepared document - click on the tab below UPLOAD YOUR RESPONSE AS A DOCUMENT.

Submissions close Saturday, 30 November 2019.

When you give your feedback you do not have to identify yourself unless you want to. Your privacy is important to us. Vetboard Victoria will handle your feedback and personal information in line with Victoria's privacy laws. If you identify yourself, Vetboard Victoria will not disclose your name without your consent, except where required to by law. The Collection Notice at the bottom of this page contains more information on how Vetboard Victoria will handle your feedback and personal information.

RESPOND VIA SURVEY

Survey questions

1. Basic principles of professional conduct

Proposed Guideline 1.1: The practice and behaviour of veterinary practitioners should be underpinned by basic principles of professional conduct. When assessing a veterinary practitioner’s professional conduct, the Board will consider the practitioner’s observation of the following eight guiding principles:
  1. A primary concern for the welfare of animals.
  2. Honesty and integrity.
  3. Professional accountability and independence.
  4. Maintaining knowledge of and competency in current contemporary standards of practice.
  5. Keeping informed of and abiding by all regulatory obligations.
  6. Always considering the safety of the veterinary practitioner, veterinary staff and the public.
  7. Ensuring the environment, equipment and assistance is appropriate for the veterinary procedures that are undertaken.
  8. Maintaining their own health and wellbeing, and taking steps to modify their practice should issues arise which may adversely affect their judgement or performance.
Do you agree with including basic principles of professional conduct in Vetboard Victoria’s guidelines?

2. Primary concern is the animal's welfare.

Proposed Guideline 2.1: Veterinary practitioners must at all times consider the welfare of animals when practising veterinary science.

Do you agree with having a guideline that a veterinary practitioner’s primary concern should be the animal’s welfare?

3. Pain Management

Proposed Guideline 2.4: Veterinary practitioners who perform a surgical or invasive non-surgical procedure on an animal without appropriate pain management that is effective for an appropriate length of time may be engaging in unprofessional conduct.

Do you agree with having a guideline on pain management?

4. Correction of inheritable defects

Proposed Guideline 2.5: Veterinary practitioners must not perform a surgical operation for the correction of an inheritable defect, or provide medical treatment for an inheritable disease, unless the primary purpose of the operation or treatment is to relieve or prevent pain or discomfort to the animal concerned.

Do you agree with having a guideline on the correction of inheritable defects?

5. Vicarious liability

Proposed Guideline 2.6: Veterinary practitioners must be satisfied that any person under their authority who performs any invasive procedure on an animal is appropriately trained and supervised, and that the animal does not suffer pain or distress.

Do you agree with including a guideline on persons (such as veterinary students, veterinary nurses and other animal health providers) performing invasive procedures under the authority of a veterinary practitioner?

6. Veterinary practitioner health

Proposed Guideline 5.1: Veterinary practitioners have an obligation to protect patients from risk of being placed at harm posed by their or a colleague’s poor physical or mental health.

Do you agree with having a guideline on veterinary practitioner health?

7. Obligation to keep informed of and abide by statutory obligations

Proposed Guideline 7.2: Veterinary practitioners must maintain knowledge of and obey any code or rules of an animal sporting organisation when attending that organisation or working within the industry to which it relates (unless the code or rules are contrary to the Veterinary Practice Act 1997, its associated Regulations, these guidelines or any other legislation).

Do you agree with having a guideline on following the rules of animal sporting organisations?

8. Working within areas of competence

Proposed Guideline 8.1: Veterinary practitioners must work within their areas of competence and be mindful of their limitations.

Proposed Guideline 8.2: Veterinary practitioners should seek appropriate assistance from within the practice or from other experienced veterinary practitioners.

Do you agree with having a guideline on veterinary practitioners needing to work within their area of competence and being mindful of their limitations?

9. Biosecurity and infection control

Proposed Guideline 15.2: Veterinary practitioners must take appropriate measures to protect against infection of themselves and other people from zoonotic disease.

Do you agree with having a guideline on zoonotic disease risk management?

10. Antimicrobial resistance stewardship

Proposed Guideline 16.4: Veterinary practitioners must maintain a knowledge of current appropriate antimicrobial prescribing guidelines, and they must prescribe antimicrobials appropriately and judiciously to minimise the development of antimicrobial resistance.

Do you agree with having a guideline on antimicrobial prescribing practices?

11. Continuing care after hours

Proposed Guideline 17.1: Veterinary practitioners must, when accepting an animal for diagnosis or treatment: (a) ensure that they are available for the ongoing care of the animal or (b), if they will not be so available, make arrangements for another veterinary practitioner within reasonable proximity to take over the care of the animal.

Do you agree with having a guideline on continuing care after-hours?

12. Veterinary medical records

Proposed Guideline 20.2: Veterinary practitioners must retain records for at least seven (7) years after the last occasion on which the animal received treatment.

Do you agree that the time required to keep veterinary medical veterinary records should be 7 years?

13. Providing veterinary services to remote clients

Proposed Guideline 23.1: All the standard legal and professional obligations of veterinary practitioners apply to the provision of any veterinary-related service by remote means.

Proposed Guideline 23.3: Veterinary practitioners should only conduct veterinary services using remote electronic means when it can be demonstrated that the animal(s) are under the care of the veterinary practitioner, with the exception of general advice or advice given in an emergency until that patient can be seen by a veterinary practitioner.

Proposed Guideline 23.4: Veterinary practitioners in Victoria with primary care of an animal may seek advice and/or services from veterinary practitioners elsewhere, provided that the veterinary practitioner registered in Victoria continues to provide the primary ongoing care for that animal.

Do you agree with having a guideline on providing veterinary services to remote clients?

14. Other guidelines

15. General comments on the proposed guidelines

About you

If you are representing an organisation, contact details are required.

If you are not representing an organisation, you can make an anonymous submission. Alternatively, you can provide your personal information but restrict publication of your name by selecting one or more of the options provided below.

Are you an individual or are you representing an organisation? Required
You have 255 characters left.
You have 255 characters left.

If you enter your email address you will receive a copy of your submission and we will inform you of the outcome of this consultation.

Can we publish your submission under your name? Required
Can we attribute a quote from your submission to you, e.g. in a public report on the outcome of this consultation? Required
Can we contact you about your submission? Required

UPLOAD YOUR RESPONSE AS A DOCUMENT

Your submission should address some or all of the questions in the consultation paper on the review of Vetboard Victoria's guidelines.

About you

If you are representing an organisation, contact details are required.

If you are not representing an organisation, you can make an anonymous submission. Alternatively, you can provide your personal information but restrict publication of your name by choosing one or more of the options provided below.

Are you an individual or are you representing an organisation? Required
You have 255 characters left.
You have 255 characters left.

If you enter your email address you will receive a copy of your submission and we will inform you of the outcome of this consultation.

Can we publish your submission under your name? Required
Can we attribute a quote from your submission to you, e.g. in a public report on the outcome of this consultation? Required
Can we contact you about your submission? Required

Collection notice

The Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria (Vetboard Victoria) is committed to protecting personal information provided by you in accordance with the principles of the Victorian privacy laws.

The information you provide will be used in the review of Vetboard Victoria's guidelines.

Personal information that is collected by Vetboard Victoria will be used by, and disclosed to, Board employees whose duties require them to use it. Personal information may also be used by, and disclosed to, the independent consultant engaged by the Board to help produce Vetboard Victoria’s Guidelines, and the nine Board members who will review and approve the revised guidelines after the consultation. Employees, Board members and the consultant engaged by Vetboard Victoria have signed confidentiality agreements and are required to protect and handle your personal information in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and any other applicable legislation regulating the collection, use, disclosure, storage and destruction of personal information.

You may contact us to request access to your personal information, or about other concerns about the privacy of your personal information at guidelines@vetboard.vic.gov.au

View the Board’s full Privacy and Data Protection Policy at www.vetboard.vic.gov.au/VPRBV/Documents/Privacy_Policy.aspx

If you do not provide your personal information, we will not be able to identify your submission if you wish to access it, make a correction or require technical support.