For immediate release
Johannesburg, 1 December 2021
Agreement renewed to uphold international best practice in the veterinary profession
South African Veterinary Council strengthens international collaboration through renewal of a mutual recognition agreement with the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council
The South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) and the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) renewed and signed a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) during a virtual ceremony on Thursday 18 November 2021.
Through this MRA, the SAVC and AVBC agree to reinforce their joint commitment to upholding veterinary standards internationally. This extends their alliance to fulfil their mandates in unison.
The SAVC is committed to aligning its standards with highly acclaimed international veterinary statutory bodies such as the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) in the United Kingdom, the AVBC and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). These collaborative accreditation systems are done through mutual recognition agreements.
As the custodian of the veterinary and para-veterinary professions, veterinary councils and boards around the world enable veterinary teams to practise ethically, by setting and monitoring standards, to create a safe environment for animals and people. It is important that these organisations from different countries collaborate to collectively enforce best practice.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, SAVC president and executive committee member Dr Alfred Kgasi said this agreement is of great significance to South Africa and Australasia [Australia and New Zealand] because it helps reinforce international relations and quality assurance in veterinary education.
“This mutual recognition agreement is critical for us not only as an organisation, but also as a country, because it gives us the opportunity to fortify relations with our counterparts in other countries,” he said.
“This partnership also doubles up as a quality assurance mechanism for us because, together with the AVBC, it allows us to jointly align our standards with international best practice. So, we embrace this journey.”
AVBC chairperson Dr Peter Gibbs said Australia and New Zealand are excited about this ongoing partnership with South Africa.
“The AVBC is the strategic arm that provides a forum for cooperation among the veterinary boards in Australia and New Zealand. Each of our constituent boards has its own Act and regulations they must operate under. Our main aim as the AVBC is to encourage the standardisation and quality assurance of veterinary services, in both communities, by assuring and promoting uniform educational standards through accreditation of veterinary schools, assessment of veterinary qualifications for skilled migrants who come into our country and assessment of specialist qualifications,” he said.
“So, it is our great pleasure to be able to sign the mutual recognition agreement with South Africa today that recognises the long-standing ability of our graduates to work within our three nations: South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. We thank you for participating in the development of a mutual recognition agreement that recognises what suits all parties,” Gibbs said.
This alignment allows for the mutual recognition of veterinary qualifications without the need to sit, and pass, a registration examination. Therefore, subject to local accreditation of veterinary programmes for instance in the UK, Australia or New Zealand, the SAVC registers graduates on a reciprocal basis without additional examinations. The countries participate jointly in visitations to ensure that standards at training institutions in the respective countries are met.
Mutual accreditation of veterinary schools is an integral aspect of the quality assurance process for veterinary education. The SAVC has adopted internationally aligned procedures and minimum standards to ensure quality control at tertiary training institutions and compliance with the regulations laid out in the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Act (no. 19 of 1982).
“So, even beyond the aligning of our standards, this union also enables easier movement of professionals between New Zealand, Australia and South Africa,” Dr Kgasi elaborated.
On a global level, the SAVC, together with the AVBC, RCVS and AVMA, belongs to the International Accreditors Working Group. The group meets every second year to look at matters of global veterinary accreditation and cooperation.
Photo credit: Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash
About the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC)
The South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) is the Veterinary Statutory Body in South Africa, with powers and functions for the registration of persons practising the veterinary and para-veterinary professions. The SAVC has legal authority over the practising of veterinary and para-veterinary professions, and for matters connected therewith.
The South African Veterinary Board, which is the predecessor of the SAVC, was established in 1933 in terms of the Veterinary Act (no. 16 of 1933). The SAVC then later became an independent, self-funding statutory body in 1982 under the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Act (no.19 of 1982). The current SAVC, therefore, has a proud and rich history of playing a role in the regulation of the veterinary profession in South Africa.
It is compulsory in South Africa for all practising veterinary and para-veterinary professionals to be registered with the SAVC as stated in the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Act. The SAVC is therefore the custodian of the veterinary and para-veterinary professions in South Africa and enables these professionals to practise ethically by setting and monitoring standards, to create a safe environment for animals and people.
Issued by Flow Communications on behalf of the SAVC. For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Khaya Thwala on firstname.lastname@example.org or 078 349 066