Consumers of veterinary services in Australia can be comforted by the fact that registered veterinary practitioners have been awarded the university degree of Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) either by an accredited Australasian University or an accredited overseas university - see Graduates eligible for Full Registration without further examination.
Those graduates, who do not have a qualification from an accredited university but have a veterinary degree, must sit the National Veterinary Exam (NVE).
The Board investigates complaints regarding allegations of professional misconduct under Part 5 of the Veterinary Practice Act 2003. The Board has established a Complaints Committee who will perform the investigation and will make a recommendation to the Board, who in turn will make a decision regarding a complaint.
A person making the complaint must complete the Complaint Form (pdf 177kb) and submit it to the Board. The complaint form is also a statutory declaration.
The Board has found that many potential complaints can be resolved if the complainant speaks to the practice Superintendent (senior vet in charge). If that attempt is not satisfactory the complainant then continues with the complaint process.
The Board will only investigate complaints regarding fees charged when an estimate of fees for treatment has not been indicated and agreed by the client.
Other complaints regarding fees should be directed to NSW Department of Fair Trading, click here to view their website.
The Board may:
If the Board is satisfied that the veterinary practitioner is guilty of professional misconduct, it must apply to the Administrative Decision Tribunal (ADT) for a disciplinary finding against the veterinary practitioner (this may include a suspension). The Board may suspend the veterinary practitioner's registration pending the determination of the matter by the ADT.
The Board will notify the complainant of the outcome of the investigation when the matter has been finalised. This may take some months due to the part time nature of the Board. A complainant may have the right to seek action in the civil courts regardless of any action taken during or after an investigation by the Board.
For more information see the relevant section of the legislation.
The Veterinary Practitioners Board of NSW (Board) aims to maintain and improve the quality of the services the Board provides by identifying, addressing and resolving complaints promptly.
Please include the following information in your correspondence:
An acknowledgment of receipt will be issued within two working days from the time a formally submitted complaint is received.
Anonymous complaints will be investigated where sufficient detail is provided to substantiate a valid complaint. However, any investigation may be hampered by our inability to seek further information and details. Also, it is not possible to issue advice on outcomes to a complainant when no contact details have been provided.
Further information can be obtained from:
Veterinary Practitioners Board of NSW
PO Box 6391 Alexandria NSW 2015
Phone: 02 8338 1177
Fax: 02 8338 1077
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