2016 May - Vaccinations by non-veterinarians
The Board has received a number of enquiries regarding non-veterinarians providing a service where they administer vaccinations and provide a signed vaccination certificate.
This service is possible under the Veterinary Practice Act 2003 as the administration of a vaccine is not a restricted act of veterinary science. This Act also requires that a ‘veterinary’ certificate is not provided in these circumstances. A non-veterinarian can provide a document stating vaccination has taken place but the certificate must not use the words veterinary/veterinarian or imply involvement by a veterinarian. This service is also possible under the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966 if the vaccine used is not a scheduled drug (typically an inactivated vaccine).
Veterinarians can sign a veterinary or vaccination certificate if they have personally provided the service or supervised the provision of the service (Veterinary Practitioners Code of Professional Conduct, cl 17):
- (1) A veterinary practitioner must not certify to any fact within his or her professional expertise or knowledge, or that a veterinary service has been provided, unless the veterinary practitioner has personal knowledge of the fact or has personally provided, or supervised the provision of, the veterinary service concerned.
- (2) Any certification by a veterinary practitioner must contain such detail as is necessary to ensure that it is complete and accurate and that the meaning is clear.
When signing certificates the veterinarian should include his or her veterinary registration number. This ensures the client or other party is able to check that the service was performed (or supervised) by a veterinarian.