2017 June - From the Registrar's Desk

Requirements for Full Registration

The Board is looking for your feedback on a possible change to its policy on Requirements for Full Registration.

Under the Veterinary Practice Act 2003 (s 21) the Board has some discretion regarding whether a person who has a veterinary degree not approved on the advice of the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council Inc (AVBC) must complete the National Veterinary Examination (NVE) to be granted full registration. 

This discretion must be exercised with care as through the AVBC the Board is able to adopt an approach to these decisions which is consistent with other Boards in Australia and New Zealand.

Veterinary schools in NSW have previously experienced some difficulties attracting highly qualified people to assist with teaching veterinary students.  As such, the Board previously implemented a policy allowing people who do not possess qualifications required for full registration, but with qualifications suitable for specialist registration (determined by the AVBC), to be granted full registration with conditions such that they could then apply for and be granted specialist registration. These conditions required the veterinarian to work under supervision and for the nominated university in their area of speciality.

The Board is considering a change to this policy to allow for greater mobility of veterinarians trained overseas as described above such that they could work at any specialist facility in NSW. Again, there must be an identified need and a person with similar qualifications and experience eligible for full registration must not be available, restricted acts of veterinary science must only be performed in the veterinarian’s area of proposed speciality, and the veterinarian must work under the general supervision of another specialist.

The previous policy, Requirements for Full Registration, and the draft new policy are available from the Board’s website under Resources, Policies (Registration).

In simple terms, the possible change in policy will enable veterinarians from overseas who do not have qualifications for full registration to become registered as specialists in NSW if they possess eligible specialist qualifications from overseas.  As above, this is currently the case for some veterinarians working at universities but this change of policy would broaden employment of these specialists to other specialist facilities.

The change will clearly affect these veterinarians and the availability of specialist veterinarians in NSW but may also have other effects such as implications for locally trained specialists and specialist registration in other states and territories of Australia.

An alternative approach to addressing this comparative advantage for university specialist facilities would be for the Board to no longer waive the requirement for these veterinarians to complete the NVE.

The Board is interested in your views regarding this possible change and would welcome feedback to the Board by email.

The Board is also seeking feedback from other Australian boards, the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists and the AVA regarding this draft policy.

CPD Audit

The Board received a number of questions regarding the CPD Audit last year.  This was the largest audit held by the Board and the Board has now requested validation for the minimum CPD requirements (structured points only) from around 750 registrants over 4 years.  The current aim is to increase this to around 50% of the profession (approximately 2,000 registrants) by 2019.

A short CPD frequently asked questions article is available in this edition of Boardtalk which many may find helpful.

Registration Renewals

It is registration renewal time for veterinary practitioners who are registered in NSW so please remember to submit your Annual Return and registration payment before 30 June.  Here are five important points to remember:

  1. Registration renewal is a two-step process (submission of Annual Return and payment of the registration fee) both steps can be easily completed using your Vet Login.
  2. Alternatively, you or your employer can pay your registration renewal using your website reference number (contained in your emailed letter of renewal) and you can submit your Annual Return using your Vet Login
  3. If you do not have a Vet Login just go to the website www.vpb.nsw.gov.au, click on the large Vet Login button  to the right of screen and then click on the Forgotten your password  link.  An email will be sent to the address held on our database enabling you to create your secure password.  Any problems please just call our office for assistance.
  4. Before you go to the website to submit your Annual Return please work out your structured and unstructured CPD points for the previous period (1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017).
  5. If you do not plan on remaining registered in NSW after 30 June this year please complete a Voluntary Removal from the Register Form.  If you do not renew and do not remove yourself from the Register and then wish to restore yourself at a later date you will be charged a penalty fee.
  6. If your contact details change during the year it is vital that you advise the Board.  You can check that we have the correct contact details for you using your Vet Login. Changes to these details can be made using your Vet Login or by completing our Notification of Change of Details Form and by emailing admin@vpb.nsw.gov.au   or posting this completed form to the Board’s office.

If you use your Vet Login to submit the Annual Return the Board will be able to record any change in your contact details.  If you submit your Annual Return any other way (email, fax or post) you will need to either separately use the Vet Login to change your details or complete and submit a Notification of Change of Details Form to enable the Board to process this change.

It is important to note that failure to submit both the payment and the Annual Return by 30 June will attract a late fee ($50) and failure to complete either of these steps by the Board meeting in July will result in your removal from the Register and requirement to pay a restoration penalty fee ($290) should you wish to return to the Register in NSW.

Please contact our office if you have not received your annual registration renewal notice by email or if you experience any difficulties with your Vet Login.

Licence Renewals

Hospital licence renewals must also be paid by 30 June and email renewal notices have been sent to hospital superintendents or a nominated email address for hospital accounts.

It is a condition of all hospital licences that the Board must be notified within 14 days of any change of details regarding the licence. The Board is currently in the process of updating the database and website to ensure improved compliance with this requirement.

As noted in the previous issue of Boardtalk, the Board’s database has now been updated to include licence holder type (individual, partnership, company or other body), names of veterinarians with a controlling interest, and website address.  A confirmation details form will be created for the website in the near future to allow licence holders to check details we hold and update the Board as appropriate.

John Baguley