college connection LEGISLATIVE REFORM And we’re off!! COLLEGE’S LEGISLATIVE REFORM INITIATIVE HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN While we are not at a gallop to reach the finish, the College has now launched its process to explore opportunities to modernize and improve the existing Veterinarians Act. continued from the front page Some of the feedback the College has received recently is about what some have described as a lack of “intent” to engage in professional misconduct, which arguably, should result in a lower penalty than if the member intended to engage in the misconduct. The Act was first introduced in 1990, and while some amendments have occurred over the years, a substantive review of its currency related to the profession and to public expectation is now timely. Council has appointed a Legislative Reform Oversight Advisory Group with a mandate to provide, on behalf of Council, leadership and guidance to the legislative reform project inclusive of recommending final changes to the Veterinarians Act for consideration and consultation. An important difference between criminal cases and College discipline cases is that in the latter, the issue of “intent” does not have to be proven in order for misconduct to be found. This is partly because the penalties available at discipline do not include restrictions on a member’s freedom, such as incarceration. Led by the College President Dr. Jennifer Day, members include: But even where a member did not intend to fail to maintain the standards, if the mistake he or she made was serious and had serious consequences, the ultimate penalty ordered by a Discipline panel may be quite onerous. • Dr. Larry Caven, 1st Vice President • Ms. Jan Robinson, College Registrar & CEO • Mr. Murray Hunt, Councillor • Dr. Liz Saul, Councillor • Dr. Greg Douglas, OMAF • Dr. Greg Worley, OMAF • Mr. Doug Raven, OVMA Three additional working groups are slated to begin their work in May. They are focused on reviewing the current scope of practice; identifying improvements to the screening and remediation function of the College, and considering legislative language related to mandatory quality assurance. Each of these groups includes councillors, senior staff, veterinarians, government representation, association representation and the voice of other regulators. Council is very excited by the impressive membership of these groups and of the advice they will give. 2 / College Connection DISCIPLINE SUMMARIES TO INCLUDE MORE FACTS There is almost no more important an undertaking for a College than the review of its governing legislation. Council is anxious to assure a high level of transparent and open dialogue on the ideas that arise for consideration. The perspectives of the public and of practising veterinarians are essential to a robust process. How we will manage this in a flexibl e and timely manner requires careful planning. With a goal of September 2017 for final recommendations, we have work to do. Join your colleagues in this unique and important work. Stay turned for details on how to have your voice heard. On the other hand, a member may demonstrate a failure to maintain the standards over a fairly lengthy period of time, but if there are no serious consequences, the resulting penalty may be less onerous than it would otherwise be. The College welcomes dialogue about its processes, including complaints and discipline, and strives to improve its communication. Feedback we receive from licensed members and the public will assist in trying to improve the summary-writing process going forward to include more of the facts and circumstances from each case.