Policies and Procedures 2016
The present document contains the Policies and Procedures of the ECVDI®. They were created at the start of the ECVDI® in 1993 and have been regularly updated since then.
These ECVDI® Policies are a set of principles, rules and guidelines used to dictate the daily functioning and to help reach the long-term goals of the ECVDI®. They are designed to influence and determine all major decisions and actions, and all the activities that take place within their boundaries.
The ECVDI® Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) serve as an instructional resource allowing any member participating in an ECVDI® function (Board membership, committee membership, ECVDI® representative) to act in a consistent manner especially new members. The SOPs are a separate document for ease of use as of 2015.
These Policies and Procedures should be regularly updated, preferably on an annual basis. When updating them, it should be kept in mind that every rule or guideline has been created for a good reason. Therefore, it is essential to keep in mind the historical perspective, to understand fully why a rule or guideline has been decided (the Constitution committee or past Board members can help with this), and in order to consider if the rule or guideline is still applicable today or if it should be modified or changed.
This document should be read in conjunction with the EBVS policies and procedures, in particular their documents for colleges on quality assurance and knowledge, skills and competency (appendix 1 and 2).
This document was ratified at the ECVDI® AGM by majority vote on 2nd September 2016. There has been some minor wording revisions so this is an updated version effective from 9th November 2016.
Table of Contents
1. Purpose of the College
The European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging (ECVDI) is a veterinary specialty organisation established within the EC (European Community) structure for veterinary specialisation recommended by the Advisory Committee for Veterinary Training (ACVT) of the EC, set up by the Council Decision 78/1028/EEC of 18 December 1978 and OJ No L 302 of 22 December 1978, in its report III/F/5285/3/91.
1.1.2. Establishment of the College
The ECVDI® was an initiative of the European Association of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging (EAVDl) and was the result of discussion in the early 1990s in Europe in response to a growing demand for specialist veterinary diagnostic imaging services and to harmonise certification standards in this area to ensure clarity for the consumers. The ECVDI® was founded and recognized in 1994. Since 2012 the ECVDI® is registered as a non-profit Limited Company in the UK as ECVDI® Ltd.
The titles of the college are protected by a European Community Trademark as European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging® CTM 013075601 and ECVDI® CTM 013075304.
The objectives of the college are stated in Article 2.1 of the Constitution.
In addition the purposes are
- To improve the quality of animal health care, by making available evidence-based, specialised knowledge and skills in veterinary diagnostic imaging.
- To improve the quality of general practice through contact between general practitioners and registered specialists.
- To improve the quality of service to the public by, amongst other things, ensuring the protection of the public from unqualified persons claiming to be specialists.
- To stimulate further development of veterinary diagnostic imaging.
To this end the primary objectives of the ECVDI® are to advance veterinary diagnostic imaging in Europe and increase the competence of those who work in this field by:
- Establishing guidelines for postgraduate education and experience, prerequisite to becoming a specialist in veterinary diagnostic imaging.
- Examining and certifying veterinary surgeons as specialists in veterinary diagnostic imaging to serve the veterinary profession, the veterinary patient, its owner and the public in general.
- Encouraging research and other contributions to knowledge relating to the pathogenesis, diagnosis, therapy, prevention and control of animal diseases, and promoting the communication and dissemination of this knowledge.
The College is a non-profit organisation. The expenses of the College shall be met through various sources of income.
The sources of income may be:
- Annual dues
- Donations or sponsorship from companies and international organisations
- Income from educational meetings organized by the College
- Investment income
- Examination fees
- Other income.
The financial year for the purposes of the accounts runs from July annually from August 1st- July 31st. The accounts for the previous financial year and the budget proposal for the following year shall be submitted annually to the members for approval at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), and circulated not later than 30 days before the AGM. The account documents (account balance of current and savings, all original receipts and invoices) must be sent to the official college accountants, located in the United Kingdom, so that they can be reviewed and registered by them.
Members or officers of the College may receive no payment from the funds of the College, except reimbursements that are necessary for the purposes of the College. Reimbursement requires that a reimbursement form be completed and that all receipts be sent to the treasurer. Items that do not require receipts are personal meals during travel to board meetings or examinations as these are covered by the per diem. Reimbursement before an event is only allowed for pre-paid hotel and flight fees.
2. Membership of the College
2.1. Definition of Membership of the College
The members of the College shall be the following:
- Diplomates (who may be defined as Practising, Non-practising or Retired)
- Honorary members
- Associate members
2.1.1. Titles of Members
Each individual who has successfully passed the qualification procedure of the College shall be designated Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging (DipECVDI), and, if practising the speciality, is entitled to be awarded by the EBVS (European Board of Veterinary Specialisation) the title of European Veterinary Specialist in Diagnostic Imaging.
Requirements for membership as a College diplomate are described in the Constitution, Article 3.
2.2. Membership Dues
The membership dues of each member and the penalty fee for late payment shall be determined by the Board and approved at the AGM. The membership dues must be paid annually before July 1st. Diplomates will be deemed Non-practising if two years have elapsed without payment and may be expelled from the College if three years have elapsed without payment.
2.3. Requirements for Practising Diplomate Status
To keep the status of a Practising Diplomate, an ECVDI® Diplomate must:
- Spend more than an average of 20 hours per week in the field of veterinary diagnostic imaging (two years of less than 20 hours per week will result in non-practising status). Self-certification: at the time of paying annual College dues (before July 1st each year) each Diplomate shall attest their average weekly hours worked in the specialty during the previous calendar year.
- Attend the ECVDI® AGM at least once every three years. A written request for dispensation of the AGM within the same calendar year may be approved by a majority vote of the Board, and may be granted for only one year. The secretary must receive the written request no less than 14 days before the AGM. A doctor’s letter must support requests for absence on medical grounds. Exceptions to this requirement are double-boarded Diplomates (ECVDI® and ACVR) and current members of the examination committee who must attend the AGM at least every four years.
- Meet the Credentials Committee's minimum requirements as set out in the Re-evaluation form. The Re-evaluation form consists of a 100 credit point system to be submitted to the Credentials Committee every five years; the first five year period starting the year after becoming a Diplomate. The Re-evaluation form should be submitted to the Credentials committee before July 1st in the year in which it is due. Failure to submit this Re-evaluation form before December 31st of the year it was requested will automatically result in Non-practising status. In the case of failure to meet Re-evaluation requirements an extra year to make up the shortfall will be allowed. Recertification after this will occur 4 years later.
- Pay the Annual Dues (see 2.2)
- Submit two letters of reference (see appendix 3). The administrative assistant will advise Diplomates on the procedure at the time of notification of Re-evaluation.
- Any new Diplomates elected as members, not entering by examination, must fulfil the requirements recommended in the EBVS policies and procedures.
2.4. Change to Non-practising Diplomate Status
Non-practising Diplomate: the status of Practising Diplomate ceases by default when one or more of the requirements of paragraph 2.4 are not fulfilled. The Diplomate is then designated Non-practising. Non-practising Diplomates are not allowed to use the title or trademark of European Veterinary Specialist, to vote at the AGM or to be Programme Director or Resident Supervisor. Non-practising Diplomates still have to pay their Annual Dues. Those seeking to revert to Practising Diplomate status need to demonstrate that they again fulfill the requirements of paragraph 2.4. Restoration to Practising status will require payment of the total open balance. A restoration fee may also be enforced depending on the reason for Non-practising status.
2.5. Retired Member
The College may confer a Retired status on Diplomates who have ceased to practise the specialty of veterinary diagnostic imaging at the level described in paragraph 2.4a at the request of the Diplomate in question. A retired member is permanently and irrevocably of Non-practising status, unless an exemption for restoration to practising status is granted by the board. He/she does not have to pay the annual dues and in return does not receive the College journal Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound. He/she is not required to attend AGMs and, when present, is not allowed to vote. However he/she remains a member of the College. A Retired Diplomate is not allowed to use the title or trademark of European Veterinary Specialist or Diplomate but may use the title DipECVDI® (Retired).
2.6. Honorary member
The College may confer Honorary member status to persons who have made exceptional contributions to the specialty of veterinary diagnostic imaging. Honorary membership is usually conferred on ECVDI® non-Diplomates. Non-Diplomate Honorary members shall have all the rights and privileges of Diplomates except the right to vote or hold office. Non-diplomate Honorary members are not allowed to use the title or trademark of European Veterinary Specialist nor Diplomate but may use the title DipECVDI® (Honorary Member). Nomination for Honorary member status necessitates proposal by two Practising Diplomates in good standing. The proposal should be written and forwarded to the Secretary, for consideration by the Board and approval at the AGM by a two-thirds majority vote. It must contain such information relating to the activities of the nominee in diagnostic imaging as required by the Board. The Honorary member shall not be required to pay dues and in return does not receive the College journal Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound. No more than 5% of the membership may be Honorary members at any one time.
2.7. Associate member
The College may confer Associate status on persons who have made significant contributions veterinary diagnostic imaging. Associates are members of the College but shall not have the same rights, obligations and privileges of Diplomates. Nomination for Associate status necessitates proposal by two Practising Diplomates in good standing. The proposal should be written and forwarded to the Secretary, for consideration by the Board and approval at the AGM by a two-thirds majority vote. It must contain such information relating to the activities of the nominee as required by the Board. Associate members are not allowed to use the title or trademark of European Veterinary Specialist Associate Members are not conferred any diplomas and are not entitled to use the designation of Diplomate. Associate Members are encouraged to participate in the training of residents together with Diplomates of the respective College and are entitled to act as Resident Supervisors provided that a Diplomate is responsible for the training programme. Associate Members are not allowed to hold office within the College or to vote at the Annual General Meeting but they can be co-opted to College committees as advisors. Associate members do not receive a copy of Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound. Associate Members are encouraged to participate in scientific meetings and workshops organised by the College. Associates members shall be required to pay the annual dues. The Associate membership dues for the following year shall be determined by the AGM and must be paid annually before July 1st. The status of Associate member is not permanent and can be withdrawn by the ECVDI® in case of insufficient activity in the field of Diagnostic Imaging, professional misconduct or if not paying the annual dues. The Board may propose withdrawal of Associate member status based on a 5-year personal progress report by the Credentials Committee. At the AGM the proposal then has to be voted on and passed by a two-thirds majority of the members.
3. Organisation, Officers and Board
3.1. Duties of the Board
The Board shall consider all the business and policies pertaining to the affairs of the College. It, or its designated Committees, shall receive all applications, conduct examinations and certify recommendations for Diplomate status in the College. It shall consider and act upon charges against Diplomates for alleged offences against the Constitution and Policies & Procedures of the College or charges of unprofessional conduct and shall have the authority to recommend the expulsion of a member of the College for grievous offences or non-professional behaviour. The Board shall define the name, duties and composition of Committees. It shall appoint standing Committees, select the time and place of meetings and determine the fees for membership, enrolments, examinations, and other matters. It shall direct the management of funds held by the College. The Board shall meet at least once annually between consecutive AGMs, at times judged appropriate by the President.
3.2. Officers of the Board
The four officers of the Board are defined in the Constitution, Article 4. The four officers, two members-at-large, the immediate past president (ex officio member at large) and the Chairpersons of the Credentials, Examination and Education Committees shall comprise the Board of the College. The four officers of the board and the members-at-large are elected by secret ballot at the AGM.
The President is elected at the AGM every two years. The presidential term starts one month after the AGM, thus allowing the transfer of duties from the immediate past president to the new President.
3.3. Members at Large
The three members-at-large of the Board are comprised of the following individuals:
- The immediate Past President serves two years until the next election of a president
- Two members-at-large who shall normally serve a duty of two years but may be re-elected for a further two years.
Other persons may also be elected on an ad hoc basis to serve on the Board, according to current needs, and will normally serve a duty of two years.
4. The Training Programme
4.1. Objectives of the training programme (see also 4.3.2)
A European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging (ECVDI)-approved Training Programme ('Residency Programme') is designed to:
- Provide in-depth training in veterinary diagnostic imaging and related basic and applied sciences in these areas. Allow the trainee ('resident') to develop aptitude and clinical proficiency in diagnostic imaging and to acquire and contribute to knowledge in this area.
- Meet the training requirements of the ECVDI® Credentials Committee required to take the ECVDI® Certifying Examination (Diploma examination).
- Provide the resident with the opportunity to pursue career goals in teaching, research, clinical service, and/or specialty practice.
- Prepare the resident to sit the ECVDI® examination.
4.2. Types of programme
All training programmes must be approved by the ECVDI® Credentials Committee and are subject to current College guidelines. Two types of programme are available: standard and alternative.
4.2.1. Standard Residency Programme
Standard programmes (formerly called formal programmes) are those offered by the parent institution on a routine and regular basis without modifications for particular applicants. A person undergoing this programme is called a resident. The Credentials Committee approves such programmes for a specific number of residents at any one time, mainly dependent on the caseload and number of Supervisors of the institution. Positions may be filled without further reference to the Committee provided there are no changes to the programme. Standard programmes have either a small animal or a large animal bias, hereafter referred to as small animal biased track and large animal biased track respectively. Single track (small or large) centres are allowed to run a standard ECVDI® residency programme as long as they have a formal agreement with a centre for the non-tracked species where an ECVDI® Diplomate/Associate is a program supervisor. This needs to be accepted in advance and submitted as such with the training program application to the credentials committee.
4.2.2. Alternative Residency Programme
Alternative programmes (formerly called individual programmes) are arranged by the trainee, supported by a Programme Director and one or more Supervisors, and approved by the Credentials Committee on a case-by-case basis. Parts of the training may be given at different institutions which offer certain facilities or caseload not provided by another, and which may not have a standard programme. The Programme Director must submit proposals for individual training programmes to the Credentials Committee. The alternative programme must be approved by the Credentials Committee before the resident embarks on it. For the purposes of this document, trainees pursuing alternative programmes will also be referred to as “residents”. Alternative programmes should follow either a small animal biased or large animal biased track. This must be stated in the alternative programme application.
4.3. Requirements of the training programme
4.3.1. The resident
All ECVDI® residents must:
- Be graduates from a veterinary school that has been approved by the European Association of Veterinary Education Establishments (EAVEE). The board may waive this requirement in exceptional circumstances.
- Be registered/licensed to practise veterinary medicine and surgery in a European country. The College Board may waive this requirement in exceptional circumstances.
- Have a satisfactory moral and ethical standing in the profession and the community.
- Have completed a minimum of one year in a recognized general clinical training programme (internship) or satisfactory veterinary practice equivalent of a minimum of two years.
- Practise the specialty of diagnostic imaging for more than 50% of the time, based on a normal working week of 40 hours.
Members of the American College of Veterinary Radiology (holders of DACVR) are automatically eligible to apply to sit the examination without further periods of training providing they meet the publication and presentation requirements as defined by the ECVDI. The examination consists of two parts, a theoretical and a practical part. Candidates may not sit both parts during the same year.
4.3.2. The Institution
Training programmes are to be conducted at a veterinary school/college or other institution (including an approved private veterinary clinic). The parent institution must supply adequate resources, facilities and caseload. These must be guaranteed for the duration of the programme. Co-operation in the training with other institutions or clinics may be allowed, for example a nearby medical school. The parent institution must provide
- All equipment required for the examination, diagnosis and management of patients throughout the duration of the programme.
- A complete medical record must be maintained for each case and these records must be retrievable.
- Extensive library facilities, providing current veterinary and medical texts, bound journals and abstracts (in printed or electronic form), must be available.
- Computing facilities must be provided.
- In an alternative programme in which the resident receives training at more than one centre, each centre must be approved by the Credentials Committee as fulfilling the requirements of that individual for that part of the training.
- The institution must provide regular academic conferences in which residents participate.
- The institution must provide an archive of imaging reports for independent study.
- Clinical imaging rounds and other specialty rounds must be held on a regular basis.
4.3.3. Supervision of training
18.104.22.168. The Programme Director
Training programmes must be normally directed by a practising Diplomate of the ECVDI® (the 'Programme Director') or by a holder of an equivalent qualification if approved by the Credentials Committee. However, preference will be given to ECVDI® Diplomates and training programmes must have at least one ECVDI® Diplomate as either a Supervisor or the Director. The Programme Director is actively involved in the training programme to ensure adequate direction and is responsible for the administration, continuity and continuing development of the programme in general. The Programme Director is the link between the College and the residency programme. The Programme Director must assign one or more supervisors to the resident. Whenever possible the Programme Director is encouraged to attend meetings of the resident and Supervisor(s).
22.214.171.124. The Supervisor(s)
The Supervisor should normally be a practising Diplomate of the ECVDI® or a holder of an equivalent qualification as outlined above. The Supervisor is the link between the resident and the Programme Director. The Programme Director and the supervisor may be the same individual. The Supervisor must ensure that the resident is receiving proper training and must act as a mentor. Each Supervisor may normally train up to two full-time residents or the part-time equivalent, concurrently (not including continued supervision of candidates who have previously failed the practical examination). The resident must have a formal scheduled progress meeting with his/her primary Supervisor annually, preferably accompanied by the Programme Director, to evaluate the resident's performance and progress. Additional meetings throughout the year are encouraged and should be documented. The Supervisor (or a suitable alternative person) must be available at the request of the resident to perform or supervise cases. The supervisor must assist the resident to prepare for the theoretical and practical examination. For training for practical exams, film readings, mock exams, and known case conferences are recommended.
126.96.36.199. The Advisor(s)
The Supervisor may enlist the help of other individuals ('resident advisors') at the parent or other institutions. The qualifications of a resident advisor will vary with the subject area to be covered. A resident advisor will ideally, but not necessarily, be a European College Diplomate Member of the EBVS.
188.8.131.52. General comments
The Programme Director and the Supervisor together are responsible for the direction and evaluation of a resident and the administration of his/her training programme. For changes of Programme director and supervisor, see section 4.4.8.
4.4. Description of the training programme
4.4.1. Requirements for Entry into the Programme
184.108.40.206. Standard Programme Entry Requirements
Applicants who are entering under a standard residency shall forward their enrolment form (FORM E) to the Credentials Committee within 30 days of the start of their training.
220.127.116.11. Alternative Programme Entry Requirements
Applicants who are applying to have an alternative residency approved must do so before starting the residency and must satisfy the Credentials Committee, acting on behalf of the College, that the alternative residency fulfils the College's requirements. Additionally they shall forward their enrolment form (FORM E) to the Credentials Committee within 30 days of the start of their training.
18.104.22.168. Enrolment Fees
The application will only be considered following the receipt of the enrolment fee, which is submitted at the time of application. The enrolment fee charged to applicants shall be determined at the time of the AGM and will be applied immediately after the AGM.
The training programme aims to provide high quality, in-depth clinical training in veterinary diagnostic imaging, leading to eligibility to sit the examination for the Diploma of the ECVDI. The Syllabus lists full details of the requirements.
The training programme aims to produce veterinary radiologists proficient in the use of current imaging techniques for examination of a wide variety of diseases in animals, with due regard for radiation and other imaging related safety, with an understanding of developing techniques and the ability to contribute to the discipline through participation in research, congresses and publications.
The programme shall contribute to the continuing development and growth of the specialty.
4.4.3. Anticipated Total Time Requirements
22.214.171.124. Total Training Time
The training programme consists of 33 months of education in veterinary diagnostic imaging. This time does not include annual vacation time, which will vary between institutions and needs to be added to the total length of the resident enrolment with the institution. Thirty months of education in veterinary diagnostic imaging must be supervised; the remaining 3 months may be unsupervised veterinary diagnostic imaging.
126.96.36.199. Clinical Training, External Instruction, and Duration of Training
The standard residency programme is designed as a full-time, post-graduate education and experience in the science and practice of the subject, with 30 months of clinical supervised training. The training will take place at the parent institution and will be supervised by the supervisor but external instruction, approved by both the programme director and the supervisor, is allowed and encouraged. To encompass 33 months of education in veterinary diagnostic imaging on a full time basis (working week of 40 hours) the total duration of the resident placement at the parent institution may be longer than three years to comply with local laws and regulations. It should however not exceed six years.
188.8.131.52. Concurrent Postgraduate Studies
If a further degree is undertaken at the same time as the residency programme, the overall length of the programme must be increased so that the resident can meet all of the requirements of the institution's Postgraduate Studies Committee or equivalent and still devote a total of at least 30 months supervised training to the residency. The postgraduate degree work must not interfere with clinical training and should be complementary to the ECVDI® training.
184.108.40.206. Duration of Training for Alternative Programmes
Residents on alternative programmes studying on a part-time basis must fulfill all of the requirements of the residency programme within a period of not more than six years.
220.127.116.11. Earliest Approval for Practical Examination
A resident is not permitted to sit the practical part of the College examination until four years after graduation from a veterinary school.
18.104.22.168. Interruption of Training
Interruption to the resident's supervised training due to unforeseen circumstances, prolonged illness or pregnancy must be reported to the Credentials Committee immediately. In the case of pregnancy, extension of one year per pregnancy will be given if requested. Annual updating of the Portfolio will still be required.
22.214.171.124. Culture and Philosophy of Training Programmes
Residency programmes should aim at training specialists who will have the qualities, professional and technical skills necessary for successful employment in professional environments, with self-confidence, self-criticism and sense of responsibility that are essential for the practice of the speciality (See Appendix 6 of the EBVS Policies and procedures for these goals). Moreover, residency programmes must aim at the development of a culture, which recognizes the importance of continuous professional development.
4.4.4. Requirements for Personnel, Facilities and Equipment
126.96.36.199. On Site and Off Site Equipment
The Institution must provide adequate resources and ancillary equipment to ensure an effective programme. Equipment must be appropriate for large and small animal radiography and ultrasonography to ensure the residents can fulfil the training requirements. Access to nuclear medicine, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging through externships at other veterinary centres or at a nearby medical teaching hospital may be a substitute if these modalities are not available at the training centre.
188.8.131.52. Supplementary External Training
Where a training centre lacks the equipment and/or expertise in some imaging modalities or caseload, the required training may be obtained elsewhere, as long as the overall objectives of the programme are fulfilled. A local resident advisor must be appointed to supervise and certify this period of training. The advisor must be a specialist in the field but need not necessarily be a veterinarian. The alternative arrangements must be approved in advance by the Credentials Committee.
184.108.40.206. Supporting Specialist Requirements
The training centre(s) for the 30 month period of supervised training must be supported by at least one Diplomate from each of the ECVDI, ECVIM, ECVS, ECVN, ECVP or those with equivalent qualifications. If not detailed in the training programme, an explanatory letter must be provided by the Supervisor to confirm the qualifications of each specialist and their role in the programme.
220.127.116.11. Division of Small Animal and Large Animal Training
Residents enrolled under the large animal biased track have to spend a minimum of 8 full-time equivalent months supervised training in small animal diagnostic imaging and this training should normally be performed in a fully approved ECVDI® standard small animal biased track residency programme ensuring a wide range of Diplomates from other disciplines are also involved in the training. Residents enrolled under the small animal biased track have to spend a minimum of 3 full-time equivalent months supervised training in large animal diagnostic imaging and this training should normally be performed in a fully approved ECVDI® training centre or with a single ECVDI® Diplomate/Associate specialised in large animal imaging.
4.4.5. Requirements for Clinical Material
18.104.22.168. Species Caseload
The programme must provide a sufficient number of dogs, cats, horses, production and exotic animals to provide the resident with the opportunity to obtain familiarity with the techniques to diagnose the diseases mentioned in the Syllabus. The resident should be given progressive responsibility for performing and interpreting all types of diagnostic imaging studies.
22.214.171.124. Required Caseload - Small Animal Track
During the whole course of the training programme, the resident should be involved in the techniques and interpretation of approximately 2870 imaging examinations. A small animal biased track resident should aim to be involved in the interpretation of approximately 1600 radiographic examinations of small animals (primarily dogs and cats), 400 radiographic examinations of large animals (primarily horses), 500 small animal and 50 large animal ultrasonographic examinations, 20 scintigraphic examinations, 300 CT/MRI (primarily small animals), and should be able to adequately perform all established radiographic projections and ultrasound examinations described in the canine/feline imaging literature.
126.96.36.199. Required Caseload - Large Animal Track
During the whole course of the training programme, the resident should be involved in the techniques and interpretation of approximately 2400 imaging examinations. A large animal track resident should aim to be involved in the interpretation of approximately 1000 radiographic examinations of large animals (primarily horses), 500 radiographic examinations of small animals (primarily dogs and cats), 450 large animal and 200 small animal ultrasonographic examinations, 50 large animal scintigraphic examinations, 200 CT/MRI (primarily large animals) examinations, and should be able to adequately perform all radiographic projections and standard ultrasound examinations described in the equine imaging literature. Additionally, a large animal track resident should be familiar with the conduct of lameness examinations, including peripheral nerve blocks. The large animal biased track resident should also be familiar with the conduct of neurologic and pre-purchase examinations.
4.4.6. Documentation of Training
The resident’s progress through the training programme will be assessed by a Portfolio and a Confirmed Case Diary.
188.8.131.52. The Portfolio
The Portfolio consists of an Enrolment form, an annually submitted Annual Activity form and theory and practical examination application and re-application forms. All forms are available from the ECVDI® website. For portfolio submission purposes 1 week will be considered the equivalent of 0.25 months.
184.108.40.206.1. Enrolment Form
The Enrolment form (FORM E) must be submitted within 30 days of the date on which the resident started their training programme (“the start date”).
220.127.116.11.2. Annual Activity Forms
The Annual Activity forms (FORMS A1, A2, A3 etc.) must be submitted to the Credentials Committee at 12-month intervals within 30 days of the anniversary of the residency start date and after completion of 33 months of training. This is the responsibility of the resident and reminders will not be sent.
The Annual Activity forms (FORMS A1, A2, A3 etc.) include sections for updated personal details, an activity log and a supervisor’s report.
The activity log will include, but not be limited to, details of clinical service, types and dates of external instruction, scientific meetings attended, presentations given and details of rounds attended at the training institution. The resident is responsible for making themselves aware of the content and requirements of the Annual Activity forms at the start of the programme.
Annual activity forms will be evaluated by the credentials committee following the ECVDI® policies and procedures that were valid at the resident’s start date.
18.104.22.168.3. Examination Application Forms
The Examination Application forms (FORM T (theory examination), FORM P (practical examination), FORM TR (theory resit) and FORM PR (practical resit), must be submitted between September 1st and October 1st preceding the year in which the candidate intends to sit the relevant section of the examination. This is the responsibility of the resident and reminders will not be sent.
22.214.171.124.4. Confirmed Case Diary
The Confirmed Case Diary must be maintained by the resident throughout the training programme and submitted to the Credentials Committee at the time of their first application for entrance into the practical examination. It does not need to be re-submitted if a resident applies to re-sit a previously failed examination.
The Confirmed Case Diary must contain 150 interesting cases. “Interesting” is defined as a case that the resident considered to be challenging, unusual or worthy of record for some other reason. Each case must have a known outcome where diagnosis is confirmed either by surgical findings, cytology, histopathology, post-mortem or clinical outcome. A range of species and modalities should be included, and the proportion of each species and modality is at the discretion of the resident.
A sample Confirmed Case Diary is available on the ECVDI® website and the resident is expected to follow this format but may use a software programme of their choice to record the information. The Confirmed Case Diary must, however, be eventually submitted to the Credentials Committee in either PDF, Word or Excel format.
4.4.7. Study and Education
The resident must receive tuition in radiobiology, radiation safety and physics of diagnostic imaging, the latter must include radiography, ultrasonography, nuclear medicine, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. The required knowledge is presented in the Syllabus. The programme must provide an opportunity for investigative work by the resident under appropriate supervision. This may take the form of basic research in a laboratory or analysis of clinical material.
126.96.36.199. Performing a Presentation
During the period of training, and before application for the practical examination, the resident must make a presentation at an academic meeting of their own institution and an oral presentation at a national (English language not required) or international veterinary conference on the subject of diagnostic imaging. Oral presentations given during a period of two years prior to the start date of the residency programme are acceptable.
188.8.131.52. Scientific Paper Requirements
At the time of application for the practical examination, residents must have two scientific papers accepted for publication in a branch of diagnostic imaging in a peer-reviewed journal (English language not required): one study as first author (which is not a single case report) and a second paper as first or co-author. Papers with a publication date withintwo years prior to the start date of the residency are acceptable. Acceptance is based on the issuance of the copyright form and also based on the words ʻaccepted’ or ‘accepted subject to minor editorial reviewʼ, but not ‘accepted subject to major or minor revisions’. In certain extraordinary events and exceptions (e.g. ill health, bereavements), the Credentials Committee reserves the right to examine the case individually in order to decide if the applicant meets the criteria of acceptance or not.
184.108.40.206. Independent Study
A searchable, computer-based or organised written teaching database of known case studies should be available at the institution (and maintained up to date) for reviewing additional cases or cases less frequently encountered in the clinic.
Textbooks and relevant literature should be used to deepen understanding of imaging characteristics and pathophysiology of cases seen in the clinic.
220.127.116.11. Clinical Training
18.104.22.168.1. Supervised Training
Clinical training must be a directed educational process. Unsupervised clinical duty alone is not suitable.
22.214.171.124.2. Creation and Archiving of Reports
During the supervised training period the resident shall routinely write reports (on a daily basis) on each case examined. The reports shall include a description of the pertinent findings, an interpretation of them and a conclusion or diagnosis. The reports must be archived by the institution.
Rounds between the resident and the supervisor to review and discuss interpretation of diagnostic studies, the accuracy of the written reports and case management should be held, preferably every day, or at a minimum twice a week.
Other diagnostic imaging rounds are encouraged as part of the supervised training period. Types of rounds to consider include: daily case reporting and discussion, known case conferences, mock theory and practical examinations, journal clubs, book review sessions and other discussion groups, at a recommended frequency of at least once a month.
The resident must be given opportunities to regularly attend rounds given by other specialties such as medical, surgical, neurological and pathology rounds.
126.96.36.199.4. Clinical Teaching Opportunities
The resident should participate in clinical teaching of other graduate veterinarians (+/-students).
4.4.8. Quality Assurance of Training Programmes
The Credentials Committee, acting for the College, shall review the supervisor's reports of the resident's performance and the Examination Committee's reports on each candidate and shall monitor:
- The performance of each candidate in the examination
- The adequacy of each residency programme. Annual review of the programme, involving the resident's opinion, should be carried out by institutions running approved residency programmes.
188.8.131.52. Reaccreditation of Standard Programmes Every 5 Years
Programme re-accreditation of each standard residency training programme must be submitted to the Credentials Committee for review every five years; to be received before July 1st of the year that it is due. If a standard programme appears to be performing poorly, dialogue between the Credentials Committee and the Programme Director must take place in an attempt to identify and rectify areas of weakness.
184.108.40.206. Programme Interruption for more than 2 years
Standard residencies should be filled on a regular basis. If a residency remains unfilled (no resident in the programme), for whatever reason, for more than two years, the Credentials Committee must be notified and the programme re-accredited before it is offered again.
220.127.116.11. Programme Modification
Changes in either a standard or an alternative programme that may have an impact on the programme must be reported to the Credentials Committee immediately by the Programme Director and reaccreditation of the programme may be required at the discretion of the Credentials Committee. Such factors include, but are not limited to, change in or decreased availability of the supervisor, reduction or cessation of areas of training due to loss of association with a co-operating department or institution, and a permanent reduction in the clinical case load.
18.104.22.168. Reporting of Changes of Programme Director or Supervisor
Proposed changes of Programme Director or Supervisor, including a change from practicing status, must be promptly reported to, and approved by, the Credentials Committee. New residents may not enter the programme until the reaccreditation is approved by the Credentials Committee. The following procedure should be followed:
- The vacating Programme Director and/or supervisor send(s) a signed letter to the Credentials Committee explaining the circumstances or causes for the change.
- The new Programme Director and/or supervisor send(s) to the Credentials Committee
- A signed letter of acceptance to the Credentials Committee, including a statement that he/she is aware of the current P&Ps and of his/her obligations,
- An updated comprehensive programme (including their curriculum vitae) for reaccreditation, which will be evaluated by the credentials committee and,
- Once the re-accreditation is approved by the Credentials Committee, an updated short version of the new programme for the ECVDI® webpage.
22.214.171.124. Increasing the Number of Residents
Each residency programme will have been approved for a specific number of residents mainly based on the clinical caseload. Any proposal to increase that number of residents must be notified to the Credentials Committee before any action is taken. If the increase is temporary, the Programme Director must document how this may affect the training of the other resident(s). If the increase is permanent, the entire programme description must be revised, evaluated and approved by the Credentials Committee for reaccreditation of the programme.
4.4.9. Procedures for evaluation of residents
126.96.36.199. Supervisor and Programme Director Review of Portfolio
The resident's progress is reviewed annually by the Credentials Committee by means of his/her portfolio. It is the resident's responsibility to provide the portfolio to the supervisor and Programme Director, and after updating and signing the resident submits it to the Credentials Committee. If the Portfolio is not received within 30 days of each submission deadline, any supervised clinical training time between 30 days after the submission deadline and the actual date of submission will not be counted as supervised clinical time in the resident’s programme and the Credentials Committee may recommend to the ECVDI® Board that the resident's programme be suspended.
188.8.131.52. Unsatisfactory Progress of the Resident
If weaknesses are identified by the Credentials Committee, the supervisor will be notified of the steps required to correct them. If severe deficiencies are noted, the resident's progress may be suspended. The resident and supervisor must act on the Credentials Committee's directions and submit reports as directed by its members. If the deficiencies cannot be corrected, the Credentials Committee may permanently withdraw approval of the programme.
184.108.40.206. Unsatisfactory Training Programme
If a training programme is not proceeding satisfactorily deficiencies must be addressed rapidly, to ensure that the resident does not waste valuable training time in activities not leading to his/her effective education. The reviews outlined above may not be timely enough to ensure this. Therefore at any time the Programme Director, supervisor or resident may initiate a College review of any change that may affect the effectiveness of the programme. The Credentials Committee will inform the Programme Director in writing of any deficiencies. Deficiencies may result in a programme being put on probation. Programmes on probation are not allowed to enrol new ECVDI-recognised residents until the deficiencies have been corrected to the satisfaction of the Credentials Committee. Should the latter not occur, for whatever reason, the programme's approval by the ECVDI® may be withdrawn. From the date of withdrawal of approval, any further resident training will not be recognised as ECVDI-approved.
5. The Examination
Information about the old format of the examination is available in the 2007 Policies and Procedures.
5.1. General Format, Time Frame and Examiners
5.1.1. Syllabus Updates
The Syllabus will be updated on the ECVDI® website at the latest nine months prior to the Theoretical Examination.
5.1.2. Parts of the Examination
The examination consists of two parts, a theoretical and a practical part. Both parts of the examination are held annually in February/March. Candidates may not sit both parts during the same year.
5.1.3. Examination Language and Reference Material
The language of the examination is English. Hard copy, non-medical dictionaries and a basic calculator are permitted in all parts of the examination.
5.1.4. Time Permitted To Pass the Examination
Candidates must pass all parts of the examination within eight years of completion of their residency programme, or within eight cycles of the examination if it is not held every year. The Credentials Committee can grant extension of this period in special circumstances (see paragraph 220.127.116.11).
5.1.5. Number of Examination Attempts
The candidate may only make four attempts at the theory examination and four attempts at the practical examination.
5.1.6. Eligibility for the Theoretical Examination
Eligibility for the theoretical part requires:
- Completion of at least 15 months of supervised training by the application deadline to sit the examination.
- All relevant sections of the Portfolio must be up to date at the time of application.
- An application to sit the theoretical part of the examination (FORM T) must be sent to the Credentials Committee between September 1st and October 1st of the preceding year.
- The theoretical examination fee must also be paid in full by the same date. The examination fee is usually non-refundable once the Credentials Committee has accepted the application.
5.1.7. Eligibility for the Practical Examination
Eligibility for the practical part requires:
- Completion of at least 27 months of supervised training by the application deadline to sit the examination.
- A PASS result in the theoretical part of the examination.
- Meeting the publication and presentation requirements mentioned under chapter 4.4.7 by the application deadline to sit the examination.
- All relevant sections of the Portfolio must be up to date at the time of application. The final part of the portfolio (final annual activity form) confirming all residency requirements are completed must be submitted to the credentials committee AT LEAST one week prior to the practical examination. Candidates will be reminded of this at the time of acceptance of credentials.
- Submission of a completed Confirmed Case Diary to the Credentials Committee by the application deadline to sit the examination.
- An application to sit the practical part of the examination (FORM P) must be sent to the Credentials Committee between September 1st and October 1st of the year preceding the practical part of the examination.
- Payment of the examination fee by the same date. The examination fee is usually non-refundable once the Credentials Committee has accepted the application.
5.1.8. Notification of Credential Status
The acceptance or denial of credentials will be notified to candidates by 1st November of the year preceding the examination. This allows sufficient time for appeal against this decision before the examination. Any appeal against the denial of credentials must be made a minimum of one and maximum of three weeks following the official announcement of this decision.
5.1.9. Examination Committee
The Examination Committee Chair in conjunction with the members of the Examination Committee will be responsible for the formulation and administration of the examination and subsequent examination reports. The Examination Committee may recommend to the Board the appointment as examiner anyone it considers competent to administer the relevant part. Once the Credentials Committee has formally approved the candidates to sit the examination, their names are distributed to the Examination Committee and the Examination Committee Chair is informed of any conflicts of interest. It is considered inappropriate for an examiner to take part in the direct assessment of a candidate with whom they have had, or continue to have, a personal relationship. A personal relationship includes a family relationship, a business/commercial/financial relationship, or a sexual/romantic relationship. As there is no direct assessment of candidates sitting the Theory part of the examination, it is not considered inappropriate for an examiner to be involved in a personal relationship with a candidate sitting the Theory part of the examination. If the candidate is sitting the large animal Practical examination, there is no direct assessment by an examiner working with the small animal examining team. If the candidate is sitting the small animal Practical examination, there is no direct assessment by an examiner working with the large animal examining team. Therefore, if the candidate is sitting the Practical part of the examination, the Chief examiner will decide whether it is appropriate for the examiner to stand down for that year or continue examining but in the contrary examination team.
5.1.10. Examination Proctor
An independent proctor of the examination shall be appointed by the Examination Committee in consultation with the Dean (or equivalent person) of the institution at which the examination is held.
5.1.11. Honour Code
Examinees are required to sign the Honour code prior to sitting the theoretical and practical examinations (see Appendix 1).
5.2. Theoretical part of the examination
The theoretical part of the examination consists of six independent themed sections:
5.2.1. Section 1
Physics and safety of ionising radiation, ultrasound and MR; radiobiology; statistics in diagnostic imaging; image artefacts.
5.2.2. Section 2
Instrumentation, image formation, and methodology of contrast medium enhanced techniques of radiography, ultrasonography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance tomography and nuclear medicine.
5.2.3. Section 3
Imaging-related anatomy, normal imaging features and physiology. For small animal biased track, approximately 70% of the exam questions will be related to small animal anatomy. For large animal biased track, approximately 70% of the exam questions will be related to large animal anatomy.
5.2.4. Section 4
Pathophysiology. Pathophysiology contains both species independent and species specific topics. For small animal biased track, approximately 70% of the exam questions will be related to small animal or species-independent pathophysiology. For large animal biased track, approximately 70% of the exam questions will be related to large animal or species- independent pathophysiology.
5.2.5. Section 5
Imaging features– basic knowledge. Topics listed in section 5 represent knowledge essential for both large and small animal tracks. Candidates are expected to know basic imaging features in small and large animals. Basic knowledge is defined as what is included in general diagnostic imaging textbooks. This exam section will be common to both tracks and will be composed of 50% small animal oriented questions and 50% large animal oriented questions.
5.2.6. Section 6 Small Animal Biased Track (Applies to small animal biased track only)
In-depth knowledge of pathophysiology, clinical and imaging features in small animals Expected depth of knowledge includes knowledge of the literature pertinent to diagnostic imaging. The material listed in the syllabus should be considered as studying guidelines but might not be exhaustive. Questions might be asked on any small animal imaging feature and 600 associated pertinent clinical findings published in the literature.
5.2.7. Section 6 Large Animal Biased Track (Applies to large animal biased track only)
In-depth knowledge of pathophysiology, clinical and imaging features in large animals. Expected depth of knowledge includes knowledge of the literature pertinent to diagnostic imaging. The material listed in the syllabus should be considered as studying guidelines but might not be exhaustive. Questions might be asked on any large animal imaging feature and associated pertinent clinical findings published in the literature.
5.2.8. Content of the Theoretical Examination
Each section will consist of questions covering as much as possible of the content of the syllabus. Approximately up to 50% of the questions in sections 1, 2, 5 and 6 may pertain to advanced imaging techniques such as CT, MRI and nuclear medicine. Questions are single, best-answer, context-rich, multiple-choice questions (MCQ). Each question will be phrased clearly and will not contain any ambiguity. Essay (short or long) questions will not be included. Each question will be based on published documentation available in the English language excluding references published during the last 6 months preceding the examination. The reference and correct answers will be recorded before the examination is held and will be made available to each Examination Committee member. Any question with an unanticipated low correct answer rate will be re-evaluated by the Examination Committee after the examination is held to ensure that it was unambiguous and reasonable. The Examination Committee may decide to remove questions retrospectively.
5.2.9. Creation of the Theoretical Examination
Each Examination Committee member is responsible for one section or for either the small animal or large animal parts of two sections. The Chair and assistant chair are responsible for collecting questions, proof-reading and ensuring satisfactory coverage of all areas of the syllabus. Examination Committee members will select questions in the question bank from previous years, may ask individual Diplomates to produce questions in specific fields and may themselves produce questions as needed to cover the syllabus in the section. Questions from the previous year’s examination may be re-used, but at least 1/3 of the total questions must be replaced each year.
5.2.10. Format of the Theoretical Examination
The examination is held on two consecutive days, with three sections examined each day. Part one on day one covers sections 1 – 3 and part two on day two covers section 4 – 6. A maximum of five hours is allowed to complete each examination part. The examination will be held in a quiet environment and will be supervised during the entire time by at least one member of the examination committee. No documentation, other than a hard copy non-medical dictionary. The use of “smart” digital devices that could allow access to information that could benefit the candidate (including cell and smart phones) is not permitted to be taken into the examination room; only a basic calculator is allowed.
5.2.11. Marking the Theoretical Examination
The exam will be computer based allowing for automatic marking. The examination committee will aim to create an exam with estimated overall difficulty of 75%. Candidates are expected to obtain ≥70% of correct answers to be eligible for the practical examination. The answers of failing candidates will be re-checked by the Chair and the assistant chair to ensure the results are accurate.
5.2.12. Notification of Theoretical Examination Results
Results of the examination will be forwarded to the board within one week after the exam and the board will take the final decision on pass or fail based on recommendation from the Examination Committee. The President of the College, following approval by the board, will notify results of the theoretical part of the examination individually to the candidates on the same date within 30 days after the exam. The Examination Committee Chair will send a written report to failing candidates detailing marks in individual sections and specific weaknesses identified during the examination. This report will also be made available to the programme director of the failing candidate. The board will consider requests by candidates who wish to keep results private. Such a request should be made within 3 days of receiving the written/ email confirmation. Failing candidates can appeal the decision of the Board within 90 days of receiving their written/ email notification.
5.3. Practical part of the examination
The practical part of the examination will be held during and up to four consecutive days and includes four written and two oral sessions. The examination is based on diagnostic images of real clinical cases and consists of a combination of written and oral reports, 9-11 cases for each of the written sections and 4-6 cases for each of the two oral sessions. They are divided into five sections as follows:
5.3.1. Small Animal Track Practical Examination
18.104.22.168. Section 1
Thoracic imaging (written)
22.214.171.124. Section 2
Abdominal imaging (written)
126.96.36.199. Section 3
Musculoskeletal imaging (written)
188.8.131.52. Section 4
Head and neuroimaging (written)
184.108.40.206. Section 5
Oral, two sessions (thorax and abdomen; musculoskeletal, head and neuroimaging)
5.3.2. Large Animal Track Practical Examination
220.127.116.11. Section 1
Thoracic and abdominal imaging (written)
18.104.22.168. Section 2
Musculoskeletal imaging, radiography (written)
22.214.171.124. Section 3
Musculoskeletal imaging, alternate imaging techniques (written)
126.96.36.199. Section 4
Head, spine and neuroimaging (written)
188.8.131.52. Section 5
Oral, two sessions (musculoskeletal; thorax, abdomen, head, spine and neuroimaging)
5.3.3. Composition of the Practical Examination - Small Animal Track
For the Small Animal Track no more than 30% of the cases will pertain to large animal species in any of the sections except section 3. In section 3, up to 50% of the cases will pertain to equine and farm animal species. Advanced imaging modalities such as CT, MRI and nuclear medicine will not be more than 30% for section 1, 2, 3, and 5 and 80% for section 4.
5.3.4. Composition of the Practical Examination - Large Animal Track
For Large Animal Track no more than 30% of the cases will pertain to small animal species in any of the sections. Advanced imaging modalities such as CT, MRI and nuclear medicine will not be more than 30% for section 1 and not more than 50% for sections 4 and 5.
5.3.5. Case Material and Presentation for the Practical Examination
The Examination Committee Assistant Chairs (one for Small animal cases and one for Large animal cases) are responsible for collecting cases and assessing degree of difficulty and homogeneity of the examination set.
Examination material must be of sufficient diagnostic quality to allow the candidate to reach the expected conclusions. Normal studies may be included in the examination if they are considered pertinent by the Examination Committee. For each case a pertinent clinical history may be provided at the discretion of the Examination Committee. Candidates are not expected to interpret results of ancillary (non-imaging) diagnostic tests. In some cases, no clinical history may be provided to allow candidates to be tested on their lesion detection skills and ability to generate a list of differential diagnoses. All images will be labelled appropriately and, if not shown on the images, relevant information on date, time, side, and beam angle should be provided by the examiners. Cases using digital images displayed on computer stations will be used. If specific software package will be used this will be stated at least 6 months in advance and if the candidate is unfamiliar with its use an examiner may be asked to manipulate the images.
5.3.6. Practical Examination Questions Answer Format
Sections 1 – 4 consist of written reports based on clinical cases allowing approximately 20 minutes per case. Written reports must be organized into separate paragraphs including
- Description of findings.
- Summary of main findings.
- Interpretation of findings/diagnosis/differential diagnosis/conclusion.
For the oral section, recommendations for additional images or other imaging modalities can be added if necessary. Judgment will be incorporated into examinations - assessing not just what the candidates know but what they would do with that knowledge.
5.3.7. Marking of the Practical Examination
Different members of the Examination Committee mark the questions. One examiner marks the answers for all candidates for a specific question thus each candidate’s answers in one section will be marked by different examiners. A random selection of answers is double marked to check for consistency. In case of persistent disagreement between the two examiners, the Chair or the Assistant Chair will make a final assessment. Candidates must achieve ≥70% of the total available marks to pass the exam with ≥70% in three out of five sections and ≥50% in all sections in order to pass the examination overall. Papers of failing candidates will be re-checked to ensure fairness in the evaluation. Any case with an unanticipated low correct answer rate will be re-evaluated by the Examination Committee after the examination is held to ensure that it was unambiguous and reasonable. The Examination Committee may decide to remove cases retrospectively. The identities of the candidates will remain unknown to all the examiners, except the Chair until after marking is completed and the post-exam moderation is performed.
5.3.8. Practical Examination Format - Oral Section
Section 5 consists of oral interaction between the candidate and the examiners regarding image interpretation and clinical management of cases representative of common clinical situations. This part of the examination will be conducted by at least two examiners and will be audio-recorded on an appropriate medium. Candidates will be presented with an initial set of images and a short clinical history and will be asked to provide an oral report to the examiners. The oral examination lasts approximately 50 minutes, during which time 4-6 clinical cases will require an oral report. A complete interpretation of images provided using the same format as for a written report will be requested from the candidate and additional studies/views may be provided by the examiner upon justified request of the candidate. Interaction between the candidate and the examiner will be limited to specific requests of additional studies/views by the candidate, specific questions asked by the examiner at some pre-determined stage of the examination and subjects promoting good understanding between the candidate and the examiner. Examiners will not participate in oral examinations of residents they have supervised within their own program or residents having spent more than one month taking part in their program.
5.3.9. Communication of Results of the Practical Examination
Results of the examination will be forwarded to the board within one week after the exam and the board will take the final decision on pass or fail based on recommendation from the Examination Committee. The President will notify results of the practical part of the examination individually to the candidates within 30 days after the exam. The Examination Committee chair will send a written report to failing candidates detailing marks in individual sections and specific weaknesses identified during the examination. This report will also be made available to the programme director of the failing candidate. The board will consider requests by candidates who wish to keep results private. Such a request should be made within 3 days of receiving the written/ email confirmation. Failing candidates can appeal the decision of the Board within 90 days of receiving their written/ email notification.
5.4. Examination Report
The Chair of the Examination Committee will be responsible for writing a full report of the examination to the Board. This report will include statistics regarding number of candidates, pass rate for first time candidates, pass rate for repeat examinees, pass rate for the entire examination and pass rate for each theoretical and practical section. In addition, specific comments from the examiners regarding areas of weakness will be included. Any particular event during the examination and the marking, such as question removal, must be documented clearly. The examination report will be made available to all ECVDI® Diplomates after it has been approved by the Board.
5.4.1. Examination Review for Failing Candidates
Candidates who fail the Practical part of the examination will be allowed to view representative parts of their transcripts, to get an understanding of why they did not pass the exam, in the presence of an examiner, at the location of any of the examiners. Supervisors will not be permitted to attend. The request to view the transcripts must be made within one month of notification to the candidate that they have failed, and the transcript must be viewed within 3 months of notification that they have failed.
A candidate who fails the theoretical or practical parts of the examination must re-apply if he/she wishes to re-sit this part of the examination in a subsequent year. The candidate is advised to discuss this decision with their supervisor prior to making an application to re-sit an examination.
5.5.1. Application Deadlines for Re-Examination Forms
The appropriate application form (FORM TR or PR) must be submitted to the Credentials Committee between 1st September and 1st October of the year prior to the year in which the candidate intends to re-sit the examination.
5.5.2. Application Fee for Re-Examination
The full re-sit examination fee must be paid at the time of application.
5.6. 5.6 Guidelines for Members of the Examination Committee giving Mock Examinations
5.6.1. Acceptable Trainees for Mock Examinations
Current members of the examination committee can only give mock exams to their own residents, i.e. residents they directly supervised (either as programme director, main supervisor or associated supervisor) and/or following the residency program in their own institution.
Current members of the examination committee are not authorised at any time to organise or participate in mock exams for residents who are not their own residents (i.e. residents who are not part of their own institution/residency programme or residents they do not supervise).
5.6.2. Timeline for Mock Theoretical Examinations
Current members of the examination committee are only authorised to give theoretical mock exams to their own residents before October 1st of the year prior to the year of the examination. No theoretical mock exam should be given after this date, which is the date when questions of the theoretical examination are usually sent to all the members of the examination committee.
5.6.3. Timeline for Mock Practical Examinations
Current members of the examination committee are only authorised to give practical mock exams to their own residents before January 15th of the year of the examination. No mock exam should be given after this date, which is the date when cases of the practical examination are usually sent to all the members of the examination committee.
5.6.4. Mock Examination Material
Previous and current members of the examination committee should never use at any time examination material (theoretical multiple-choice questions or practical cases) for training or mock exams of any residents.
5.7. Suspected malpractice by examination candidates
Malpractice is deemed to be those actions and practices, which threaten the integrity of the examination, and/or damage the authority of those responsible for conducting them. The following are examples of malpractice by candidates. The list is not exhaustive and other instances of malpractice may be considered by the ECVDI® at their discretion:
- Introduction of unauthorised material into the examination room (including but not limited to: notes, textbooks or study guides; personal organisers; mobile phones; or other similar electronic devices);
- Obtaining, receiving, exchanging or passing on information which could be examination related (or the attempt to) by means of talking, written papers/notes, mobile phone or other electronic device;
- Attempting to solicit information about the examination from candidates from an earlier time slot;
- Copying from another candidate;
- Disruptive behaviour in the examination room (including the use of offensive language);
- Failing to abide by the conditions of supervision designed to maintain the security of the examinations;
- Failing to abide by the instructions of an invigilator, examiners, or the ECVDI® in relation to the examination rules and regulations;
- Impersonation: pretending to be someone else, arranging for a third party to take the candidate’s place in an examination;
- The inclusion of inappropriate, offensive or obscene material in answers;
- Misuse of examination material, e.g. by passing or attempting to pass such material to a third party after the examination;
- Physical or verbal abuse or intimidation of examination candidates or examiners;
- Bribing or attempting to bribe an examiner;
- Behaving in such a way as to undermine the integrity of the examination;
- Contravention of the instructions on the conduct of the examination and the candidate’s responsibilities, contained in documents that have been sent to the candidates; or that are published on the ECVDI® website; or that have been conveyed to them by examination staff or invigilators.
5.7.2. Allegations of Malpractice
184.108.40.206. Reporting Allegations of Malpractice
Allegations of malpractice may be reported to the Board of the ECVDI® by (supervising) examiners, invigilators or candidates. When dealing with alleged malpractice, the ECVDI® Board will deal both with the invigilator or examiner and the candidate or the candidate’s representative.
220.127.116.11. Investigation of Malpractice
The ECVDI® Board will seek to establish the full facts and circumstances of any alleged malpractice by any candidate by seeking full accounts from and, where appropriate, interviewing, all parties involved. The ECVDI® Board will seek to investigate all allegations of malpractice, but reserve the right to reject allegations, which lack substance or appear, following careful scrutiny, not to be malicious. Only in the case of a burden of evidence will the College take official steps regarding violations of its Policies and Procedures.
18.104.22.168. Reporting Malpractice at the Examination
If malpractice is discovered during or immediately after the examination by someone at the centre, a full report must be submitted immediately after the event to the ECVDI® Board by the invigilator or supervising examiner. In most circumstances, the candidate will be permitted to complete the examination provided that his/her behaviour causes no disturbance to other candidates or jeopardises the security or conduct of the examination, in which case he/she should be removed and his/her examination terminated. However, the candidate will be informed of the nature of the alleged malpractice in front of an independent witness. A full report should be submitted to the ECVDI® Board, including an account of the candidate’s response. The candidate should be advised that the matter will be subject to an investigation. Any material illegally introduced into the examination room should be temporarily confiscated (including electronic equipment) and a receipt given. If the candidate refuses to permit the material or equipment to be confiscated, this fact will be recorded.
22.214.171.124. Reporting Malpractice after the Examination
If malpractice is alleged after the examination or is discovered by the ECVDI® Board, full details of the alleged malpractice will be reported to the invigilator or supervising examiner at the examination centre and he/she will be asked to comment in writing on the report.
126.96.36.199. Communications to Candidate and Candidate Response
In all cases a candidate accused of malpractice must be sent full details of the allegations and evidence against him/her and be given the opportunity to respond in writing to allegations made. The candidate will be given a period of up to 30 days, following written receipt of the allegations and supporting evidence etc., to reply to the allegations.
188.8.131.52. Candidate Access to Evidence of Malpractice
The ECVDI® Board will ensure that individuals subject to an irregularity investigation have access to all evidence against them and are provided with all necessary facilities including advice, sufficient time etc. in order to allow full responses to be prepared.
184.108.40.206. Investigation and Report of Malpractice to Board
It is the responsibility of the invigilator or supervising examiner, acting on behalf of the ECVDI, to carry out an investigation, to submit a full written report of the case and to provide supporting evidence, including the actual material or equipment confiscated where appropriate to the ECVDI® Board.
Reports should include:
- a statement of the facts (detailed account of the circumstances and details of any investigation carried out by the centre);
- a written statement(s) from the invigilators or other staff concerned;
- any mitigating factors;
- seating plans;
- unauthorised material found in the examination room;
- any work of the candidate and any associated material or equipment which is relevant to the investigation.
5.7.3. Consideration of the Malpractice Allegation
220.127.116.11. Informing the Candidate of Possible Consequences of Misconduct
In following up the receipt of a formal report of allegation of misconduct the Chair of the Examination committee should write to the candidate to inform him or her of the possible consequences should malpractice be proven and of the avenues for appealing should a judgment be made against him or her.
18.104.22.168. Informing the Candidate of Course of Action
Once the candidate’s response to the allegation contained in the report has been received, the Chair of the Examination committee, or equivalent, will consider the case and decide upon a course of action. This course of action will be communicated to the candidate within 30 days of receipt of their response. If the potential sanction falls outside the authority of the Chair of Examination, the allegation may be referred to the ECVDI® President. The ECVDI® President may consider the allegation and take appropriate actions, or may ask the Board to consider the allegation.
Full details of the procedure should be sent to candidates whose case is put before the ECVDI® Board.
22.214.171.124. Candidate’s Options for Response
In most cases the events will be considered on the basis of documentary evidence alone and candidates will respond to allegations in writing. However, candidates will have the right to appear in front of the Board to present their case and in such cases they will be offered the opportunity to be accompanied or represented by a legal adviser or other representative or supporter.
5.7.4. Sanctions and penalties applied against candidates
The ECVDI® Board may, at their discretion, impose the following sanctions and penalties against candidates found guilty of malpractice:
- formal warning
- result of a part of the exam annulled or withheld
- all results for exams to date annulled/withheld
- barred from entry for set period
- barred from entry ever again.
Penalties (4) and (5) imply also penalty (3).
5.7.5. Principles for applying sanctions and penalties
126.96.36.199. Application of Penalties
The sanctions and penalties are not to be applied to offences according to a fixed scale, but are to be chosen from a defined range, in order to reflect the particular circumstances of each case and any mitigating factors. The ECVDI® reserves the right to apply penalties flexibly, outside of the defined ranges if particular mitigating or aggravating circumstances are found to exist.
As no assumptions can be made on intended actions, penalties will be based only on the evidence presented. All penalties must be justifiable and reasonable in their scale and consistent in their application. Penalties may apply either to all parts or components of the examination in which the offence has been committed or may apply additionally to possible future examinations, depending upon the severity of the offence. If evidence comes to light some considerable time after the offence, a penalty may still be applied to the examination in which the offence was committed and to later examinations.
For reasons of consistency of approach in the application of penalties, the ECVDI® will not (subject to any mitigating factors or extenuating circumstances) take into account the consequential effects of any particular penalty that might arise from the circumstances of the individual.
188.8.131.52. Duration of Penalties Applied
Penalties applied will remain on record until the candidate is either time-expired from the ECVDI® examination or passes the ECVDI® examination.
5.7.6. Communication of the decision
The candidate will be informed of any decision in writing as soon as possible after decisions are made and in all cases within 14 days. It is the responsibility of the ECVDI® Secretary to communicate the decision to the individuals concerned, and to give warnings in cases where this is indicated.
6. Appeal Procedures
6.1. Definitions and Grounds of Appeal
In the event of an adverse decision by the College the affected party has the right to appeal against this decision. Adverse decisions by the College include, but are not limited to:
- Denial of certification of credentials.
- Temporary or permanent suspension of a member of the college.
- Failure of an examination or a part of an examination.
- Denial of adequacy of credentials.
- Denial or withdrawal of approval of a residency programme.
- Sanctions or penalties for malpractice.
Affected parties can be persons seeking enrolment as ECVDI® residents, enrolled ECVDI® residents, examinees or members of the college. For adverse decisions regarding training (residency) programme denial or approval, the Programme Director shall act as the affected person.
A Notice of Appeal is the submitted document by the affected party prior to it being considered as an Appeal by the Board of the College.
An Appellant is an affected party who has submitted a Notice of Appeal.
Appeals must be made on one of the following grounds to be considered:
- That the College failed to correctly apply its own published rules, procedures or criteria relevant to the decision in question.
- That the College imposed a sanction that was disproportionate to the gravity of the adverse decision against the Appellant.
6.2. Communication of the Right of Appeal
In the event of an adverse decision, the College shall notify the affected party (or parties) of the procedure for appealing against the adverse decision. This notification must be included with the communication that gives notice of the adverse decision itself. The Appeal Procedure must specify a postal or email address and Officer of the College to which an Appeal should be sent in the first place, this is currently the Secretary.
6.3. Commencing the Appeal Process
6.3.1. Timeline for Launching a Notice of Appeal
Any affected party who wishes to launch a Notice of Appeal must do so within 60 days of the written/email receipt of the adverse decision. The Notice of Appeal must be made in writing to the Secretary and shall include a statement of the grounds for reconsideration and any relevant documentation in support of the Appeal. Note, an exception to this timescale exists for appeal against denying acceptance of credentials. This must be made a minimum of one and a maximum or three weeks following the official announcement of the decision (see also 5.1.8)
6.3.2. Acknowledgement of Receipt of Appeal
The College must acknowledge the receipt of the Notice of Appeal within five working days. The Secretary shall advise the Appellant of the procedure for appealing against the adverse decision including payment of the appeal deposit.
6.3.3. Appeal Deposit
An Appeal Deposit of £500 will be payable by the Appellant. The Appeal Procedure will only be opened once the College has received the Appeal Deposit. If the Appellant does not pay his/her deposit within four weeks of receiving an invoice, this will be deemed an admission of liability. All administrative costs incurred by the ECVDI® in handling of the Notice of Appeal and subsequent Appeal, including any travel and subsistence costs of the Appeal Committee members and the Board attending an Oral Hearing, shall be met by the losing party (Appellant or ECVDI). If the Appeal is accepted/upheld the deposit is repaid in full. In the event of an unsuccessful/rejected Appeal any remaining deposit, following deduction of the costs itemized above, will be repaid to the Appellant together with an itemisation of the costs retained.
6.3.4. Consideration of Notice of Appeal
The Secretary shall notify the President of the College immediately on receipt of the Notice of Appeal. Within 10 working days of its receipt by the College the Notice of Appeal must be considered by the Secretary. The Secretary shall have had no prior involvement with the case, and no potential conflict of interest with the Appellant or the Committee whose decision is being questioned. The Secretary will decide whether a proper Ground for Appeal has been identified; and provided the Appeal is not completely spurious, will launch the appeal process. If the outlined conditions cannot be met by the Secretary, another officer of the board for whom these conditions do apply, will be nominated to consider the Notice of Appeal.
Within 25 working days of receipt of the Notice of Appeal the College must inform the Appellant whether or not the Appeal Deposit has been received and whether or not the Notice Appeal has been accepted as raising an arguable Ground of Appeal, and, if so, of the proposed membership of the Appeal Committee that will consider the Appeal.
6.3.5. Decisionon Notice of Appeal
If a proper Ground for Appeal has been identified and if the Appeal Deposit has been received the College will convene an Appeal Committee to consider the Appeal.
If no proper Ground of Appeal by the Notice of Appeal has been identified by the College, the Secretary may inform the Appellant that either:
A. It will take no further action (and explain the justification for this),
B. It will consider the Notice instead as a request for an informal review of an adverse decision by the Board on non-appealable grounds (e.g. extenuating circumstances of personal difficulty etc.).
6.3.6. Timeline for Distribution of Appeal Documents
The procedure for convening an Appeal Committee to consider the Appeal must be completed no later than 30 days after the date the College has informed the Appellant of the proposed membership of the Appeal Committee according to paragraph 6.4.
Within 5 working days of the appointment of the Appeal Committee, all the documents relating to the dispute shall be forwarded by the Secretary to the members of the Appeal Committee.
6.4. Creation of the Appeal Committee
The Appeal Committee shall be made up of a minimum of three Diplomates of the College who shall not be serving as members of the Board of the College or members of the relevant committee whose decision is being questioned, who shall have had no prior involvement with the case, and who have no potential conflict of interest with the Appellant or the Committee whose decision is being questioned.
The ECVDI® has a standing Appeal Committee Chair who is not a member of the Board. The Appeal Committee Chair shall, with the advice of the selection committee, seek two other Diplomates, who are not involved with any function in the ECVDI® that would compromise their judgment and are not closely associated with the affected person personally or professionally, to serve in the Appeal Committee with the Chair. This committee normally includes the Appeal Committee Chair (unless there is a conflict of interest). The names of the Appeal Committee members shall be put forward for approval to the Appellant and the President of the College. If either party disagrees with the selection of an Appeal Committee member, a reason must be given. The Appeal Committee Chair will then consider the arguments made and may select another suitable Diplomate for the Appeal Committee.
The Appeal Committee Chair is in charge of organising the work of the Appeal Committee and communicating with the Secretary. The Secretary of the College acts as a conduit for communication between the Appeal Committee, the Appellant and the Board.
6.5. Conduct of the Appeal Process
All Appeals are to be conducted in due confidence.
6.5.2. Requests for Material
The Appeal Committee should request information relevant to its consideration of the Appeal from any relevant party. This includes material from the Credentials Committee, Examination Committee or other relevant ECVDI® functions, as well as a complete dossier of relevant information from the Appellant via the secretary of ECVDI® and NOT directly with the Appeal committee.
6.5.3. Oral Hearings
The Appeal Committee must consider carefully the need or not for an Oral Hearing. Where an Appeal Committee decides not to hold an Oral Hearing in an Appeal against an adverse decision that arises from an allegation of impropriety against the Appellant (or in other matters of similar gravity), reasons for that decision must be given. Where an Oral Hearing is held, a timetable must be devised which allows the Appellant reasonable opportunity to appear.
An Oral Hearing must be attended by at least three members of the Appeal Committee but neither party will be represented by legal counsel. Oral hearings will be conducted in English. The Appellant may be accompanied by an individual (“representative”), who may assist them to present the appeal. The “representative” will not be allowed to participate in answering specific questions but, at the discretion of the Chairperson, may be allowed to provide necessary language translations and may, at the end, be allowed to make a statement on behalf of the Appellant. In the event of rejection of the appeal, the College will not meet any costs incurred by the Appellant or their “representative” in attending the Oral Hearing.
6.5.4. Documentation of the Appeal Meeting
A transcript or detailed minutes of the meeting will be kept. An electronic recording may be made with the prior consent of all parties. The minutes and, if it is made, the electronic recording, shall be made available to the meeting’s participants on request.
6.5.5. Consideration of the Appeal
The Appeal Committee shall consider the merits of the Appeal based on the Constitution and the Policies and Procedures of the College, in particular whether the College failed to correctly apply its own published rules, procedures or criteria relevant to the decision in question or whether the College imposed a sanction that was disproportionate to the gravity of the adverse decision against the Appellant. For the purposes of an Appeal, the Constitution and Policies and Procedures to be used will be those which were published on the ECVDI® website at the time of the incident leading to the adverse decision of the College.
6.5.6. Decision on the Appeal
The Appeal Committee must either uphold, partially uphold or reject an Appeal. The Appeal Committee should also make recommendations to the Board where it sees problems or insufficiencies in the work of the College, even if these do not merit the upholding of an Appeal.
6.5.7. Timeline for Communication of Decision on Appeal
The Appeal Committee must deliver its decision on the Appeal to the Secretary of the College within 90 days of the date of receiving all documents relating to the dispute, although with an adverse decision on credentials the procedure will be expedited so that the candidate is able to sit the examination if the appeal is successful. Within 15 working days of receipt of the Appeal decision the Secretary will deliver it in writing, via electronic means and in addition, if there is no satisfactory confirmation of receipt, via registered post, to the Appellant.
6.6. EBVS Mediation
After completion of the Appeal Procedure, both parties, if not satisfied with the final decision rendered by the ECVDI® Appeal Committee, may request mediation by the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation (EBVS). The decision of the EBVS is final.
6.6.1. Notification of Right to Request Mediation
The Secretary shall notify the Appellant that the losing party has the right to request mediation by the EBVS. EBVS contact details should be given.
7.1 Appendix 1: EBVS document for colleges: Quality assurance (separate document)
7.2 Appendix 2: EBVS document for colleges: Knowledge skills and competency (separate document)
7.3 Appendix 3: Model reference letter (separate document)
7.4. Appendix 4: Examination Honour Code
The contents of the ECVDI® Theoretical and Practical examinations are confidential. You are prohibited from divulging any information about the questions, images, or case material included in the ECVDI® Theoretical and Practical Examination to anyone during or after the examination. For the Practical examination this includes discussion of format of cases, such as number of images, types of images, “hidden” views or supplemental studies presented to you. Your description of the case, medical management, or final diagnosis may not be discussed with anyone. For the Theoretical examination, use of any electronic devices during the examination other than those provided to you by ECVDI® is strictly prohibited and will be considered a violation of the honour code. Your confidentiality is required in order to ensure each candidate an equal opportunity to pass the examination. If any candidate is thought to be in violation of the Honour Code, a detailed report with charges of the violation will be sent to the ECVDI® Board for action. A candidate found to be in violation of the Honour Code by Board will have their examination results nullified. All candidates must read and sign the following statement prior to participating in the examination: I have read and understand the ECVDI® Honour Code. I agree to keep the contents of the ECVDI® Examination confidential. I agree to report any inappropriate discussions or actions I observe to the Examination Committee. I will not provide assistance to, nor accept assistance from anyone during the examination.
Policies and Procedures
Effective November 9, 2016
Previous versions are available at our archive.