Veterinary education establishments (VEEs) and veterinary statutory bodies (VSBs) play key roles in ensuring the effectiveness of veterinary professionals and delivery of competent national Veterinary Services (VS). Recognising the need to address the quality of veterinary education and the role of VSBs for its member countries/territories, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH, founded as OIE) has organized conferences, workshops and ad hoc groups leading to the development of recommendations and guidelines, and the introduction of active programmes on veterinary education.
WOAH supports strengthening of the Veterinary Service (VS), veterinary education establishments (VEEs) and veterinary statutory bodies (VSBs) globally and regionally through its global programs for PVS pathway, VEE and VSB twinning projects, global and regional conferences, and establishment of recommendations and guidelines.
The WOAH Sub-Regional Representation for South East Asia (SRR-SEA) has been supporting the strengthening of VEEs and VSBs in the Southeast Asia sub-region since 2011, in close collaborations with the ASEAN Veterinary Statutory Body Network (AVSBN) and the Southeast Asia Veterinary Schools Association (SEAVSA). A series of workshops has led to more sharing of information and experiences. The workshops also contributed to strengthening networks among the institutions in charge of veterinary education, veterinarians, regulating and promoting the profession and providing veterinary services, i.e., VEE, VSB, veterinary associations and VS. Discussion on the possible harmonization of veterinary curricula for transboundary mobility of veterinarians within ASEAN is an important topic of discussion in Southeast Asia.
More recently, the WOAH Regional Representation for Asia and the Pacific (RRAP) began engaging VEEs and VSBs in the entire region as well as regional associations such as the Asian Association of Veterinary Schools. In 2017, a regional workshop for VEEs and VSBs was organised in Incheon, R.O Korea, to which participants came from across East and South East Asia. In 2018, a regional workshop for VEEs and VSBs was organized in Tokyo, Japan, gathering representatives from VEEs and VSBs of the WOAH Members from East Asia, South Asia and South-East Asia as well as Australia and New Zealand. These workshops provided a valuable forum for information exchange among the key stakeholders.
WOAH advocates for the veterinary authority of the Members to facilitate in-country communication and collaboration among Veterinary Authorities, VEEs, VSBs and Associations in strengthening capacity building for veterinarians including curriculum development and implementation as well as continuing education.
The WOAH Regional Representation for Asia and the Pacific has released a list of Veterinary Education Establishments (VEEs) of Member Countries in the region. Information was collected from the Members for the 2nd Regional Workshop for Veterinary Education Establishments (VEEs) and Veterinary Statutory Bodies (VSBs) in November 2018.
In response to the recommendations adopted at the 2013 WOAH (then OIE) Global Conference on Veterinary Education and the role of the Veterinary Statutory Body, the organisation also established a global list of VEEs.
Regional and Sub-regional events
To support Members with improving the level of initial veterinary education, WOAH has developed its Veterinary Education Twinning Programme to further its efforts in improving veterinary education around the world. The WOAH Veterinary Education Twinning Programme provides the opportunity for VEE in developing and in-transition countries to modernise their curriculum and the ways in which it is delivered. Each project under this programme is a partnership between one or more recognised or accredited Veterinary Education Establishment(s), know as the ‘Parent’, and a ‘Candidate’ Veterinary Education Establishment.
An analysis of initial PVS Evaluation reports indicated that many Members do not have an effective VSB in place to regulate the registration of diplomas, the prescription of veterinary medicines and the employment of veterinarians and veterinary para-professionals. To address this shortfall and reinforce the capacities of VSBs globally to comply with international standards better, the WOAH Veterinary Statutory Body Twinning Programme was established. Projects under the programme are undertaken by a recognised Veterinary Statutory Body – the ‘Parent’ – and the beneficiary ‘Candidate’ Veterinary Statutory Body, and aim to provide an opportunity for both the Parent and Candidate to garner and develop expertise.
The WOAH Regional Representation for Asia and the Pacific provides support to the registered office of AAVS which is located in the University of Tokyo (Japan).