Accreditation of our Veterinary Program

Last changed: 18 June 2024
Teacher and students

Every seven years, our Veterinary Medicine programme undergoes evaluation to maintain our European accreditation. An evaluation process is ongoing.

Our Veterinary Medicine programme is – and must be – accredited following the standards set by the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE). The standard is based on minimum requirements stipulated by the European Union.

Accreditation is a sign of our programme’s quality and enables our graduates to practise and continue their professional development in a competitive market anywhere in Europe. Accreditation also provides us with the possibility of offering specialist European programmes approved by the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation (EBVS).

EAEVE follows an evaluation system to ensure the following:

  • the quality of veterinarians to graduate from the programme, and the care they provide;
  • that the programme meets the agreed standards;
  • that the syllabuses and university meet the EU’s minimum requirements for veterinary education.

Content on this page

Latest information

This information about the progress of the process is continuously updated. Further details about the accreditation itself and information about members of the working group can be found further down in the FAQ.

ECOVE:s decision and Final Visitation Report

We have now received the European Committee of Veterinary Education's (ECOVE) official decision on the European accreditation of our veterinary programme and their Final Visitation Report. You will find the documents in the fact box further down the page.

As expected, we have been given the status of Pending Accreditation, which gives us 1 year (until 18 March 2025) to rectify the major deficiencies and arrange a re-visitation. The faculty management is determined that the programme should be accredited. We need to move forward together, with a united force, to solve this with existing conditions. 

ECOVE has identified two major deficiencies as follows:   

1. the VEE (Veterinary Education Establishment) is not compliant with Standard 9.2. because the number and range of skills of teaching staff at the VTH-pet clinic are insufficient.  

2. the VEE is not compliant with Standard 9.4 because of insufficient involvement of teaching staff in designing the VTH's contribution to clinical teaching and research and in its day-to-day management. 

The standard they refer to can be found in the Standard Operation Procedure document (page 29)

Our Full Visitation Working Group and the Faculty's management will now analyse the final report with the support of other functions to ensure that we address this in the best possible way. The mentioned deficiencies were identified and communicated to us already at the time of the Full Visitation in March. Work for the re-visitation is therefore already underway. 

While the major deficiencies are being addressed, our programme remains accredited. This does not affect the ability of our students to work in EU or to be admitted to specialist programmes (Diplomates).  

Full Visitation

The EAEVE/ESEVT evaluation team visited us, 18-22 March, to assess the veterinary programme. They met with numerous students, teachers, and other staff members to gain a thorough understanding of our operations and the conditions for education.

On Friday, 22 March, the evaluation team held an Exit Presentation, where they summarised their observations.

We received a lot of praise for large parts of the programme, including supportive environment, good interaction between teachers and students, and appropriate infrastructure. We received some minor deficiencies that can be addressed directly, such as signage to isolation boxes. They found two major deficiencies that remains in the advance notice (see above).

Working Group for Full Visitation

The following working group was tasked with conducting the visit and ensuring that the evaluation team was provided with all relevant facts. They will also analyse the final report.

  • Johanna Penell, Vice Dean for Education at the undergraduate and advanced levels
  • Henrik Rönnberg, editor of our Self Evaluation Report (SER)
  • Helene Hamlin, program study director
  • Karin Vargmar, deputy program study director
  • Lina Lindström, institutional study director for KV
  • Linda Ferngren, administrative support
  • Ivar Vågsholm, liaison officer
  • Student representatives VMF

Evaluation team

The evaluation team consisted of the following individuals:

  • Professor Sarah Baillie (United Kingdom)
  • Student Julia Pietrasina (Poland)
  • Professor Pierre Lekeux (Belgium)
  • Professor Begüm Yurdakök Dikmen (Turkey)
  • Professor Maria Cristina Veronesi (Italy)
  • Professor George Stilwell (Portugal)
  • Doctor Christophe Buhot (France)
  • Doctor Alvaro Mateos (Spain)

In addition, Professor Emerita Roseanne Taylor, from Australia, participated to observe whether EAEVE's accreditation can serve as a basis for licensure in Australia and New Zealand. Representatives from the Swedish Board of Agriculture also participated as they are the responsible authority for Swedish veterinary licensure.

Accreditation in Australia and New Zealand

Discussions have been ongoing for some time with the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) regarding the accreditation of our veterinary programme. The aim is to enable veterinarians trained with us to apply for accreditation in Australia and New Zealand, and vice versa. The accreditation process is proceeding in parallel with the European one. This autumn, we will report on the progress of our work to the AVBC, which will then make a decision.  

FAQ

Why should we be accredited?

Accreditation is a sign of our programme’s quality. It enables our graduates to practise and continue their professional development in a competitive market anywhere in Europe.

Accreditation also provides us with the possibility of offering specialist European programmes approved by the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation (EBVS). The specialist programmes are divided into a one-year internship and three-year residency. You can read more on Specialist Education – EBVS - European Board of Veterinary Specialists.

Do we have to be accredited?

Hypothetically, SLU could provide a veterinary program without being EAEVE accredited, as long as we are authorized by the Swedish Board of Agriculture. However, this is not an option. We need to be EAEVE accredited to be able to offer European specialist programs approved by the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation (EBVS).

 

When will our current accreditation expire?

We will remain accredited until September 2024. We are expected to receive the decision from the European Committee of Veterinary Education (ECOVE) on the next accreditation period in June 2024.

How does the accreditation process work?

The veterinary programme accreditation process follows clear process with compulsory components stipulated in the standard operating procedure (SOP) which is summarised below.

Request for full visitationThe institution must first apply to be evaluated. In December 2022, SLU applied to undergo evaluation for continued accreditation.

Self-evaluation report (SER)The institution will then self-evaluate and summarise this in a report. You can find SLU's Self-Evaluation Report (SER) a bit further down in the information box.

Full visitationAn evaluation team, appointed by EAEVE, visits the institution to evaluate the education on-site. This should be carried out when the educational activities are in full swing, meaning when most staff and students are present. The Full Visitation took place 18-22 March 2024.

Visitation reportAfter the visit, the delegation writes a report, which includes recommendations among other things. Within 14 days after the evaluation is completed, we have the opportunity to read the report and correct any factual errors.

ECOVE decision – The European Committee of Veterinary Education (ECOVE) will convene 29 May 2024. They will take the decision to accredit the programme based on SLU’s own evaluation and the recommendations in the evaluation group’s report. Should they determine we have one or more major deficiencies, we will receive the ‘pending accreditation’ status. If we are assessed as having followed the standard, we will be given the ‘accredited’ status. The decision will be announced within two days of ECOVE convening.

Re-visitation – If the programme is given the ‘pending accreditation’ status, a follow-up visit must be organised within one year to establish whether SLU has rectified the identified deficiencies.

While the deficiencies are being addressed, the programme remains accredited. This does not affect the ability of the students to work in Europe or to be admitted to specialist programmes (Diplomates).  

If the veterinary education establishment chooses not to rectify the shortcomings, or if we do not follow the regulations for re-visitation, we will automatically be allocated the ‘non-accredited’ status.

What happens if we are not approved?

If the European Committee of Veterinary Education (ECOVE) determine we have one or more major deficiencies, we will receive the ‘pending accreditation’ status. We must rectify these deficiencies and undergo a re-visitation within one year. You can read more under the section: How does the accreditation process work?

The faculty management is determined that the programme should be accredited.

Requirements

The basic requirement is that newly graduated veterinary surgeons from the programme are to have ‘day one competences’ meaning they are safe and competent to practise on the first day after completing their studies. There are further formal requirements that must be met to obtain accreditation.

Organisation

The University Animal Hospital (UDS) and VH Faculty must be one unit, both in terms of the organisation and finances and it must have a common strategy for the Veterinary Medicine programme. The integration of UDS and VH faculty as of January 1, 2024, addresses this requirement. The UDS operations are added as an appendix to the faculty's strategy for the period 2021-2025.

Roles

The programme director of studies must be a veterinary surgeon; at SLU this is Senior Lecturer Helene Hamlin. UDS must also have a chief veterinary officer; at SLU this is Bodil Ström Holst, Head of Department and Maria Svensson, Deputy Head of Department for Animal Care.

Out of hours emergency service

Students must have experience of working with emergency cases, both in the evenings and during the night. Their tasks must include stabilising animals, pain relief, palliative care and euthanasia. The University Animal Hospital must therefore be in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the semester. The University Animal Hospital must have an on-call service for admitting sick small animals and horses around the clock.

Number of patients

There are requirements on how many patients students must work with during their studies. Together with those responsible for each organisation, the workgroup will conduct an inventory to determine whether we already meet the targets for each species, or if action needs to be taken. There are established targets for both pre-clinical (pathology) and clinical settings for both working and companion animals as well as animals raised for food.

What will be evaluated?

The following areas will be evaluated as part of the accreditation process:

  • targets, organisation and quality assurance policy
  • finances
  • curriculum
  • premises and equipment
  • animals and teaching materials of animal origin
  • teaching and learning resources
  • student admissions, progressions and wellbeing
  • systems and guidelines for student assessments
  • academic and support staff
  • research programmes
  • continuing professional development, and
  • third-cycle courses and study programmes.

What did we learn from the previous process?

We learnt a great deal from the previous accreditation process, which resulted in SLU being without accreditation for a period. This time, we placed a lot of focus on the internal preparatory process, where we worked with our self-evaluation report in a completely different way.

University management will receive regular information about the process. The work group will continually consult with faculty management on how to rectify any shortcomings that come to light.

Who is working with the accreditation process?

A workgroup is leading the accreditation process at SLU. Professor Ivar Vågsholm has been appointed the liaison officer for visitation. He must ensure that we follow the implementation of EAEVE’s standard operating procedure (SOP). He is also responsible for a number of practicalities related to the evaluation.

Professor Henrik Rönnberg is in charge of writing and approval of our self-evaluation report.

The workgroup also includes representatives from VMF and SLUSS. Linda Ferngren will provide the group with administrative support. 

The workgroup is responsible for the process and evaluation – not for ensuring that the organisation will meet the EAEVE standards. There will be dialogues with the responsible managers to work with any problem areas in order to guarantee SLU’s accreditation.

The following people have an advisory role and must be kept informed throughout the process:

  • Pär Forslund, Deputy Vice-Chancellor
  • Rauni Niskanen, Dean of VH Faculty
  • Johanna Penell, Vice Dean responsible for courses and programmes
  • Helene Hamlin, Programme Director of Studies for the Veterinary Medicine Programme 
  • Karin Vargmar, Deputy Programme Director of Studies for the Veterinary Medicine Programme 

 

 

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Contact

You can send any questions you may have about the accreditation process to internkommunikation@slu.se. The FAQ will be updated as necessary.