Every seven years, our Veterinary Medicine programme undergoes evaluation to maintain our European accreditation. The next evaluation is due to take place in spring 2024. Here, you can read more about accreditation and the internal preparatory processes that are 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.
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- 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.
The group leading the accreditation process expresses gratitude for all the engagement from teachers, course leaders, subject coordinators, and especially our students.
Our Self Evaluation Report (SER) has now been submitted after significant effort from the working group, the faculty office, as well as subject representatives and course leaders. The work was coordinated by Henrik Rönnberg.
Here you can read the Self Evaluation Report SLU 2024.
On February 28-29, 2024, a dress rehearsal will be organized ahead of the evaluation. Professor Yngvild Wasteson from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, NMBU, will come here to "inspect" us. Yngvild has been a member of SLU's board and is experienced in EAEVE, where she has led many evaluations of veterinary schools in the EU and globally. The dress rehearsal allows us to better understand the time required, for example, during a tour. Employees participating in the evaluation also have the opportunity to better prepare and ask questions to Yngvild.
A working group has been formed with the task of conducting the visitation and ensuring that the evaluation team has access to all relevant facts. The working group is a crucial contributing part to ensuring the accreditation process is carried out effectively.
- 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
- Alice Södervall and Samia Grietze, student representatives VMF
From March 18 to 22, 2024, the evaluation team appointed by EAEVE will visit SLU to assess our educational activities on-site.
The program is roughly finalized and looks like this:
Monday, March 18
- Arrival and introduction with VH's management.
Tuesday, March 19
- Overview of VH and UDS – aiming to provide an overview of the veterinary program and education. A guided tour that will cover the entire VHC (usually about 12,000 steps).
Wednesday, March 20
- Morning – in-depth reviews of education
- Clinical education for production animals
- Clinical education for sports and companion animals
- Teaching in pre and para-clinical subjects
- Teaching in veterinary public health and food safety
- How education is quality assured
- Afternoon – in-depth review with questions about the veterinary program (10 main areas and 55 sub-points)
Thursday, March 21
- Interviews with:
- Teachers in the veterinary program
- PhD students, residents, and interns who teach in the veterinary program
- Technical/administrative staff
- Individual teachers and students who want to inform the team
Friday, March 22
- Exit presentation – the evaluation team presents its findings.
The evaluation team is now appointed and consists 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, will participate 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 will also participate as they are the responsible authority for Swedish veterinary licensure.
Discussions are underway with The Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) regarding an accreditation of our veterinary education. The goal is to enable veterinarians trained with us to apply for licensure in Australia and New Zealand, and vice versa. This aims to expand the job market and opportunities for gaining experience. Professor Ivar Vågsholm is our contact person for AVBC.
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 visitation – in December 2022, SLU applied to be evaluated for continued accreditation. An evaluation agreement will be signed during March and sent to EAEVE.
Self-evaluation report (SER) – we must undergo a self-evaluation of our organisation following a clear template. The results will be compiled in a report and work with the first draft is ongoing. This will then be sent out several times for comment internally. At the start of January 2024, the final report will be sent to the evaluation group who will then conduct an on-site inspection.
Full visitation – the EAEVE-appointed evaluation group will visit SLU between 18 and 22 March 2024 to evaluate the educational activities on site. These dates were chosen as it is a time when teaching will be in full swing, i.e. the majority of students and staff are on campus. The evaluation should not affect the students in any way. The evaluation group will meet with representatives from the Veterinary Medicine Association (student union) to include the students’ perspective can be included in their report.
Visitation report – the delegation will create a report after their visit, which will include recommendations. We will then have 14 days from the final evaluation to read the report and correct any factual errors.
ECOVE decision – the European Committee of Veterinary Education (ECOVE) will convene in June 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 significant shortcomings, 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 two years to establish whether SLU has rectified the identified shortcomings. Specialist courses may continue during this period. If SLU 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 significant shortcomings, we will receive the ‘pending accreditation’ status. We must rectify these shortcomings within one year and undergo a re-visitation. You can read more under the section: How does the accreditation process work?
University management, VH Faculty management, the University Animal Hospital and the workgroup all agree that our veterinary medicine programme must be accredited. The aim is for the evaluation to result in immediate accreditation. If any shortcomings are noted, they will be rectified within the set time.
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.
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.[IV1] The integration of UDS and the VH Faculty starting on 1 January 2024 will meet this requirement.
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 Maria Svensson, Acting Director of the University Animal Hospital and Johanna Penell, Deputy Director of the University Animal Hospital.
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
- 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 will be placing a lot of focus on the internal preparatory process, where we will work with our self-evaluation report in a completely different way.
After having read the self-evaluation reports from other accredited institutions, we have ascertained that our report needs to be more ‘rigid’ and exclude details that have not been requested. We also need to focus on clarifying our quality assurance process.
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
Manual: Standard Operating Procedure
The Veterinary Medicine programme was last evaluated in 2017 and 2018.