Maintenance of Credentials Summary
4 June 2020
Background behind the MOC program
The objectives of Maintenance of Credentials (MOC) requirements are to allow the individual to reflect on their personal knowledge and performance, commit to a process of improvement and re-evaluation, and promote engagement within their professional organisation. The overall result is to improve quality of the profession, which can be externally promoted and align with accrediting body requirements.
The introduction of a MOC program is required for the College to align itself with the standards set by international veterinary organisations. In addition, the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) has strongly suggested that MOC should be a requirement to ensure the ongoing quality of qualifications. This move will protect the ANZCVS qualifications from any allegations (real or perceived) of degeneration or reduction of quality, and is in line with New Zealand and other foreign jurisdictions. This is in line with all the veterinary registration bodies in Australia and New Zealand which currently require a minimum amount of CPD hours to be eligible for registration as a veterinarian annually.
At this time, no “Advanced Practitioner” status exists in Australia and New Zealand and participation in the ANZCVS MOC program will be applied prospectively to new Members from 2021. However, it is possible that if a middle status of veterinary professional is introduced, that Members may be required to meet MOC requirements if they wish to participate.
Who does the MOC apply to?
The MOC requirements will apply to all Members and Fellows who are awarded their qualifications from 2021 onwards. Existing Members may choose to participate in MOC on a voluntary basis. Compulsory MOC will be introduced for all Fellows from 2022, including retrospective inclusion. It should be noted that all members retain their post-nominals regardless of MOC status as long as they remain financial members.
MOC requirements consist of a designated number of hours per 5-year period which can be achieved through relevant practice in the discipline, ongoing learning and active involvement in the College. At the end of each 5-year period, each Member and Fellow must have met the MOC criteria to demonstrate that they have maintained their credentials or their Membership/Fellowship will be categorised as having an inactive MOC status. It is important to note that active/inactive status is not currently linked to general or specialist registration in Australia or New Zealand, however the AVBC will be notified if Fellows lapse in their active status.
The College would like to highlight to Members and Fellows that under no circumstance will you lose your post-nominals as long as you remain a financial member of the College. This is independent of each individual’s MOC status.The decision of the individual to participate in the MOC program needs to be considered in view of whether an inactive MOC status will impact on their professional life.
Pro-rata reductions in requirements
Pro-rata reductions in requirements have provided a lot of discussion. The College is highly supportive of its Members in both a personal and professional capacity and will consider all applications for consideration of pro-rata reduction whether they be due to health, parental or lifestyle factors.
The consideration of a pro-rata reduction is a generous allowance by the College and not represented in any other veterinary or human medical CPD requirements program. For example, if a human general practitioner (GP) wishes for their name to remain on Medicare Australia’s list of Recognised GP’s they need to meet the minimum CPD program requirements regardless of how little or how often they practice as a GP. This is also true of Australian and New Zealand Veterinary Surgeon’s Board Registration.
An example of how the pro-rata reduction may work is a Member who works part time and works 2 x 8-hour shift and 1 x 4-hour shift. This represents a 20-hour working week. The VeterinaryMA000118: Animal Care and Veterinary Services Award 2020 ordinary hours of work are stated as an average of 38 per week. Hence this Member works 53% of this time and would apply for a 47% pro rata reduction in the MOC requirements.
There is no minimum requirement specified per week that Members need to work. However, if any member is out of the workforce completely for <50% of the preceding 5 years, then application to the College should be made detailing the relevant circumstances, including when the member intends to return to their discipline activity. For example, if a Member takes 1.5 years off work due to medical issues and then returns to work for half the week for the next 3.5 years. This Member would apply to have their MOC assessed for the 3.5 years that they had been back in the workforce at 50% of the requirements.
As the MOC program is new to the College, at the end of the initial 5-year period (July 2026), the program will be reviewed and the relevance of requirements assessed. At this time:
- Any Member who has not met the requirements will be contacted to determine if the Member has grounds for pro-rata reduction or determine other factors involved in not achieving the requirements
- Chapters will be involved to review the MOC composition with relevance to their particular subjects
Completion of Criteria 3: Active involvement in the College/Chapter
In the past, Members have raised concerns about the feasibility of achieving criteria 3 which is active involvement in the College/Chapter. This has been allayed by reassuring Members that videoconferencing facilities will be made available for the College and Chapter annual general meetings (AGMs), attendance of which once every 5 years will fulfil this requirement. As an example of this, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the College and all AGMs for 2020 will be held online via Zoom.
Personal discussions on circumstances
If you have any questions about the MOC program or need assistance in determining how it would reflect your own personal circumstances, please contact Project Officer, Dr Rachel Tan, directly via email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the College office on +61 7 3423 2016.