Highlights from VCNZ's May 2020 meeting

24 June 2020

VCNZ Chair, Dr Lindsay Burton, shares a summary of the Council's last meeting.

The Council normally meets in person 4 times per year. Like everyone, we have had to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic and so we met by videoconference.

At every meeting, we hear from our Finance and Risk Committee which helps us ensure that the organisation is running responsibly and remains financially sound. This meeting saw us reviewing recent accounts and checking on preparations for VCNZ's annual financial audit.

We also received a report from our Professional Standards Committee, which is hard at work reviewing the Animal Welfare section of the Code of Professional Conduct. They are making good progress on this and we expect to share the details of the review and any changes with the profession later in 2020. Input from the profession is always welcome and, if you would like to provide any, please feel free to contact the VCNZ team.

We discussed VCNZ's work with the staff team and some highlights are:

  • We gave the go-ahead for the team to start work on a VCNZ wellbeing strategy (with support from external experts) to help guide our work in this area and ensure that we deliver useful resources for the profession that lines up with our legal mandate.
  • We asked the team to prepare a business case for further research on veterinary telemedicine including research on veterinarians' experience with it during the lockdown.
  • We discussed and fed back on a draft communications strategy which aims to set the stage for improving the way we communicate with the profession and other stakeholders.
  • We saw the first results of a new initiative to have a selection of our complaints cases reviewed externally to make sure the process is fair, efficient and effective.
  • We made a preliminary decision on changes to the CPD system which will now be shared with the profession for comment. This is just our initial view and we will not make any final decisions until after hearing from the profession. Overall, we expect to see a simpler, more effective system that delivers a better experience for veterinarians.

We also discussed our work with the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council Inc, which is a forum for collaboration between all of the Australian veterinary regulators and VCNZ.

This is only a brief summary of our meeting and, if you would like to know more about VCNZ's work, of this meeting in particular, please reach out to us and we'll do our best to help.