Prior to opening a new facility or practice, or if the facility or practice has moved, renovated, or intends to expand its scope of practice since the last practice inspection, a practice inspection is required and permission to open must be obtained from the Practice Facility Accreditation Committee (PFAC) as conveyed through the practice inspector.
To prepare and arrange for a practice inspection, the DR is required to review the bylaws, Part 3 – Accreditation and Naming and Schedule ‘D’ – Accreditation Standards, and to submit an Application for Practice Facility Accreditation ($350 + GST) and a Practice Facility Self-Assessment Form to the CVBC.
The DR is advised to provide their ‘Application for Practice Facility Accreditation’ (and all supporting materials and associated fees) to the CVBC approximately 4-6 weeks prior to their anticipated opening date. The office will review the submitted materials and advise if anything further is required.
Only after all application requirements are received (including confirmation of occupation permit/business license) will the office proceed with scheduling an inspection. Timing of the inspection will be subject to inspector availability and necessary travel arrangements, and can further be impacted by weather conditions and other factors.
Following the inspection, the office will share the inspector’s report with the Practice Facility Accreditation Committee Panel. Provisional Approval to Operate must be received from the Panel before the facility is allowed to open to the public – this can take up to 10 business days.
The bylaws, Part 3 – Accreditation and Naming, s. 3.4 (1) requires every facility or practice to have a DR, whose duties are prescribed in s.3.6 and who is responsible to the CVBC for the delivery of veterinary services through the practice or facility, and for its’ advertising.
A DR for a general practice must be a registrant with Private Practice (PP) class of registration. A specialty/specialist practice must have a DR with applicable Diplomate Status as defined in the bylaws, Part 2 – Registration, but may be registered in either Private Practice (PP) or Specialty Private Practice (SPP) classes.
A suspended registrant cannot be the DR.
A facility or practice must not continue to operate without a DR.
The Fee for a market name, or market name change, is $ 300.00 (+ GST).
The Veterinarians Act, s. 47 (2) (b), ‘Prohibitions regarding registration and use of titles’ and the bylaws, Part 3 – Accreditation and Naming, s. 3.23, ‘Definitions’ provides the authority for the CVBC to regulate the “use of a name” in any advertising, representation of a name such as on a sign or signage, or a bank account.
The bylaws, s. 3.24 (1), ‘Application for Facility or Practice Name’ and s. 3.25 (2), ‘Requirements’ provides authority to the Registrar to approve a facility or practice name, or name change, that is submitted by a CVBC registrant ‘in good standing’ as defined in the bylaws, Part 1 – Governance.
Specific requirements regarding the use of ‘Specialty’/’Specialist’, ‘After hours’, ‘Hospital’, ‘Emergency’, ‘Mobile’, ‘Ambulatory’, ‘Housecall’, or ‘Consulting’ in a facility or practice name are included in the bylaws, Part 3 – Accreditation and Naming, s. 3.26, ‘Restrictions’.
An important consideration under the bylaws, s. 3.26 (2), ‘Restrictions’ relates to misleading market names: A registrant must not allow a facility or practice to directly or indirectly lead the public to conclude that the practice or facility practice offers a veterinary service unless it does so. For example: it is important for a facility or practice that includes ‘Hospital’, ‘Clinic’ or ‘Service’ in its’ name to provide the client with a thorough description of care to be provided and when staff will be present prior to initiating treatment in the facility or practice when an animal is kept overnight.
If the Registrar denies a facility or practice name, or name change, the bylaws, s. 3.24(1), ‘General requirements’, allows the applying registrant to appeal the Registrar’s decision to Council without charge.
Until a facility or practice name, or name change, is approved a Registrant must not display an unapproved facility or practice name by any means of advertising/promotion or by any other means of representation such as may include a business cheque or through electronic media such as an email address, Facebook page, etc.
The word ‘Locum’ is defined in the bylaws, Part 3 – Accreditation and Naming, s. 3.1 (9), and means a registrant who provides veterinary services on a contract basis to another registrant, from or within an accredited practice facility. A veterinarian working on a contract or locum basis may wish to register a business name with BC Registry Services. The CVBC will review requests for locum name approvals submitted by active CVBC registrants. Approval of a locum name only permits the veterinarian to use that name for the purpose of invoicing and receiving payment for locum services provided to another veterinarian as an employee of the veterinarian’s practice facility.
By its nature, a ”Locum” is not a type of practice or practice facility. It does not require inspection and accreditation by the CVBC. Despite CVBC approval of a locum business name, a locum must not provide or offer to provide veterinary services independent of an accredited practice facility.
BC Registry will require CVBC approval of any name that includes reference to veterinary medicine before they will officially register the name. To consider a request to approve a locum name to be registered with BC Registry as a sole proprietorship, the CVBC will require a completed Locum Name Application Form, accompanied by BC Registry’s Name Request document, but there is no fee required for an application to the CVBC for approval of a locum name. [any business name that is being registered with BC Registry as a corporation, regardless of intent for use, must seek Corporate Name Approval from the CVBC – see next section]
The CVBC will permit a registrant in “good standing” to incorporate a facility or practice name, or to incorporate a name that includes the word “veterinary”, or other words or phrases in its name that connotes the provision of animal health care or veterinary services and which is not a facility or practice.
The fee to incorporate is $ 200.00 (+GST).
Incorporation does not protect the registrant or the practice/parent company against any liabilities or responsibilities laid out by Veterinarians Act, Bylaws or Regulations.
The continuing use of a previously approved facility or practice name is addressed in the bylaws, s. 3.27, ‘Previously approved names’: A registrant whose facility or practice name was approved under former bylaws may continue with the use of that name and may transfer the facility or practice name to a new owner, who is required to comply with the bylaw provisions relating to facility and practice names as amended from time to time.
Both permanent and temporary closure of a practice facility must be reported to the CVBC. The necessary steps for closing a practice facility are discussed in the Practice Facility Closure Protocol and Rules . Additionally, the Closed Practice Record Retention Guidelines reviews the responsibilities of the Designated Registrant regarding the management of the facility’s medical records and the rights of clients to access their records promptly.
The Designated Registrant must submit the completed Medical Record Location Form to the CVBC, including the date of closure or temporary closure.