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History of the European System of Evaluation of Veterinary Training (ESEVT)

Brief History, Concept and Function



The Evaluation System was conceived as a peer assessment programme and was started and financed (1985-1993) by the European Commission on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Veterinary Training (ACVT). At the time, the legislation governing basic veterinary training in European Union Member Countries (Directives 8/1026 & 1027/EEC) laid down minimum compulsory requirements.


A Pilot Study was made using visits to Utrecht, Cambridge, Liège, Hanover, Copenhagen, Dublin, Alfort, Milan, León, Thessaloniki and Lisbon as reference examples.


The ACVT decided to recommend that a permanent system be set up. This was done with the development of a detailed document on Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), but the European Commission, as a result of extreme budgetary constraints, asked the EAEVE to set up and run the system on a self-financing basis in 1994.


The ACVT was disbanded by the European Commission and the Joint Education Committee of EAEVE and FVE (JEC) was formed. At the same time a revised SOP was introduced.


A further change to the Standard Operating Procedures was agreed.


New EU Legislation in the form of Directive 2005/36/EU repealed the original Directives and realigned the requirements for Veterinary Training.


Completely reworked Standard Operating Procedures were agreed and the major change was the separation into Stage 1, where the evaluation  assesses whether an establishment conforms with Directive 2005/36 and, if so, recommends “Approval”  and Stage 2, where the    evaluation assesses that the establishment is following the generally accepted and appropriate academic standards and provides learning opportunities of acceptable quality, if so, recommends “Accreditation”.
The Joint Education Committee of EAEVE and FVE (JEC) was renamed the European Committee on Veterinary Education (ECOVE).


There were some minor changes in the SOP and the number of the visited and approved schools have been continuously growing. The European System of Evaluation of Veterinary Training has become widely accepted in the veterinary community, which facilitated more and more schools to undergo an evaluation. The first Stage 2 evaluation was carried out in 2009 and since that time the demand for Stage 2 evaluation is growing.


The number of evaluated schools has been further growing, and there is a clear interest to the European System of Evaluation of Veterinary Training from several schools outside Europe. An SOP Working Group was set up to evaluate and update the current SOP. EAEVE applied for Associate Membership in the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and EAEVE became an Affiliate of ENQA.


Briefly, the concept is one of an internal European professional peer evaluation system of veterinary educational establishments.


The basic detailed procedures are set out in the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).