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The foundation meeting of EAEVE

took place on May 27 1988.  This paper by Prof. Bernard TOMA reviews the situation prevailing at the time of the foundation



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28 May 2019, Zagreb

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29 May 2019, Zagreb

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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New EU Legislation in the form of Directive 2005/36/EU repealed the original Directives and realigned the requirements for Veterinary Training.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 Establishments were further growing with a clear interest to the European System of Evaluation of Veterinary Training from several Establishments outside Europe. An SOP Working Group was set up to review the SOP. EAEVE had applied for membership in the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and EAEVE became an Affiliate member of ENQA. The Statutes were amended in order to further encourage Establishments to undergo visitation.


2015 was a milestone for EAEVE with the celebration of the 30 years of the ESEVT.

A Strategic Plan 2015-2020 and SWOT analysis were developed. The Plan established a clear vision for EAEVE to become a more effective and competitive accrediting body of veterinary training with official recognition at European level. To promote transparency, a holistic and thorough list of the EAEVE Establishments’ Status was endorsed by the ExCom. In line with the ENQA recommendations, the Coordinators’ group launched an E-learning course to ensure the appropriate training of experts participating in evaluation visitations.

In order to propose recommendations for improvement of ESEVT in general and of veterinary education in Europe in particular and to identify the main challenges for the future, a System Wide Analysis of the ESEVT 2011-15 was developed.

The EAEVE members and stakeholders took an active role in the revision of the SOP 2012, which eventually was unanimously approved in May 2016 by the EAEVE General Assembly (in Uppsala) and by the FVE board. The SOP 2016 is a document of consensus on important minimum standards of quality and is closer to the procedures and standards of other cross-national peer assessment bodies (AVBC, AVMA, RCVS). The SOP 2016 also seeks to simplify procedures while following the Standards and Guidelines for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG 2015). To encourage and support members in achieving the standards of quality defined by the ESEVT, EAEVE organised a QA seminar for its ESEVT QA experts as well as a QA training course for the EAEVE member Establishments in each of the eight Regions. The increasing confidence on ESEVT is evident through the growing number of accreditation visitations to Veterinary Education Establishments in Europe and beyond.

To facilitate the ENQA external review in November 2017, a Self-Assessment Report (SAR) had been prepared. The SAR represents the results of intensive reflection on the internal functioning of EAEVE and its constituent committees, especially concerning the functioning of ESEVT.

For the first time, official requests for ESEVT Visitations have arisen from Russia and from several non European countries, e.g. Egypt, Japan, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia. 



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).