A letter from the president

Dear All,

For the past two days I have been representing our European College of Small Ruminant Health Management at the AGM of the European Board of Veterinary Specialists.  A large part of the meeting surrounded the work of the Quality Assurance Committee, who were responsible for reviewing our application for full recognition in minute detail.  The report on our college was positive in every single regard, and we were highly commended on aspects such as our commitment to resident training, the robustness of our policies and procedures, our website, and our strategic plan (for what it is worth, ours was the best of 9 reports by far!).  The QA committee’s recommendation was put to the Board of the EBVS, comprising of one representative from each of the 26 Colleges, who voted in support.

We are now fully recognised by the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation!

This is fantastic, not only because it allows eligible diplomates of the ECSRHM to use the European Veterinary Specialist title, but also because being an equal member of the EBVS will help us to promote and practice our speciality in accordance with our strategic plan:
The ECSRHM’s priority continues to be the achievement of excellence in education and clinical innovation across the discipline of small ruminant health management.  We have many successes to report in the certification of diplomates, residency training and bringing together specialists from around the world to address the fundamental challenge facing global food security through efficient small ruminant health management.  We also face challenges in setting common high certification standards, while accommodating different levels of expertise and priorities that are required in the practice of our specialty of small ruminant health management across Europe and around the world.

 Our vision is to further the advancement of veterinary expertise, knowledge and understanding in the field of small ruminant (specifically, sheep and goats) health management.  The central elements in support of this vision are:

To attract and educate the next generation of small ruminant veterinary specialists from a diverse range of backgrounds, and empower them to make a positive contribution to ensuring global food security and poverty alleviation through better small ruminant production efficiency. 

To act as an institution to qualify members of the veterinary profession as specialists in small ruminant health management, by establishing and describing the discipline and defining globally appropriate high standards.

To encourage our members to pursue original clinical and scientific investigations of small ruminant health management challenges, and contribute to the relevant literature.

To drive effective knowledge transfer and translation through interactions with national veterinary associations, farmers associations, government institutions and international agencies.

The exhaustive documentation and correspondence that resulted in our excellent application could not have been completed without the support of our fantastic dynamic Board.  Thank you!  Thanks are also owed to George Fthenakis for tirelessly pursuing his vision for our College over the past 13 years, culminating with his significant input to the preparation of our documentation.

For the remainder of Thursday and all of yesterday, the EBVS discussed several topics that are highly relevant to our College, ranging from governance to challenges and opportunities.  The topics included: insurance; fraud; standards setting in credentials and exams; funding of small colleges; national representation of the EBVS; recognition by stakeholders; promotion of the EBVS (being its 26 Colleges) in Eastern Europe; and data protection. Each of these topics is of direct relevance to our College, and will need to be discussed and actioned in the forthcoming months.

In the meantime, I hope to see at least some of you at our scientific meeting and AGM in Thessaloniki on 12th May.

Best wishes,

Neil