Annual Report 2022-23
On 1 November 2023, Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence reported receipt of the Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria's annual report to the Parliament of Victoria.
The report contains an overview of the Board’s operations and finances for the 2022-23 financial year.
At 30 June 2023, there were 3,906 veterinary practitioners on the Register of Veterinary Practitioners, an increase of 3.31% from the previous year. During the year, the Board granted general, specific or specialist registration to 417 veterinary practitioners.
The 9-member Board managed 84 investigation matters and held 12 disciplinary hearings. The Board's focus is on being a compassionate, effective and proactive regulator. Recognising poorer levels of psychological wellbeing in a workforce facing personnel shortages, increased animal ownership and cost of living pressures affecting the affordability of veterinary care, during the reporting year we considered the impact of our own processes. We reviewed our complaint handling process with a view to minimising stress on veterinary practitioners who are the subject of complaints and investigations. We introduced a broader range of contemporary regulatory tools to address professional conduct by veterinary practitioners that may have fallen short of acceptable standards. These tools included entering into written agreements with or accepting undertakings from practitioners to take positive action to prevent conduct from reoccurring, e.g., completing further education and training and/or developing and implementing practice protocols, policies and procedures. We looked at the timing of communications with complaint parties, and whether information could be collected earlier to identify issues and risks.
Other Board activities undertaken in the reporting year included a fee review and consultation, digitisation initiatives to improve registration processes, and assistance with government emergency animal disease response preparations.
The reporting year was one of stability in the Board and management team. We worked to restore our finances to health through prudent financial management, and our financial performance improved during the reporting period due to lower legal costs, a stabilised workforce and process improvements.
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