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American College of Veterinary Pathologists
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Madison, WI 53704

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Early View Newsletter Article

In the last newsletter, the 2012-2017 ACVP Strategic Plan was introduced.  That document offers a roadmap of key issues to address during the next 5 years to remain a progressive and forward-looking organization that serves the needs of its members, especially during times of substantial change. The following is the ACVP 2012-2017 Strategic Plan Overview.
Implementation Plan

  • Actions are to be accomplished over the next 5 years, 2012-2017.
  • Committees and task forces can determine prioritization, method of implementation, and resources needed.
  • Each committee and task force, and its Council liaison, will report progress to Council.

Strategic Goal 1: Uphold the high standards of veterinary pathology by advancing ACVP certification as the premier credential in the field of veterinary pathology.


  1. Create organizational structure and create Examination Board
  2. Conduct a cut-score analysis
  3. Revise examination format using new technologies and accreditation standards
  4. Develop SOPs for role delineation-based mapping of examination questions 
  5. Modernize the examination question databases
  6. Update Examination Committee SOP and proctor recruitment SOP
  7. Implement a phased, 2-part certifying examination
  8. Improve the website for the certifying examination process

Success Indicators:  

  • Certifying examination and process more compatible with NCCA accreditation standards
  • Streamlined and more efficient preparation of the certifying examination
  • Wider pool of proctors for the Examination Committee
  • Initiation of a 2-part certifying examination.
  • Updated credentialing process that allows sponsors to acknowledge candidates’ competency in non-testable areas of pathology

Strategic Goal 2: Support and create opportunities for life-long learning


  1. Use Annual Meeting and other educational programs to foster life-long learning
  2. Use Veterinary Pathology to foster life-long learning
  3. Use ACVP website and new technologies to foster life-long learning
  4. Develop new educational tools to foster life-long learning
  5. Develop Maintenance of Certification (MOC) plan, including guidelines for documentation

Success Indicators:   

  • Increased awareness and engagement of members in ACVP-sponsored life-long learning
  • Creation of a feasible system that documents member life-long learning
  • Creation of an MOC program that is acceptable to members and the ABVS
  • Greater attendance at the ACVP/ASVCP Annual Meeting and/or meeting workshops by ACVP members
  • Establishment of interactive on-line learning tools in conjunction with Veterinary Pathology
  • Development of workshops or on-line teaching materials for ACVP members by C.L. Davis Foundation, or other societies or groups

Strategic Goal 3:  To promote a uniformly high-level of training on the broad range of veterinary pathology competencies, including those that are tested and those that are non-testable


  1. Identify better ways to use the ACVP/ASVCP annual meeting, Veterinary Pathology, website, and other resources to enhance training opportunities
  2. Promote a Training Program Communication Network to enhance inter-program communication and resources
  3. Clarify trainer responsibilities to verify competence and examination eligibility of their trainees
  4. Refine guidelines for attributes not currently tested on the certifying examination (see Strategic Goal 1).
  5. Develop recommendations for recruitment of high quality trainees
  6. Identify resources for professional development for trainers and mentors

Success Indicators:   

  • Documented and applied method for assessing skills needed by veterinary pathologists that are not assessed by the certifying examination
  • Increased involvement of trainers in assuring trainee preparedness for the certifying examination
  • Increased sharing of resources between training programs
  • Completion of a supply/demand survey
  • Applications for training programs remain highly competitive
  • The ACVP examination maintains high standards and has a high pass rate
  • Online activity for reviewing training materials increases
  • Online training material content increases
  • Previously “non-testable” attributes become testable 
  • Existence and utilization of externships for trainees increase in all practice areas
  • Increased opportunities for trainees to obtain bench research and diagnostic assay application experience
  • Evidence that collaborations, policies, and resource development to assist candidate readiness are improving

Strategic Goal 4: Foster domestic and international strategic partnerships


  1. Establish relationships with other organizations to promote high quality education in veterinary pathology
  2. Create guidelines to establish relationships with pathology organizations in other countries using corps of member ambassadors
  3. Create more efficient mechanisms for interaction and communication with key pathology partners, such as ASVCP, STP, ASIP, others
  4. Explore international alliances and survey international societies to identify areas of mutual interest
  5. Network with other AVMA Recognized Veterinary Specialty Organizations to identify common issues
  6. Establish an annual meeting rotation between International Colleges/Societies to be held during ACVP, ECVP, or other annual meetings

Success Indicators:  

  • More formal interaction with the C.L. Davis Foundation to promote global pathology education
  • Creation of focused groups of members who serve as international ambassadors to other veterinary pathology organizations
  • Increased communication with our key partners
  • Expansion of the global outreach of Veterinary Pathology
  • Ongoing annual discussion between international Colleges and Societies of veterinary pathology
  • Increased attendance at annual meetings by members of partner organizations
  • Increased communications with other AVMA Recognized Veterinary Specialty Organizations

Strategic Goal 5: Enhance communications to engage membership and to improve visibility and impact of the College and veterinary pathology within the veterinary profession, scientific community, and the public

1. Create mechanisms for increased member involvement
2. Facilitate SOPs for recruitment, chair succession, and member rotation for all standing committees
3. Explore international alliances for Veterinary Pathology
4. Use the annual meeting, other educational programs to foster communications, visibility, and member relations
5. Use Veterinary Pathology to foster communications, visibility, and member relations
6. Use website, new technologies to foster communications, visibility, and member relations.
7. Enhance the scientific mission and impact factor of Veterinary Pathology
8. Enhance the teaching and diagnostic missions of Veterinary Pathology
9. Conduct workforce analysis to update employer needs and employment opportunities

Success Indicators:

  • Sponsoring specific events to increase member involvement.
  • Greater involvement of members of the College in activities of the College
  • Increased requests by members for placement on committees or task forces
  • Increased subscriptions
  • Increased impact factor
  • Media metrics (media hits, website traffic, # of articles)

This article will be printed in the September 2012 ACVP Newsletter.