In 1888 the first Veterinary Board of Victoria was established under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1887. Although some amendments were made over the intervening years, large-scale change did not come until 110 years later with the introduction of the Veterinary Practice Act 1997 (the Act).
The main purposes of the Act are to protect the public by providing for the registration of veterinary practitioners and investigations into the professional conduct and fitness to practise of registered veterinary practitioners, and to establish the Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria (the Board) and the Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board Fund.
The Board consists of nine members nominated by the Minister and appointed by the Governor in Council for a three year period. Four members are registered veterinary practitioners, one is a registered veterinary practitioner employed by the University of Melbourne, one is a registered veterinary practitioner employed by the Crown, one is a lawyer and two are persons who are not veterinary practitioners. [See Members of the Board.]
Apart from the main purposes noted above the Board has the following functions and powers - to recognise qualifications and accredit courses of training; conduct of examinations to establish competency; and issue guidelines about appropriate standards of veterinary practice and veterinary facilities.The Board employs two full-time and four part-time permanent staff.