Guidelines of the Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria
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Guideline 22 - Incitement to commit unprofessional conduct

This guideline outlines the appropriate standard expected of a registered veterinary practitioner in the course of veterinary practice. It should be read in conjunction with other related guidelines.

Context to Guideline 22: Incitement to commit unprofessional conduct

A veterinary practitioner is solely responsible for their own actions and judgements.

A person who employs a veterinary practitioner, whether they themselves are a registered veterinary practitioner or not, must not direct or incite the veterinary practitioner to act contrary to the provisions of the Veterinary Practice Act 1997 or any legislation regulating veterinary practice.

Following the direction of an employer or animal owner is not a defence against an allegation of unprofessional conduct where a veterinary practitioner knowingly allows their professional judgement, integrity, discretion, conduct or behaviour to be compromised.

Professional conduct under this guideline is demonstrated by the following:
22.1 A veterinary practitioner ensures that their professional integrity, discretion, conduct or delivery of veterinary services is not compromised by the actions or directions of any other individual in any matter requiring the application of their professional knowledge and skills.
22.2 A veterinary practitioner does not incite their professional peers, veterinary team members or members of the public to do or omit to do an act which is inconsistent with legislation, codes and standards (including the standards in these Guidelines).

Related guidelines

Related legislation

Date of publication
In effect from 1 May 2021.

This material is current only at the time of publication and may be changed from time to time. The Board reviews and updates the Guidelines on a continuous basis to reflect changes in the science and knowledge base underpinning contemporary veterinary practice. The Board will take reasonable steps to inform the veterinary profession when such updates are released but it remains the responsibility of the individual veterinary practitioner to ensure that their knowledge and application of these Guidelines to their own practice is current.

While the Board has made every effort to ensure that the material in these Guidelines is correct in law, it shall not be liable to any veterinary practitioner or any other person or entity in relation to any claim, action or proceeding whatsoever (whether in contract, negligence or other tort or in proceedings seeking any other form of legal or equitable remedy or relief) for any inadequacy, error or mistake, or for any deficiency in the whole or any part of this document (including any updates incorporated in the document from time to time). A veterinary practitioner or any other person or entity acting upon the contents of this document acknowledges and accepts that this is the basis upon which the Board has produced these Guidelines and made them available to such person or entity.