RULES AND REGULATIONS
Title 49--PROFESSIONAL AND VOCATIONAL STANDARDS
STATE BOARD OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
[49 PA. CODE CH. 31]
Examinations, Licensure, Fees
[30 Pa.B. 2583]
The State Board of Veterinary Medicine (Board) amends §§ 31.3, 31.11, 31.12 and 31.41 to replace the current uniform National examination for licensure, the National Board Examination (NBE) and the Clinical Competency Test (CCT), which will be administered for the final time on April 11--12, 2000, with the new uniform National examination; and to delete the requirement that applicants for licensure take the Pennsylvania Veterinary Legal Practice Examination (PVLPE). The NBE and CCT will be replaced with the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE), the uniform examination which will be required of applicants for licensure in the United States and Canada. The first administration of the NAVLE will be in late November-mid December, 2000.
Section 9 of the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act (63 P. S. § 485.9) (act) authorizes the Board to determine the license examinations to be required of applicants for licensure. Section 812.1 of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. § 279.3a) and section 9(b)(3) of the act provide that a National uniform examination may be used as the licensing examination. Section 5(6) of the act (63 P. S. § 485.5(6)), authorizes the Board to approve the qualifications of applicants for licensure.
Replacement of NBE and CCT with NAVLE
Public notice of intention to amend the regulations under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) (CDL), has been omitted as authorized under section 204(3) of the CDL (45 P. S. § 1204(3)), because the Board finds that these procedures are, under the circumstances, unnecessary. Public comment is unnecessary because the NAVLE is replacing the NBE and CCT as the uniform National licensing examination for veterinarians effective after the last administration of the NBE and CCT in April 2000. The NBE, CCT and NAVCLE are administered by the National Board Examination Committee for Veterinary Medicine.
The change in the examination will also effect a change in the fee for candidates taking the examination in § 31.41 (relating to schedule of fees). Section 812.1(b) of The Administrative Code of 1929 requires that the fee charged cover the entire cost of the examination. The current fees of $210 for the NBE and $185 for the CCT, or $350 if the tests are taken at one sitting, will be replaced with a single fee for the NAVLE of $325. Applicants will continue to register for the test directly with the National Board Examination Committee and pay the fee for the examination directly to that Committee.
Discontinuance of the PVLPE
Public comment regarding the deletion of the PVLPE is likewise unnecessary under section 204(3) of the CDL. Sometime before August 1988, the PVLPE requirement replaced a requirement that an applicant pass a practical or oral examination, or both. The requirement was proposed in a rulemaking published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, which noted that ''The Board has eliminated the oral examination and proposes to have reciprocal license applicants sit for its replacement, the Pennsylvania Legal Practice Exam.'' See 18 Pa.B. 3458, 3459 (August 6, 1988). The rule was made final upon publication at 19 Pa. B. 237 (January 21, 1989).
The PVLPE is a 1-hour examination consisting of 20 multiple choice questions based on the act. The purpose of the PVLPE is to assure that the applicant for licensure is somewhat familiar with the act which governs the practice of veterinary medicine in this Commonwealth. The exam is given in April and December of each year at the Commonwealth's Fort Washington, Pennsylvania exam site. Under current regulations, an applicant cannot be issued a permanent license until the applicant has taken and passed the exam.
Several problems regarding the PVLPE have become evident. First, as there is only one exam site, applicants for licensure may have the inconvenience and expense of driving in excess of 6 hours, plus overnight lodging in the Philadelphia area, or a 1 day round-trip flight. Second, depending on when they apply, applicants for licensure may have to wait up to 10 months between the date of their application and the date of the exam. The deadline to apply for the April examination is February 1. A candidate applying after February 1 would have to take the December examination.
The requirement is particularly onerous for licensees of other states who are seeking reciprocity in this Commonwealth. Under the current regulations, a licensee from another state is only entitled to reciprocal licensure if the licensee has practiced for 5 years immediately preceding application for licensure in this Commonwealth. These veterinarians may have to wait up to 10 months to obtain reciprocal licensure in this Commonwealth because of the delay in being able to schedule the PVLPE.
If a veterinarian licensed in a sister state wishes to practice in this Commonwealth pending passage of the PVLPE, the veterinarian must apply for a temporary permit. A temporary permit allows the veterinarian to practice only under the supervision of a current Pennsylvania licensee, even though the veterinarian may have been practicing independently for years in a sister state. In addition, if the veterinarian applies for the temporary permit but fails to submit the application to take the exam at the same time, per Board regulation, the temporary permit would automatically expire. The veterinarian would then have to begin the entire application process over and wait to take the PVLPE at its next scheduled administration. The Board has determined that requiring licensees of Pennsylvania's sister states to take the PVLPE does not promote the goals of the act.
The difficulties faced by applicants for licensure by the PVLPE requirement also burden the citizens of this Commonwealth, who are deprived the services of otherwise qualified veterinarians who must wait lengthy periods before they may practice in this Commonwealth, or who may be deterred from settling in this Commonwealth because of the onerous requirement. In contrast, the detriments which may result from eliminating the exam requirement are minimal, and may be further minimized by requiring applicants to verify that they have read the act and the Board's regulations as part of the process of applying for a Pennsylvania license. The proposed verification would ensure that applicants for original and reciprocal licensure are familiar with law governing the practice of veterinary medicine in this Commonwealth.
Finally, elimination of the PVLPE will effect a reduction in the fees paid for Pennsylvania licensure by eliminating the $87 charge for the examination in § 31.41. This section will be amended to reflect the deleted reference to the PVLPE.
Compliance with Executive Order 1996-1
The Board reviewed this rulemaking and considered its purpose and likely impact upon the public and the regulated population under Executive Order 1996-1, Regulatory Review and Promulgation. The final-omitted regulations address a compelling public interest as described in this Preamble and otherwise complies with Executive Order 1996-1.
These amendments are adopted under section 812.1 of The Administrative Code of 1929 and section 9 of the act.
Fiscal Impact and Paperwork Requirements
The amendments will have no fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. Candidates for licensure by examination will be required to take the current uniform National examination and will be required to pay the actual costs of the examination.
Under section 5.1(c) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(c)), on April 7, 2000, the Board submitted a copy of the rulemaking with proposed rulemaking omitted to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and to the Chairpersons of the House Professional Licensure Committee and the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. On the same date, the final-omitted rulemaking was submitted to Office of the Attorney General for review and approval under the Commonwealth Attorneys Act (71 P. S. §§ 732-101--732-506).
Under section 5.1(d) of the Regulatory Review Act, the the final-omitted rulemaking was deemed approved by the House and Senate Committees on April 27, 2000. Under section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC met on May 11, 2000, and approved the final-omitted rulemaking.
Individuals who desire information are invited to submit inquires to the Board Administrator, State Board of Veterinary Medicine, P. O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649, (717) 783-7134.
The Board finds that:
(1) Public notice of intention to amend the regulations adopted by this order under the procedures specified in sections 201 and 202 of the CDL has been omitted under the authority contained in section 204(3) of the CDL. The Board has, for good cause, found that the procedure specified in sections 201 and 202 of the CDL, is in this circumstance, unnecessary, because section 812.1 of The Administrative Code of 1929 permits the use of National uniform examinations and the National uniform examination for veterinary medicine will change after April 2000. In addition, the Board is authorized to determine licensure examinations and qualifications for licensure.
(2) Persons affected by the final-omitted rulemaking as adopted by this order have been given actual notice of the change in the uniform National examination for veterinary medicine and elimination of the PVLPE by the National Board Examination Committee, state boards or colleges of veterinary medicine in advance of final rulemaking under section 204(2) of the CDL.
(3) The amendment of the regulations of the Board in the manner provided in this order is necessary and appropriate for the administration of its authorizing statute.
The Board acting under its authorizing statute, orders that:
(a) The regulations of the Board, 49 Pa. Code Chapter 31, are amended by amending §§ 31.3, 31.11 31.12 and 31.41 to read as set forth in Annex A.
(b) The Chairperson of the Board shall submit this order and Annex A to the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality as required by law.
(c) The Chairperson of the Board shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.
(d) This order shall become effective immediately upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, and shall apply to examinations administered after April 12, 2000.
BRIAN V. HARPSTER, V.M.D.,
(Editor's Note: For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission relating to this document, see 30 Pa.B. 2688 (May 27, 2000).)
Fiscal Note: 16A-5710. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.
TITLE 49. PROFESSIONAL AND
PART I. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Subpart A. PROFESSIONAL AND
CHAPTER 31. STATE BOARD OF
§ 31.3. Examinations.
(a) The examination required as a prerequisite to original licensure as a veterinarian is the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE). The examination will be given at least annually and at other times deemed appropriate by the Board, in consultation with the National Board Examination Committee.
(b) Applications to take the licensing examinations, together with instructions for applicants, including deadlines for filing and paying fees, may be obtained from the Administrative Office of the Board by writing or telephoning the State Board of Veterinary Medicine, Post Office Box 2649, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105-2649, (717) 783-1389.
(c) Examination applications and the fee required by § 31.41 (relating to schedule of fees) shall be submitted directly to the professional testing organization designated by the Board at least 60 days prior to the examination date.
§ 31.11. Application for licensure.
(a) Application forms. Application forms for original or reciprocal licensure may be obtained from the Administrative Office of the Board by writing or telephoning the State Board of Veterinary Medicine, Post Office Box 2649, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105-2649, (717) 783-1389.
(b) Original licensure. As a prerequisite to original licensure as a veterinarian, an applicant shall submit the following documentation to the Board:
(1) Evidence of graduation from an approved school or college of veterinary medicine. The applicant's official transcript provided by the degree-granting institution or a verification of graduation from the degree-granting institution shall be evidence of graduation from an approved college of veterinary medicine. A graduate of a school or college of veterinary medicine outside of the United States and Canada shall submit certification by the American Veterinary Medical Association, Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates or another program which may subsequently be approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association as proof of graduation from an approved school or college of veterinary medicine.
(2) North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) results as furnished through a national examination grade reporting service. The Board will accept an applicant's grades from the National Board Examination (NBE) and Clinical Competency Test (CCT) examinations if taken within the last 5 years as furnished through a National examination grade reporting service in lieu of the NAVLE, if the applicant passed these examinations with a score equivalent to or higher than the passing score then prevailing in this Commonwealth.
(3) A letter of good standing from the licensure board of each state where the applicant has held a license to practice veterinary medicine, reporting the outcome of disciplinary actions taken against the applicant, if any, in that state.
(4) A statement from the applicant that the applicant has not been convicted of a felony under The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (35 P. S. §§ 780-101--780-144), or convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance in a court of law of the United States or any other state, territory or country unless the following apply:
(i) At least 10 years have elapsed from the date of conviction.
(ii) The applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to the Board that the applicant has made significant progress in personal rehabilitation since the conviction so that licensure of the applicant should not be expected to create a substantial risk of harm to the health and safety of patients or the public or a substantial risk of further criminal violations.
(iii) The applicant otherwise satisfies the qualifications contained in the act.
(c) Reciprocal licensure. An applicant for licensure by reciprocity who has held a valid license from another state and has been actively engaged in clinical practice in that state for 5 years immediately preceding application for licensure in this Commonwealth, may be granted a license to practice veterinary medicine in this Commonwealth after having paid the fee required by § 31.41 (relating to schedule of fees), and submitted the following documentation to the Board:
(1) An application form under subsection (a).
(2) A verification of clinical practice, completed by the applicant, describing in detail the applicant's clinical practice during the immediately preceding 5 years.
(3) A letter from the licensure board of the state wherein the applicant has been actively engaged in clinical practice during the immediately preceding 5 years, certifying 5 years of continued licensure in that state.
(4) Two certificates of recommendation from licensed veterinarians regarding the applicant's character and competence and attesting to the fact that the applicant has been in active clinical practice during the immediately preceding 5 years.
(5) A letter of good standing from each board office in which the applicant has held a license to practice veterinary medicine, reporting the outcome of disciplinary actions taken against the applicant, if any, in that state.
§ 31.12. Temporary permits.
(a) Original licensure. An applicant for original licensure who desires a temporary permit under section 10 of the act (63 P. S. § 485.10) may be granted a temporary permit to practice veterinary medicine upon graduation from an approved school or college of veterinary medicine, completion of an application form prescribed by the Board and payment of the fee required by § 31.41 (relating to schedule of fees). The applicant's official transcript provided by the degree-granting institution or a verification of graduation from the degree-granting institution shall be evidence of graduation from an approved school or college of veterinary medicine. A graduate of a school or college of veterinary medicine outside of the United States and Canada shall submit certification by the American Veterinary Medical Association, Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates or another program which may subsequently be approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association, as proof of graduation from an approved school or college of veterinary medicine.
(b) Reciprocal licensure. An applicant for reciprocal licensure who desires a temporary permit under section 10 of the act may be granted a temporary permit to practice veterinary medicine in this Commonwealth if the applicant completes an application form prescribed by the Board, pays the fee required by § 31.41, and otherwise meets the requirements of subsections (a) and (c) and section 10 of the act.
(c) Temporary permit holder limitations. A temporary permit holder shall be associated with a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine, shall limit his work to the practice of the licensed doctor of veterinary medicine and may not participate in any practice or operation of a branch office, clinic or allied establishment. The associating veterinarian shall be responsible for all veterinary activities of the temporary permit holder and shall be accessible to the temporary permit holder either by telephone or personal contact. When contact by telephone or personal contact is not possible as, for example, in the case of vacations or other travel, the associating veterinarian shall delegate the supervisory responsibilities to another licensed veterinarian. The associating veterinarian will continue to assume responsibility for the veterinary activities of the temporary permit holder in his absence. A temporary permit holder shall report to the next scheduled examination of the Board following the issuance of the temporary permit. The temporary permit shall expire on the day following the announcement of the grades of the first examination given after the temporary permit is issued.
§ 31.41. Schedule of fees.
An applicant for a license, certificate or service shall submit a payment at the time of the request under the following fee schedule:
Application for original, reactivated, reissued or reciprocal license $35 North American Veterinary Licensing Examination $325 Application for continuing education program approval $35 Verification of licensure $10 Temporary permit $55 Biennial renewal $105 Late renewal fee per month or part of month $5 Animal health technicians: Application for certification $35 Veterinary Technical National Examination (VTNE) (Effective January 1996) $125 Application for continuing education program approval $35 Verification of certification $10 Biennial renewal $30 Late renewal fee per month or part of month $5
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 00-882. Filed for public inspection May 26, 2000, 9:00 a.m.]
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