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Guide for Sponsors

Each candidate seeking entry to the ECVP by examination must be supported by a Sponsor.

Sponsor, Supervisor and Programme Director may be the same individual (see also The Guidance Document under the section Residency Training)

The Sponsor will be responsible for the training received by a potential ECVP member, in providing guidance and support during the training period, and in determining the point at which the candidate has accumulated sufficient experience and expertise in Veterinary Pathology to be judged ready to sit the entrance examination to the ECVP.

The Sponsor must be a member of ECVP (or ACVP) and, ideally, should be the person most responsible for the candidates training. He/she/they must be in a position to certify that the appropriate training has been followed and that the candidate is ready, in terms of expertise and experience acquired, to sit the examination.

Sponsorship of a candidate is not to be taken lightly since sponsorship is one of the principle factors which the ECVP Council takes into account when judging whether a candidate is ready to sit the exam.

The final decision on eligibility to sit the exam will be taken by the Examination Applications Committee of the ECVP.

From the above it can be appreciated that the Sponsor will play a crucial role in assuring ECVP Council of the suitability of a candidate to sit the ECVP Exam, in terms of competence, expertise and preparedness.

Sponsors will therefore be instrumental in ensuring that only candidates of the highest calibre are considered for entry to the College and that the status of the College and its exam are set and maintained.

Sponsors should therefore be familiar with the highest standards of competence in veterinary pathology and be prepared to actively support and promote the aims of the College

In order to guide Sponsors in assessing whether a candidate is ready to sit the exam the following criteria must be considered:

General requirements of the Board Examination

The general requirements to sit the Board Exam are that the eligible candidate must:

  1. have satisfactory standing in the profession
  2. be qualified to practice veterinary medicine in Europe, or present evidence of veterinary education and training which, in the judgement of the Council of ECVP, is an equivalent qualification;
  3. have completed an “internship” of a minimum of 12 months (i.e. minimum 12 months of veterinary work relevant to pathology) subsequent to graduation as a veterinarian
  4. have completed at least THREE years, subsequent to the internship of supervised and registered training (registered training centres) in veterinary pathology. Acceptable supervised training is that directed by a Diplomate of the ECVP (or in absence of an EBVS-recognised specialist, DACVP) and carried out in a registered programme that trains veterinary pathologists as one of its primary functions.
  5. if either the supervisor is not a Diplomate or the programme does not train veterinary pathologists as one of its primary functions, then an approved alternative (or alternate) programme is required. The total length of this programme cannot be shorter than the standard (regular) training programme and must not exceed six years. A resident on an alternative training programme must spend the equivalent of at least 60% of 3 years working in the field of veterinary pathology, under direct supervision of a Diplomate of the ECVP or ACVP. There is also the option of a combined on site-off site training to fulfil the requirements.

The candidate must publish, as first author or co-author, at least two original papers (in English) in the broad field of veterinary pathology in peer-reviewed journals of international repute. A thesis or monograph will not be accepted as a publication. One of the two papers must have been accepted by the time of application to take the ECVP certifying exam (01 August of the year prior to the examination). A second manuscript at least has to be under review at the time of application. In cases where the second paper has not been accepted prior to the examination (01 February) and the candidate passes the examination, the candidate will only be declared and registered as Diplomate of the ECVP once providing proof that the second paper is accepted. Acceptance of the second publication needs to be confirmed no later than 6 months after 1st of February of the same year (31 July). In case the second publication is not accepted before the 31st of July of the year taking the exam, initial credentials will not be validated and therefore the candidate will have to resit the whole exam.

Training Programmes

To be eligible to sit the examination the candidate must have participated in a Veterinary Pathology Training Programme as described by the ECVP in its information brochure.

The purpose of the programme is to allow graduate veterinarians to acquire in-depth knowledge of veterinary pathology and its supporting disciplines under the supervision and guidance of a Diplomate of the ECVP (or ACVP) (a REGULAR training programme) or in a selected ALTERNATIVE training programme.

These terms are further defined in the ECVP General Information Brochure.

The Sponsor must be in a position to judge whether the candidate has achieved a standard in attainment of the objectives of the training programme and therefore has a realistic chance of passing the entrance examination.

The standard required is that the candidate has demonstrated
  1. aptitude and proficiency in the science and practice of veterinary pathology
  2. that he/she is in a position to pursue a career in teaching, research and/or diagnostic veterinary pathology
  3. that he/she is capable of advancing veterinary pathology through the promotion of research and publication.

This standard should be achievable, for a good candidate in an optimum training and learning environment with adequate support from Sponsor and other Diplomates of ECVP, after ONE year of internship and THREE years in a full-time standard training programme or minimum 1 + 3 years / maximum 6 years in an ALTERNATIVE (or Alternate) training programme.
If any of these factors is less than optimal then it is expected that the period will be longer.

The breadth of veterinary pathology in which the candidate should have demonstrated these qualities to the sponsor includes
  1. surgical pathology prosection and histopathology
  2. carrying out necropsy prosection and histopathology
  3. drafting written pathology reports for review by residency supervisor(s)
  4. providing a diagnostic service and prompt professional communication
  5. acquiring and using skills in disease investigation and problem solving
  6. preparing original work for publication
  7. understanding disease mechanisms at a molecular, cellular, organ and whole animal level
  8. understanding the pathologies which occur in a variety of animal species in natural and experimental disease and in safety evaluation toxicology
  9. communicating effectively and productively with veterinarians and scientists from disciplines which use, require or may benefit from pathology expertise.

For more information on residency training and the registration of residency training centres with the ECVP, see the guidance document below.

  Guidance Document - Residency Training (122.9 KiB, 124 hits)


Last Updated: December 29th, 2022