Amended at the Annual General Meeting, September 22nd 2017 General Assembly (Annual General Meeting [AGM])
Article 1 1.1. It is the duty of every active Diplomate to attend the AGM at least once every three years. If the active Diplomate has not attended the AGM for three consecutive years without previous dispensation of the Executive Committee, the registration as active Diplomate ceases by default (and he/she will become a non-practising Diplomate).
1.2. The General Assembly is the senior legislative body of the College and has the following duties: a) Determining and updating the Constitution, Bylaws and Policy and Procedures b) Election of the Officers and Auditors. - Election of the Officers shall be by written ballot at the AGM or by electronic vote. - Written nominations must be received by the Secretary at least two months prior to the AGM. Alternatively, nominations may be made by a call from the floor. c) Action on the auditor's report. d) Formal approval of the business conducted by the Board during the preceding year. e) Action on business, presented by the Board or as required by the Constitution. f) Establish membership dues for the forthcoming year. g) Expulsion of Diplomates. h) Other business Membership
Section 2.1. Founding Diplomates were: (1) Invited specialists Invited by the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation (EBVS) on nomination of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition (ESVCN) upon the following criteria: • to be initiators of Veterinary Nutrition in Europe • having contributed substantially to the development of Veterinary Nutrition in Europe by research, publications, and lectures • to be uncontroversial for the majority of ESVCN members • being a member of the ESVCN, and residential in Europe • having at least 10 years of experience in their specialisation and spending at least 60 per cent of their time in their profession with a possible overlap to related specialities • being recognised, where applicable, as a specialist in their specialisation at national level. (2) Further specialists appointed de facto have been appointed by the Invited Specialists to become founding Diplomates The de facto appointed founding Diplomates fulfilled the following criteria: • to be initiators of Veterinary Nutrition in Europe • they have at least 8 years of experience in their specialisation • they spend at least 60 percent of their time in their speciality with a possible overlap to related specialities, whether overlap is accepted as such will be decided by the appropriate committees of ECVCN • are author of significant publications (original scientific articles in refereed journals preferably in English) • they have presented original work at scientific meetings • they are members of the ESVCN • they are recognised, where applicable, as a specialist in their specialisation at national level. Selection was made on basis of a submitted CV including the above-mentioned criteria, and also indicating how the candidates have achieved their expertise. Members of ESVCN fulfilling these requirements were invited to apply for de facto registration by means of a personal letter outlining the above-mentioned requirements. Application for de facto recognition is possible for up to three years after the legal registration of the constitution of the College.
Section 2.2 Diplomate: A Diplomate is a veterinarian who is certified as a specialist in nutrition by the College recognised by the EBVS, and, if practising, is entitled to be awarded by the EBVS the title of European Specialist in Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. Diplomate status at more than one College is allowed; however, registration as a European Veterinary Specialist is limited to one speciality from the EBVS.
Section 2.3 Retired Diplomate: A Diplomate who voluntarily stops permanently and irrevocably practising is entitled to Retired Diplomate status. Retired Diplomates maintain all privileges of Diplomates including advisory tasks, except the right to vote (unless they pay fees) or hold office. They are excluded from article 4, sections 3, 4 and 6 of the Constitution of the ECVCN. A Retired Diplomate is not allowed to use the title European Specialist nor Diplomate but may use the title Diplomate (Retired). The Retired Diplomate is removed from the EBVS specialist register. Section
2.4 Non-Practising Diplomate: A Diplomate who (a) has not practised the speciality for two continuous years or the equivalent of two years during the previous five years, and/or (b) who has not fulfilled the recertification requirements, and/or (c) who has not participated actively or has been repeatedly unexcused absent or has not attended an AGM for three years without previous dispensation from the College. The non-practising and the expelled Diplomate is removed from the EBVS specialist register. A non-practising Diplomate is authorised to use the designation ‘Diplomate (non-practising)’ but an expelled Diplomate is not allowed to use the Diplomate title anymore. A non-practising Diplomate seeking to revert to full Diplomate status needs to satisfy the requirements set by Credentials Committee of the College. Section
2.5 Honorary members Honorary Member is a status conferred on a person who has made an exceptional contribution to the specialty. A nomination for Honorary Member status requires the proposal of two Diplomates of good standing and an election with a two-thirds majority at an AGM. Honorary Members, who are ECVCN-Diplomate, shall have all the rights and privileges of Diplomates. Honorary Members who are not ECVCN Diplomate, shall have all the rights and privileges of Diplomates except the right to vote and hold office. The College can have up to 5% of its membership composed of Honorary Members. Section
2.6 Associate Members Associate Members are scientists who have contributed significantly to research in Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition and can become Associate Members of the College. Admission criteria for Associate Members are defined by the Executive Committee of the College. These criteria have to ascertain that only scientists of international repute who are active in the field covered by the college are admitted as Associate Members. Associate Members are not conferred any diplomas and are not entitled to use the designation of Diplomate. Associate Members are encouraged to participate in the training of residents together with Diplomates of the College. Associate Members are not entitled to act as resident supervisors without a Diplomate responsible for the training program. Associate Members are not allowed to hold office within the College or to vote at the AGM. They can be co-opted to College committees as advisors. Associate Members are encouraged to participate in scientific meetings and workshops organised by the College. Associate Members are not allowed to advertise their title. Associate Members have to be member of the ESVCN Section
2.7 Re-certification. The Diplomate is required to send in each 5 years a summary of his/her professional activities. The format of this summary has to be approved of by the EBVS. The summaries will be evaluated by the Credentials Committee of the ECVCN. If a Diplomate does not meet the required number of points, they can be given one year extra in which to achieve at least the number of missing points. If they succeed, they will then be re-evaluated four years from the end of the extra year. If they do not succeed, or if any Diplomate does not submit re-certification documents, they will be made non-practising Diplomates by their College, removed from the EBVS specialist register, and may only use the title of Diplomate (non-practising). A non-practising Diplomate seeking to revert to full Diplomate status needs to satisfy the Credentials Committee of the College. Officers Duties of officers
Section 3.1. President The President shall preside at the meetings of the College, preserve order, regulate debates, appoint Committees not otherwise provided for, announce results of elections and perform all other duties legitimately appertaining to his/her office.
Section 3.2. Past-President The Past-President of the College shall be Chairperson of the Fiscal Committee.
Section 3.3. Vice-President The Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President in his/her absence or inability to serve. He/she shall be the Programme Chairperson for the AGM of the College. The VicePresident shall normally succeed to the presidency should that office fall vacant.
Section 3.4. Secretary The Secretary shall attend to the correspondence of the College including the Annual and 5- year reports to the EBVS; keep and publish lists of all Diplomates annually, keep minutes of the College which shall be the property of the College and accessible at all reasonable times and places and perform the furthermore usual duties of a secretary.
Section 3.5. Treasurer The Treasurer shall advise the President on budget matters, shall arrange for safekeeping of all funds, pay bills and expenses, and submit a written and audited financial statement to the Executive Committee which shall be presented at the AGM. He/she shall keep full and accurate books of account, containing a record of all moneys received and expended, which books shall be the property of the College and open to the inspection of the authorised officials at all reasonable times and places.
Section 3.6. Vacancies in the offices of Secretary and Treasurer Vacancies occurring on the Board Executive Committee shall be filled by election of a member at the next AGM. Any member elected to fill a vacancy shall hold the office until expiration of the term in which the vacancy occurred. Committees
Section 4.1. Executive Committee of the College The Executive Committee of the College shall consist of the officers. The Executive Committee shall consider all the business and policies pertaining to the affairs of the College. It, or its designated Committees, shall receive all applications, conduct examinations and certify recommendations for Diplomates status in the College. It shall consider and act upon charges against Diplomates for alleged offences against the Constitution and Bylaws of the College or charges of unprofessional conduct and shall have the authority to recommend the expulsion of a Diplomate for grave offences. It shall appoint standing Committees, select the time and place of meetings and determine the fees for application, examinations, registrations and other fees. It shall direct the management of funds held by the College. The Board Executive Committee will also act as Supervisory Committee for the Speciality according to the European Coordinating Committee for Veterinary Training (ECCVT) rules.
Section 4.2. Credentials Committee The Credentials Committee shall be composed of five members appointed by the Executive Committee for a term of three years. The senior member of the Committee in terms of service shall serve as Chairperson, unless the Executive Committee decides otherwise. The duties of the Credentials Committee will be as follows: 1. The Credentials Committee shall establish guidelines to assist applicants applying to sit the diploma examination. 2. The Credentials Committee shall receive, review, and approve the candidacy of applicants. 3. The credentials of approved applicants shall be forwarded to the Examination Committee. 4. The Credentials Committee shall reassess the Diplomate status of every Diplomate every five (5) years according to the re-certification requirements accredited by the EBVS.
Section 4.3. Examination Committee The Examination Committee shall consist of four members appointed by the Board for a term of three years. The senior member of the Committee in terms of service shall serve as Chairperson, unless the Executive Committee decides otherwise. The Executive committee may co-opt up to 2 members in case not all regular examination committee members are available on the examination days (e.g. Supervisor of a resident sitting the exam). The Examination Committee is responsible for preparing, administration, and evaluation of all the diploma examinations. Results of the examination shall be forwarded by the Chairperson of the Examination Committee to the officers of the College with recommendations regarding the granting of diplomas. All active Diplomates must submit at least one essay questions and 5 single choice questions each year to the Examination Committee. A deadline of March 1st will be needed for adequate review time. Normally no member of the Executive Committee or member of the Credentials and Education Committee shall act as an ‘examiner’.
Section 4.4. Nominating Committee The Nomination Committee shall be composed of three members appointed by the Executive Committee for a term of one year before elections. The Committee shall prepare a list of candidates for the offices of the College after a written call for candidates to all the Diplomates at least six months before the elections. Candidates should be known by the Diplomates at least 1 month before elections. The Committee will report to the College at its AGM.
Section 4.5. Education Committee The Education Committee shall be composed of three members appointed by the Executive Committee for a term of three years. The senior member of the Committee in terms of service shall serve as Chairperson, unless the Executive Committee decides otherwise. The Education Committee is responsible for setting criteria for the residency programme, for approving the programmes and their sponsors, and for monitoring each resident's progress through the receipt of regular reports. The Education Committee will maintain lists of approved residency programmes, supervisors and current residents. It will document detailed requirements for residency programmes that are necessary for the College's approval. The Education Committee shall receive the required periodic reports from directors of resident training on: (a) the annual progress of each candidate in residency (due June 1st). (b) details of each standard residency programme, in the form of an initial report with update and re-evaluation every five years. The Education Committee, acting for the College, will attest the adequacy of each programme when they approve the report.
Section 4.6. Fiscal Committee The Fiscal Committee shall consist of three members of the Board. The Past-President shall serve as Chairperson, and the Treasurer will be a member. The third member shall be appointed by the Executive Committee. This Committee shall prepare an annual budget for the College, prepare the Treasurer's books for the annual audit and advise the Board on financial affairs of the College.
Section 4.7. Auditors Two auditors are elected by the general assembly at the AGM for a one-year term. The two auditors evaluate the report of the fiscal committee and report their findings to the general assembly.
Section 5.1. Qualifications to sit the diploma examination: After 1 year of internship that has to be fulfilled in a veterinary area, either as classical clinical internship or an equivalent that is relevant to Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition, the length of the residency program has been set to be at least 3 years (for a total training of a minimum of 4 years). In case of maternity (leave), illness or under exceptional circumstances a prolongation is possible. The duration of the prolongation is agreed with the Credentials/Education committee. Those giving evidence of satisfactory completion of their residency program as approved by the Credentials Committee, can sit the exam. The training can be taken consecutively or on a part time basis as long as the total time is not shorter than the standard residency programme equivalent. Each preceptor shall prepare a statement that the candidate has satisfactorily completed the approved time of training. There shall be no restriction on training institutions as long as they meet the requirements for approved residency programmes. In exceptional cases it is possible to follow an alternative instead of a standard Residency Program. This alternative residency program requires the same intensive dedication to the field of veterinary and comparative nutrition as standard residency programs. Alternative residency programs are only approved for an individual and not for an institution. More detailed information on both standard and alternative residency programmes can be found in the Policies and Procedures. In addition, the following requirements have to be met • Two (2) accepted publications in an internationally refereed scientific journal of which the applicant must be the principal author. At least one of them should be an original study and in English with first authorship of the candidate. • Documentation of practical experience by three (3) written case studies. At least one of these should be published • At least one English oral presentation at an international conference.
Section 5.2. Examination The examination will consist of two written sections of questions and an oral case discussion. The precise details will be set by the Examination Committee. Examination shall be taken in English only; the use of medical dictionaries is allowed; the use of non-medical dictionaries and/or interpreters may be allowed. The candidate shall submit the examination fee, which shall be determined annually, at the time of application. Candidates must pass the examination within eight years of completion of the residency programme. The candidate may sit the examination on four (4) occasions only. Credentials of candidates who pass the examination will be forwarded to the Secretary by the Chairperson of the Examining Committee. Further details of the requirements for the training program, admission, application procedure, and the qualifying examination will be given in separate information Policies and Procedures of the College. The basis of these programs will be the Concept for Specialisation in Veterinary Nutrition agreed on by the ESVCN at the ESVCN-conference in Munich 1997.
Validation of Continuing Education for Re-Certification of Diplomates All Diplomates will be required to submit their credentials every five years from their admission in the College. Minimal points per five years: 100. The validation procedure of the continuing education for re-certification of Diplomates is available in detail in the Policies and Procedures. If a Diplomate does not meet the required number of points, they can be given one year extra in which to achieve at least the number of missing points. If they succeed, they will then be re-evaluated four years from the end of the extra year. If they do not succeed, or if any Diplomate does not submit re-certification documents, they will be made non-practising Diplomates by their College, removed from the EBVS specialist register, and may only use the title of Diplomate (non-practising). A non-practising Diplomate seeking to revert to full Diplomate status needs to satisfy the Credentials Committee of the College.
Article 7 The College is a non-profit organisation. The expenses of the College shall be met through various sources of income. a) Annual dues (payable by January 1st). The annual dues (Euro) of each active member shall be determined by the general assembly. Members shall be adjudged delinquent if they are one year in arrears, and may be voted for removal by the membership if two years have elapsed without payment. A non-practising Diplomate of a College shall also be required to pay dues. b) Donations from companies and international organisations. c) Income from educational meetings organised by the College . d) Any moneys accumulated shall be safely invested and serve as a reserve for possible use at a later time.
Section 8.1 Annual General Meeting The AGM of the College will be held at a location agreed upon by the Officers. In the years of ESVCN congresses, these meetings will be organised during the congress period.
Section 8.2 Extraordinary meeting An Extraordinary general meeting of the College may be called at any time by the Executive Committee, or shall be called by the Executive Committee, at the written request, containing the explanation for such a meeting, of not less than 10% of the members. In the latter case, the Extraordinary Meeting has to take place within a period of three months. If not, these members are empowered to summon an Extraordinary Meeting themselves.
Section 8.3 Meeting of Executive Committee and Chairpersons of the Credentials and Examination Committee The Executive Committee and the Chairpersons of the Credentials and Examination Committees shall meet at least once annually between the dates of the AGM, when judged necessary by the President.
These Bylaws may be amended at any AGM by two-thirds of the votes cast. Proposed amendments must be submitted in writing at least 60 days prior to the meeting to the Secretary for appropriate review by the Executive Committee. Proposed amendments shall be distributed to the membership at least 30 days before the AGM.
Appeal of Adverse Decisions
Section 10.1 Adverse decisions by a College include, but are not limited to: (a) denial of approval of a training (residency) programme (b) denial of adequacy of an individual's credential (c) denial of the granting of a diploma to an individual (d) temporary or permanent suspension of diploma In the event of an adverse decision by a College, the Secretary of the College shall advise the affected person or the Dean of the college or official of the institution or organisation in which the affected training programme is located, and of the procedure for appealing the adverse decision.
Section 10.2 The College’s Procedures will provide for the appointment of an Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee shall be made up of a minimum of three Diplomates of the College who shall not be serving as members of the Executive Committee of the College or members of the relevant committee whose decision is being questioned, who shall have had no prior involvement with the case, and who have no potential conflict of interest with the Appellant or the Committee whose decision is being questioned.
Section 10.3. Communication of the right to appeal In the event of an adverse decision, the College shall notify the affected party (or parties) of the procedure for appealing against the adverse decision. This notification must be included with the communication that gives notice of the adverse decision itself. The Appeals Procedures must specify an address and Officer of the College to which an Appeal should be sent in the first place.
Section 10.4 Grounds of appeal The College must provide for Appeals to be made on the following grounds: 1. That the College failed correctly to apply its own or EBVS’s published rules, procedures or criteria relevant to the decision in question. 2. That the College’s published rules, procedures or criteria were not compliant with the Policies and Procedures of the EBVS. or 3. That the College imposed a sanction that was disproportionate to the gravity of the adverse decision against the Appellant.
Section 10.5. Commencing an Appeal Process 1. The appeal has to be made in writing, including a statement of the grounds of Appeal, together with any supporting reasons and documents. This has to be addressed to the Secretary of the ECVCN, which will communicate this to the President and the Chair of the Committees affected. 2. The Appeals can be made for at least 60 days but no greater than 90 days after the postmarked date of the letter communicating the relevant adverse decision (or if sent by email the date on which the email was sent). In particular, an appeal against a decision of denying acceptance of the credentials may be submitted after a minimum of one week and a maximum of three weeks following the official announcement of the decision of denying acceptance of the Credentials of a resident to sit the examination. Submission of an Appeal must be accompanied by a deposit of € 500 to ensure that the expenses of the Appeal will be covered. If the Appellant does not pay his/her deposit within four weeks of receiving an invoice then this will be deemed an admission of liability. The deposit is re-paid in full, in case the appeal is accepted. In case of the appeal’s rejection, all the costs relating to the appeal shall be made by the appellant. Any remaining deposit will be re-paid to the appellant together with an itemization of the costs retained. 3. ECVCN will acknowledge receipt of an Appeal within 10 working days. (i) Within 20 working days of its receipt, the Appeal must be considered by the President, unless there is a potential conflict of interest, in which case the Appeal will be considered by a nominated Executive Officer of the College, who shall have had no prior involvement with the case, and who has no potential conflict of interest with the Appellant or the Committee whose decision is being questioned. This Officer will decide whether a proper Ground for Appeal has been identified. (ii) If a proper Ground for Appeal has been identified, the ECVCN Officer will convene an Appeals Committee to consider the Appeal. 4. Within 15 working days of step 3(i), ECVCN will inform the Appellant whether or not the Notice of Appeal has been accepted as raising an arguable Ground of Appeal, and, if so, of the proposed membership of the Appeals Committee that will consider the Appeal. 5. ECVCN will: (i) provide a reasonable opportunity and procedure for the Appellant to raise concerns with or object to the membership of the Appeals Committee, and (ii) provide a reasonable procedure by which any such concerns or objections are considered and responded to. 6. In any case where an Appeal is to be conducted, the procedure for convening an Appeals Committee to consider the Appeal must be completed no later than 30 days after the date ECVCN has informed the Appellant of the proposed membership of the Appeals Committee, under paragraph 4 above. 7. Within 5 working days of the appointment of the Appeals Committee, all the papers relating to the dispute shall be forwarded by the Officer of the College to whom the Appeal was sent to the members of the Appeals Committee. The necessary documentation will depend on the nature of the appeal. In cases of exam appeal, the Chairperson of the Examination Committee shall submit the examination and scores of the candidate, the complete list of scores of all candidates on that examination, and a statement as to the criteria used for the committee's recommendation for pass and fail to the Appeals Committee indicating the reason(s) for rejecting the candidate. In appeals against a decision regarding eligibility to sit the exam, the complete dossier of the candidate will be provided by the Credentials Committee, in addition to reasons as to why the candidate request was denied. In cases of any dean of a college, or official of an institution or organisation, who wishes to appeal against the decision to deny approval or withdraw approval of a training programme, the Credentials Committee will provide all the required documentation and reason for rejection of the training program. 8. Where ECVCN makes a decision that no proper Ground of Appeal has been identified by the Notice of Appeal, an executive officer of ECVCN will inform the Appellant that either: (i) It will take no further action (and explain the justification for this), or (ii) It will consider the notice instead as a request for an informal review of an adverse decision by the College Board on non-appealable grounds (e.g. extenuating circumstances of personal difficulty etc.).
Section 10.6. Conduct of an Appeal Process 1. All Appeals will be conducted in all due confidence. 2. The Appeals Committee can request information relevant to its consideration of the Appeal from any relevant party. 3. The Appeals Committee will consider carefully the need or not for an oral hearing. Where an Appeals Committee decides not to hold an oral hearing in an Appeal against an adverse decision that arises from an allegation of impropriety against a candidate (or in other matters of similar gravity), reasons for that decision must be given. Where an oral hearing is held, a timetable must be devised which allows both parties reasonable opportunity to appear. 4. An Oral hearing must be attended by at least three members of the Appeals Committee. Neither party may be represented by legal counsel, although the provisions of the law in the country where the College is registered must be taken into consideration. Oral hearings will be conducted in English. The Appellant may be accompanied by an individual (“representative”), who may assist them to present the appeal. The “representative” will not be allowed to participate in answering specific questions but, at the discretion of the Chairperson, may be allowed to provide necessary language translations and may, at the end, be allowed to make a statement on behalf of the Appellant. 5. A transcript or detailed minutes of the meeting will be kept. An electronic recording may be made with the prior consent of all parties. The minutes and, if it is made, the electronic recording, shall be made available to the meeting’s participants on request. 6. The Appeals Committee must have the discretion to reject or uphold the appeal according to its independent view of the merits of the Appeal. Where the appeal is upheld, in whole or in part, the Appeals Committee may modify or reverse the previous decision or adjust the sanction. 7. The decision of the Appeals Committee will be reached by a majority vote of the members of the Committee, the Chairperson to have the casting vote if necessary. In communicating the decision of the Appeals Committee, the Chair will give reasons for the decision. 8. The Appeals Committee must deliver its decision on the Appeal to a nominated Executive Officer of the College within 90 days of the date of receiving all the papers relating to the dispute under 10.5 (7) above. The Executive Committee of the College will check that the Appeals Committee has followed the procedures and, if these have been followed correctly, accept their recommendation. The Executive Committee of the College shall communicate the decision, via electronic means and in addition, if there is no satisfactory confirmation of receipt, via registered post, to the Appellant, within 30 days of receipt of the Appeal decision. This communication should include information about further steps the candidate can take if he/she is not satisfied with the outcome (see Article 10.7).
10.7. Upon completion of the appeal, if the Candidate or Appellant is not satisfied with the outcome, he/she may appeal to the EBVS against the decision of ECVCN. Appeals to the EBVS must be made in writing to the EBVS Secretariat, which will act as the main point of contact and coordinator of the appeal process. The adverse decisions of ECVCN against which an affected party may Appeal to the EBVS are those specified in 10.1 above, as well as a decision of ECVCN not to conduct an Appeal under 10.5 (4) above. The grounds for Appeal are those specified in Article 10.4 above. The decision of the EBVS Executive Committee in relation to the Appeal will be final. Detailed instructions for this process can be found in the EBVS Policies and Procedures document.
Article 11 Dissolution of the College
In the case of dissolution of the College, all assets shall be expended for educational purpose.