VETERINARY PHYSIOTHERAPY AS A PROFESSION
In 2012 the SAVC called a workshop for all stakeholders in the profession. The aims of the workshop were to establish whether there is a need for veterinary rehabilitation services, to determine if there is a need for a separate para-veterinary profession, to draw up a draft of a scope of practice, and to elect a working group from the stakeholders present.
The Working Group was tasked to set up all documentation that would be required by SAVC for the proposed Para-Veterinary Profession of Veterinary Physiotherapy.
These documents included:
These documents were drafted, edited, scrutinized and accepted during the period from 2013 to 2015.
As noted in the Guidelines for promulgation of a Para-Veterinary profession, a service provider or training institution had to be willing to develop and register a course that will allow a pathway into the new profession. It was agreed that Equine-Librium College would develop a qualification to be considered for automatic registration after promulgation. The qualification would have to be accredited by the Council of Higher Education(CHE), the Department for Higher Education and Training (DHET) and South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). A site visit will also have to be performed by SAVC once the institution has completed a Self-Evaluation Report (SER).
Equine-Librium College qualification was accredited as a BSc Veterinary Physiotherapy degree in 2017 and SAVC completed their site visit. This qualification was accepted for automatic registration under SAVC subject to accreditation.
In addition to the drafting of the above-mentioned documentation, the Working Group needed to form an Association, thus the South African Animal Physical Rehabilitation Association (SAAPRA) was launched, and the inaugural meeting held on 27 February 2015. Documentation for SAAPRA was drafted, including the Constitution and Code of Conduct.
In 2015 the Working Group was tasked to finalize the following documentation:
On 2 December 2016, the documents for promulgation of Veterinary Physiotherapy were gazetted in the state paper, and the public was given 30 days to comment.
Veterinary Physiotherapy was promulgated November 2017.
SAVC is in the process of bringing current working therapist on board. This entails the registration and authorisation of therapists under the Grandfather clause. The applications for Grandfather Clause closed on 22 June 2018. SAVC is currently evaluating these applications.