Understanding Regulations

Current State of Veterinary Technology

Currently, British Columbia has 1215 active Registered Veterinary Technologists (RVTs) across various sectors of the profession. There is a growing recognition of the RVT title among the general public, and many veterinary practices are increasingly appreciating the value that RVTs bring to their teams.

Despite this progress, the association still frequently provides education on the proper use of the title and delineation of RVT tasks to practices, managers, RVTs, and the public. The debate surrounding the title “Registered Veterinary Technologist” remains a daily concern.

Notably, British Columbia stands as the sole province in Western Canada lacking regulation in this field, while other provinces are regulated, are considered full voting members of their medical associations, and are already exploring the introduction of mid-level practitioners. Consequently, in BC many RVTs find themselves in the position of having to train lay staff to undertake RVT duties.

Why Change is Needed

Regulation of veterinary technology serves several important goals:

  • Ensuring Public Safety: Regulation helps ensure that individuals practicing veterinary technology have met specific educational and training standards. This helps safeguard the health and well-being of animals under their care and minimizes the risk of malpractice or negligence that could harm animals or public health.
  • Maintaining Professional Standards: Regulation establishes a clear set of standards and guidelines for the practice of veterinary technology, including ethical conduct, competence, and accountability. This helps maintain the integrity and professionalism of the profession.
  • Promoting Consistency and Quality of Care: By setting standards for education, training, and practice, regulation helps promote consistency and quality of care across the veterinary technology profession. This ensures that all RVTs possess the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their duties competently.
  • Enhancing Recognition and Credibility: Regulation provides formal recognition of the veterinary technology profession, which can enhance its credibility and status within the healthcare industry. This recognition may also lead to increased public trust and confidence in the services provided by RVTs
  • Facilitating Career Advancement: Regulation may create pathways for career advancement and specialization within the veterinary technology field. This can include opportunities for additional training, certification, or licensure in specialized areas of practice.


Current Progress

The BCVTA has continued to build a strong relationship with the College of Veterinarians of BC (CVBC), the regulator of veterinary medicine. Over the past year, the CVBC has attended the association’s AGM and Trade Show and the Strategic Planning Retreat and have invited the BCVTA to attend Council Meetings and a recent Leadership Session.

In 2023, the lawyer representing the BCVTA has updated the draft of the CVBC Part 6 bylaws that would regulate RVTs in BC. The lawyer that represents the BCVTA has reviewed and revised this draft and a copy has been provided to CVBC Council.

At this time, the BCVTA is waiting to meet with CVBC Council and discuss the draft bylaws and the possible outcomes.

Is CVBC Regulation the Only Option?

No. Currently, Veterinary Technology in Ontario is regulated by the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians through the Veterinary Technicians Act, established via a Private Members Bill. The BCVTA acknowledges this approach and would contemplate adopting it if collaboration with CVBC suggests that advancement through this path is unattainable.

How to Get Involved

There are several ways to participate in the regulatory process:

  • Continue to attend town hall meetings and AGMs and read communications from the BCVTA for upcoming meetings and notices for review of documents.
  • Encourage your veterinary colleagues to keep up to date on the regulation process with the CVBC.
  • Consider volunteering with the BCVTA when opportunities arise.

For additional questions, contact us at executivedirector@bcvta.com