Chapter 1 - Overview
1.3 Quality Control

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This module describes quality control measures for inspection and certification by accredited veterinarians.

Purpose

1. The primary focus of the National Accredited Veterinarian Program is to maintain and enhance confidence in domestic and international markets for Canadian animals and animal products through its reliance on an inspection and certification process that consistently meets specific requirements or standards.

2. The quality control measures employed by the CFIA in this program aim to provide assurance that individuals conducting inspection and other authorized activities are qualified by means of professional licensing and training, have access to and have thorough understanding of the requirements, and that the individuals establish controls over inspection processes so that the requirements can be uniformly met.

Training

3. In addition to professional licensing requirements, eligibility requirements for accreditation demand that a veterinarian possess the knowledge and skills required to perform the authorized duties and functions. The accredited veterinarian is therefore responsible for the ongoing maintenance of current knowledge. While maintaining current knowledge is the responsibility of the veterinarian, the CFIA may offer specific technical and non-technical training to accredited veterinarians from time to time.

Inspection or Certification Requirements

A clear understanding of requirements is necessary before commencing any tests or inspections.

4. Requirements are articulated specifically in export and other certificates, with additional instructions and guidelines found in this manual. The current electronic version of this manual and certificates, as well as a print version, is available. A module list is located at the beginning of the manual and can be referred to for the status of the modules.

5. In addition, the CFIA provides a subscription service to those individuals who wish to be notified by e-mail of updates to this manual. Instructions are included on the above Web site.

6. A significant resource to the accredited veterinarian in addressing requirement needs is the district veterinarian who can provide current documents, information and advice, and where necessary, references to external guidelines or standards such as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Terrestrial Animal Health Code.

7. As part of the quality control system, the accredited veterinary practitioner is required to keep current and up-to-date copies of the procedures and instructions contained in this manual that are relevant to functions for which that individual has been accredited. Old documents and certificates are to be discarded to prevent the unintended application of outdated requirements.

Process Controls and Protocols

8. Test, inspection and export certification documents completed by an accredited veterinarian are routinely reviewed by a district veterinarian during the process of providing the required CFIA endorsement. From this ongoing monitoring of paperwork, an accredited veterinarian can expect to receive communications from the responsible district veterinarian if there are deviations in work performance that compromise the certificate or program.

Nonconformance

9. An accredited veterinarian should not certify animals, animal products and other things that do not or cannot conform to the requirements for which they are being inspected. The source of nonconformance may arise from the nature of the requirements, or from the ability of a producer or processor to present animals or products that are suitable for inspection and certification. In the latter situation, application of suitable process controls may be of assistance in mitigating nonconformance.

10. In maintaining and enhancing confidence in the ability of the Accredited Veterinarian Program to meet the inspection and certification requirements for Canadian animals and animal products, the CFIA requires accredited veterinarians to conform to the terms and conditions of the Accredited Veterinarian Agreement (CFIA/ACIA 1625) and, if there is nonconformance, to undertake actions to bring activities into conformance. Depending on the nature and degree of nonconformance, the action initiated may include simple instructions from the district veterinarian, a more formal verbal or written warning, or in rare instances suspension and cancellation of the CFIA/ACIA 1625 as outlined in 1.2 Accreditation Agreement.

Supervision and Audit

11. Test, inspection and export certification documents completed by an accredited veterinarian are routinely reviewed by a district veterinarian during the process of providing the required CFIA endorsement. From this ongoing monitoring of paperwork, an accredited veterinarian can expect to receive communications from the responsible district veterinarian if there are deviations in work performance that compromise the certificate or program.

12. Each CFIA district veterinarian is required to formally visit each accredited veterinarian at regular intervals to verify that the work performed is in compliance with the authorized CFIA/ACIA 1625 and with the instructions set out in this manual. As part of the verification process, the district veterinarian may require that on farm activities are witnessed.

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