Veterinary premises

Signage

Veterinary premises must display the names and the qualifications (as recorded in the register) of the veterinarians who work at the premises. This does not apply for veterinarians working temporarily for 30 days or less.

Approval and sale

Statutory requirements

Part 4A of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1936.

Board approval must be sought if any person is seeking to:

  • conduct veterinary practice from premises not previously approved as veterinary premises;
  • relocate approved veterinary practice premises;
  • designate as veterinary premises, premises where veterinary services have previously been delivered under the name of a veterinarian;
  • upgrade approved veterinary premises to a higher level of practice i.e. consulting rooms to surgery/clinic or surgery/clinic to hospital/centre.

Ownership

Ownership of veterinary premises is not restricted to registered veterinarians but registered veterinarians must be employed to conduct the practice.

Minimum standards

The standards for all designations of veterinary premises are incorporated in the Application pack for use of premises as veterinary premises (PDF 442KB) or contact us to request a printed copy.

The three levels of veterinary premises are veterinary consulting/examination rooms (no general anaesthetic procedures permitted), veterinary surgery/clinic, and veterinary hospital/centre (24 hour emergency medical and surgical care provided).  Note: In terms of premises standards there is no distinction between the designation ‘veterinary surgery’ and ‘veterinary clinic’.

Conditions of approval

Conditions are applied to all premises approvals.  Standard conditions relate to the right for the Board to inspect premises, continuing compliance with premises standards, change of ownership and designation of premises in business/practice name.

Inspections

Routinely a Board inspection will also be conducted in all applications where the premises are intended to be classified as a veterinary hospital, veterinary centre or emergency referral facility.

Routinely a Board inspection will be conducted in all applications where the premises are wholly owned by non-veterinarians including animal welfare groups and the premises are intended for the conduct of general anaesthetic procedures.

Premises can be inspected as the result of any complaint lodged with the Board relating to the standard of practice conducted thereat.

Random inspections of premises are conducted at the Board’s discretion.

Change of practice ownership

A condition applied to all premises is that the Board must be notified of a change of practice ownership i.e. where the approval holder will no longer be an owner.  This does not apply in the case of an addition of owners when the approval holder remains an owner.

Continuing Board approval of premises under new ownership will be dependent on receipt by the Board of advice from the purchaser that the premises prior to sale are of a standard at least equivalent to the minimum premises standards applied by the Board.  This applies a responsibility to the vendor to maintain the premises to the required standard to ensure sale and provides the purchaser with the guarantee that Board approval for the premises will continue after sale.

On receipt by the Board of the required advice from the purchaser an approval form in the purchaser’s name may be issued.

The conduct of a veterinary practice from premises by a person who is not the approval holder would represent a breach of a condition of approval which may result in cancellation or suspension of the approval.

Conditions apply equally to freehold or leased premises.

The Board may of its own motion conduct a review of veterinary premises that have undergone or are undergoing a change of ownership.

Purchasers of premises given Board approval more than 15 years prior to change of ownership will be required to reapply for premises approval.

Business name

The business name registered with the Office of Fair Trading should satisfy the conditions of the Board approval if continuing approval is to be maintained.

A condition of approval of premises will be that designating words such as 'hospital', 'centre' or 'emergency' must not be used in the name of the premises unless the practice and premises meet the required minimum standards for a veterinary hospital/centre.

A condition of approval of premises will be that evidence of registration of a business name must be provided to the Board within a specified time after Board approval of the premises.

A further condition will be that an approval holder must advise the Board of any proposed change of business name.

The Board may suspend or cancel an approval if it believes on reasonable grounds that the approval holder has not complied with the conditions of approval relating to the business name.

Professional misconduct provisions apply or in the case of a non-veterinarian, offence provisions apply, if such conditions of approval are not complied with.

Failure to apply for Board approval for veterinary premises

Veterinary surgeons—professional misconduct provisions apply.  Persons other than veterinary surgeons—offence provisions apply.

Closure of practice premises

An approval holder must notify the Board of cessation of use of premises as veterinary premises.

Current approvals

All premises approval holders are issued with formal notification of Board approval for use of their designated premises as veterinary premises.

Conditions of the approval are detailed on the notification.

Approval notification should be stored for production as evidence of Board approval to allow for change of practice ownership and may be displayed at the premises as an indication to clients that the premises are Board approved premises.

Practices where premises approval dates back more that fifteen years are encouraged to re-apply for approval of the premises in terms of the current minimum standards.  The Board however may of its own motion direct that a review be conducted of any previously approved premises.

Veterinary premises application pack

The submission is designed to be a self assessment document to ensure planning for proposed veterinary premises addresses in entirety the uniform minimum standards of veterinary premises applied across the state for the purpose of consumer and animal welfare protection.  The premises will not be formally approved for use as veterinary premises until such approval is advised in writing by the Board.  However, construction/development need not be delayed pending formal approval if the submission self assessment shows that the premises will meet the required standards.

Note:  A copy of the completed submission form should be retained by the applicant.  A change of ownership will necessitate the purchaser providing a statement to the Board as to the premises' current conformity with the standards.  If satisfied with the statement the Board will issue a further approval in the name of the purchaser.

Download the Application pack for use of premises as veterinary premises (PDF 442KB) or contact us to request a printed copy.

List of approved veterinary premises

The Board maintains a database of approved veterinary premises for regulatory purposes.  The listing of approved premises is not publicly available, however you can request the approval status of individual veterinary premises and premises details. Please contact us.

Veterinary house call and large animal practices

All veterinarians wishing to conduct a house call or a large animal practice must make written application to the Board addressing each of the applicable standards.

All acts of veterinary science must be performed under conditions where their performance could not be construed to be negligent or incompetent under Section 22F of the Act (professional misconduct).

It is incumbent on the Board to document minimum standards which must be maintained by veterinarians conducting veterinary practice at the premises of clients to ensure the competency and professionalism of the services provided.

Particular note should be taken of standard number 6 - limits of practice, and standard number 12 - practices based in established veterinary premises.

Application to conduct a veterinary house call practice (PDF 112KB)

Application to conduct a large animal practice (PDF 92KB)