A veterinary practice business must be carried out at or from a veterinary premises registered by the Board.
Two forms must be completed to become registered by the Board:
- the Application for use of premises as veterinary premises or to conduct a house call practice form
- a standards checklist to ensure uniform standards in veterinary care apply across the state — complete the relevant form depending on the type of practice proposed:
- veterinary consulting/examination rooms (no general anaesthetic procedures permitted)
- veterinary hospital/centre (24-hour emergency medical and surgical care provided)
- house call (large animals)
- house call (small animals)
- veterinary surgery/clinic (in terms of premises standards there is no distinction between the designation 'veterinary surgery' and 'veterinary clinic').
When applications are required
You must submit an application to:
- conduct veterinary practice from premises not approved as veterinary premises
- relocate a veterinary practice from approved premises to a new location
- upgrade approved veterinary premises to a higher level of practice:
- consulting rooms to surgery/clinic
- surgery/clinic to hospital/centre
- conduct a veterinary house call practice
- change the approval holder if the date of approval for the premises is more than 15 years old.
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
- designation of premises in business/practice name.
Ownership of premises
Ownership of veterinary premises for consulting rooms or surgery/clinic/hospital/emergency centres is not restricted to registered veterinarians, but registered veterinarians must be employed to conduct the practice.
Veterinary house call practices must be owned and operated by registered veterinarians.
Board inspections may be conducted as part of the application process.
Board inspections will mostly be conducted for applications where the premises are wholly owned by non-veterinarians, including animal welfare groups.
Premises can be inspected as the result of any complaint lodged with the Board relating to the standard of practice conducted.
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.
All proposed approval holders must declare they have not been convicted of a disqualifying offence.
For a complete change of ownership, 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 standards prescribed for conducting a veterinary premises.
This applies a responsibility to the vendor to maintain the premises to the prescribed standard to ensure sale, and provides the purchaser with the guarantee that Board approval for the premises will continue after sale.
When the Board receives 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.
If continuing approval is to be maintained, the business name registered with the Office of Fair Trading should satisfy the conditions of the Board approval.
Conditions of approval of premises will be that:
- 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 prescribed standards for a veterinary hospital/centre
- evidence of registration of a business name must be provided to the Board within a specified time after Board approval of the premises
- 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
It is an offence to operate a veterinary premises without Board approval.
Closure of practice premises
An approval holder must notify the Board if the practice is closed or sold.
All premises approval holders are issued with a certificate of approval for use of their designated premises as veterinary premises.
Conditions of the approval are detailed on the certificate.
The certificate of approval 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 15 years are encouraged to reapply for approval of the premises in terms of the current prescribed standards. However, the Board may of its own motion direct that a review be conducted of any previously approved premises.
List of approved veterinary premises
The Board maintains a database of approved veterinary premises for regulatory purposes.
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.
Last updated: 04 Dec 2023