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1. What benefits will accreditation bring to Colleges of Veterinary Medicine?
Participating in accreditation process is voluntary is intended to improve the quality of veterinary education and promote the pursuit of excellence in the veterinary field. Moreover, the government plans to take advantage of the administrative and financial support to the assessment or certificate results in accordance with law (High Education Act No. 9356). Addition, this includes preparing for a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) to be discussed by the working group for the KORUS FTA. Accordingly, accreditation may present various issues to be updated by participating veterinary colleges. Without such accreditation requirements, it will be difficult to credibly demand investments by a college thru their respective university systems, including increasing faculty or expansion of facilities by school authorities.
2. What is the difference meaning between the term “accreditation” and “evaluation”?
The terms “accreditation” and “evaluation” are currently used interchangeably, resulting in much confusion. “Evaluation” results in a score, which would enable rankings. However, “accreditation” is intended solely to determine compliance with accreditation standards and the rank setting procedure is a non-issue. Accreditation is not intended for use in closing departments or downsizing of employees, and is to be used solely for the improvement of education.
3. What is the state of operation of accreditation institutions in the main professional fields in Korea?
Field Name Date of establishment Supporting institution Registering agency Number of eligible institutions
Medicine KIMEE 11/2003 KMA Ministry of Health and Welfare 41 colleges
Dentistry KIDEE 2007/12 KMA Min. of Health and Welfare 11 colleges
Oriental medicine KOMEEI 2004/10 AKOM Min. of Health and Welfare 12 colleges
Nursing KABON 2003/10 KNA Min. of Health and Welfare 124 colleges or depts.
Engineering ABEEK 1999/8 Industry Min. of Knowledge Economy 601 colleges and/or depts.
Management KABEA 2005/11 Industry Ministry of Knowledge Economy 100 colleges or depts.
Architecture KAAB 2005/1 Related associations Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs 72 colleges and/or depts.
Trade KTEA 2007/11 Related associations Ministry of Knowledge Economy 98 colleges and/or depts.
Pharmacy KACPE 2011/10 KAPE Ministry of Health and Welfare 35 colleges
Veterinary medicine ABOVEK 2010/11 KVMA Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries 10 colleges
4. The evaluation criteria for the four-year system (separate pre-vet and veterinary programs) and the six-year system (unified pre-vet and vet program) are ambiguous. Are there separate criteria for each one?
In the medical, dentistry, and oriental medicine field, a 4 + 4 system of professional school and a 2 + 4 system of undergraduate education exists, but these programs are not treated differently in evaluation. This is because accreditation is intended solely to assess whether education is appropriate for the educational goals under current circumstances.
5. There is a need for evaluation that preserves regional characteristics. Are the accreditation standards adequate for this?
Colleges of Veterinary Medicine differ in their educational environment and educational conditions in line with their affiliated universities and regions. Each College of Veterinary Medicine will differ from others in its facilities, college size, number of faculty members, number of students, research funding status, size of Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, number of clinical cases treated, and targets of treatment. Accordingly, assessment must be in accordance with the Accreditation Standards, however, such assessment shall identify what the educational goals of the candidate institution are, and to what extent the goals are attained, with results determined quantitatively. Simultaneously, qualitative assessment of the process of efforts to attain the educational goals will be performed.
6. Isn’t there a need for accreditation standards that reflect the characteristics of Korea’s veterinary graduates, who are 40% employed in clinical work and 60% employed in other basic veterinary related work (i.e. research and applied fields)?
In contrast to medicine and dentistry, where the majority of graduates are engaged in clinical work, veterinary medicine only employs 40% of its graduates in clinical work, while 60% are employed in other basic veterinary related fields. However, it is also true that the number of graduates doing clinical work after the implementation of the six-year system is gradually increasing. This has been confirmed via a survey performed by the KVMA on “end goals after graduation” sent to students set to graduate in 2007. Accordingly, veterinary education needs to change in order to respond to these circumstances, and future accreditation standards must be supplemented to reflect these trends.
7. What is the accreditation process like?
Request for accreditation → Receipt of self-evaluation report (SER) → Evaluation of SSR → On-site visit → Preliminary evaluation → Approval → Review of evaluation → Receipt of evaluation result or Request for appeal → Receipt → Closure
8. What is the organizational structure of ABOVEK?
The minimum criteria for establishment of ABOVEK as required by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology are as follows.
1) It must be a non-profit corporation established for the purposes of accreditation.
2) It must have previous accreditation and/or consulting activities.
3) It must maintain at least two full-time employees.
4) It must have accreditation evaluation standards and proceedings.
5) It must have secured financial resources needed for the pursuit of duties.
6) There must be a training system for evaluation workers.
7) Accreditation evaluation must be fair and transparent.
To comply with these requirements, ABOVEK maintains a system with the following organization.
9. What is the reason for the qualitative evaluation in the accreditation evaluation?
Qualitative evaluation has become a worldwide trend after the Bologna Declaration of 1999. Like the AVMA standards, which are qualitative, accreditation of Korean veterinary medicine must also be a qualitative evaluation. The reason for this is that each school has its own educational goals, and it is not possible to express the differences between schools quantitatively. Accordingly, it is critical to evaluate whether a school can sufficiently fulfill its educational goals, the attainment of which is the basic objective of accreditation. In Korea, the medical and nursing fields use both quantitative and qualitative evaluations, while the dentistry and oriental medicine field focus on a qualitative evaluation. However, medicine is in the process of shifting from the current three-cycle accreditation evaluation to an entirely qualitative evaluation. In the dentistry field, initially a quantitative evaluation was used, which was switched to a qualitative evaluation. Of course, engineering and other fields are largely adopting a qualitative evaluation.
10. After receiving accreditation, ABOVEK requires colleges to submit a report every year until the next accreditation. For small universities, there may not be enough manpower or budgets to do this without imposing excessive burdens. Will you reconsider this requirement?
The reason for the requirement to submit an annual report every year is to enable Colleges of Veterinary Medicine to perform self-evaluation of annual results with respect to the attainment of its educational goals. At the same time, this requirement is also intended to allow accreditation work to be performed continuously. If reporting is not done, the attainment of the educational goals will encounter obstacles as appointees and administrative personnel are changed, causing significant potential for the arrangement and storage of evidentiary documents and data to be neglected. If storage and management of these documents and files is thorough, and if the goals are attained, the requirement may be reconsidered.
11. Are there separate evaluation standards for each area? If there are any, is there any intent to disclose them publicly? These need to be disclosed for each college to make the necessary preparations.
To attain accreditation, a self-evaluation report (SER) must be drafted by the candidate institution, and evaluation of the report and on-site evaluation must make. Accordingly, for a college of veterinary medicine to prepare a self-evaluation report, it must receive training on guidelines for drafting from ABOVEK. Furthermore, the evaluation committee members must have sufficient prior training on how to apply the accreditation standards to fairly and objectively perform evaluation, as well as on which evaluation methods are effective. This is also required by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology for the purpose of fair and objective evaluations.
12. Does ABOVEK have any intent to run training even if a College of Veterinary Medicine bears the cost, as it requires training on accreditation?
This is a very encouraging suggestion. Of course, if there are similar requests ABOVEK will run miscellaneous training at anytime, anywhere. It will be desirable for such requests to come from more colleges.
13. I would like to participate as a member of an evaluation team. What qualifications are required to do this?
Anyone who meets the conditions set forth in Article 9 of the Veterinary Education Accreditation Regulations and who has received training in accreditation evaluation can become a member of an accreditation evaluation team.
14. Where, when, and for how long do accreditation evaluators receive training?
Training for accreditation evaluators is intended to allow the evaluators to apply the accreditation standards fairly and objectively, and to use the most effective evaluation methods. Prior training for evaluators is a necessary condition required by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology. The “Workshop for Fostering Expert Personnel for Veterinary Education Accreditation” will be conducted for six hours each year and detailed schedules will be announced via web-site (www.abovek.or.kr) as they are confirmed.
15. Is there a volume limitation on self-evaluation report (SER)?
There is no limitation. It is recommended to have more or less than 100 pages in regard to 50 criteria for evaluation, but the volume does not affect the evaluation.
16. How we do to prepare the good SER?
SER is a self-study for your school, College of Veterinary Medicine. Therefore, you should figure out its strengths and weaknesses and report it based on accreditation criteria provided by ABOVEK.

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