Code of Ethics (updated Dec 2015)


As members of a self-regulated profession who serve the public and society, veterinarians earn and maintain the public trust through engagement in principle-guided ethical practice. Veterinarians hold themselves, their colleagues, and their profession to a high standard of ethical conduct, reflecting the core values and principles of the profession. The College and the public have the reasonable expectation that the care and service provided by veterinarians reflects these values.


Core values are the foundation for ethical care and service in veterinary medicine. Core values guide veterinarians in the delivery of ethical care and service and are the foundation from which ethical  principles are derived.


A veterinarian acts with compassion when he/she:

• Acts with empathy and humanity while balancing understandings of the interests of the animal, client, public, and environmental health and well-being.


A veterinarian fosters transparency when he/she:

• Is truthful, accountable, and communicative in a manner that promotes and protects professional relationships with clients, colleagues, and the public.

• Presents treatment options in a clear unbiased manner, striving to ensure that the client fully understands the information presented.


A veterinarian is respectful when he/she:

• Demonstrates respect for a client’s autonomy, choice, time, financial resources, privacy and right to confidentiality.

• Demonstrates respect for animals he/she treats, public safety and the environment.

• Demonstrates respect for colleagues, peers and all members of the veterinary care team.


A veterinarian demonstrates trustworthiness when she/he:

• Is honest, reliable and competent.


A veterinarian demonstrates professionalism when he/she:

• Adheres to legislated requirements and standards of practice.

• Reflects the values and principles of the profession in his/her behaviour and attitudes.

• Engages in collaborative care with clients, colleagues, and peers.

• Maintains appropriate and dignified boundaries in the client relationship and all professional interactions.


A veterinarian promotes competence when he/she:

• Engages in the ongoing, reflective application of related knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are expressed in professional behaviour related to the delivery of quality care and service and the advancement of veterinary medicine, animal welfare, and public health and safety.