FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

FAO boosts animal health training with accredited online courses

©FAO/Sean Gallagher

27/03/2024, Budapest

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is taking a leap forward in bolstering animal health training globally. The FAO Virtual Learning Center (VLC) for the Europe and Central Asia region has secured accreditation for three of its online courses through the Veterinary Continuing Education in Europe (VetCEE) – an international non-profit association founded as a joint initiative of veterinary academia, specialists and the profession. These accredited courses include topics as diverse as biosecurity for ruminants, African swine fever preparedness, and an introduction to One Health.

Launched in 2021, the FAO Virtual Learning Center network offers a one-stop platform for One Health professionals to access high-quality, online training opportunities in multiple languages. For users in the Europe and Central Asia region, the courses are mostly English and Russian. Courses are typically tutored, with enrollments ranging from 300 to 500 participants, who are usually nominated by their countries through a network of national focal points based at the veterinary services. 

Before getting their certificates, participants are required to complete interactive, self-paced modules at their own pace over a convenient four- to five-week timeframe, complemented by webinars and an interactive discussion forum to ask questions from experts, and share their experience with peers. This commitment to accessible and inclusive learning empowers participants worldwide to stay current on best practices and emerging issues in One Health, regardless of their location or schedule. The most popular courses often get converted into open-access versions for enrollment at any time.

VetCEE accreditation: A symbol of excellence

VetCEE is an international non-profit association whose main purpose is to provide accreditation of national and international programmes for continuing veterinary education in Europe and facilitate the recognition of Continuous Professional Development between the various countries in Europe.

The VetCEE accreditation signifies a significant achievement for the FAO Virtual Learning Center. This recognition confirms that these three courses meet rigorous quality standards, ensuring participants can utilize the credits earned. This not only benefits individual professionals, but also fosters a culture of continuous learning and professional development within the animal health sector.

Expanding the knowledge base

With the successful accreditation of these courses, the FAO Continuous Professional Development is actively developing new courses and pursuing accreditation for additional programs. This commitment to providing high-quality, VetCEE-approved online training demonstrates FAO's dedication to supporting animal health professionals across Europe and Central Asia. By empowering them with the latest knowledge and skills, the FAO platform plays a crucial role in safeguarding animal health, promoting food security, and contributing to a healthier future for all.