PVS Pathway

The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) mission is to improve animal health and welfare worldwide; national Veterinary Services provide the basis of global capacity to achieve this mission. Recognising this, the WOAH has developed international Standards on both the quality of Veterinary Services’ provision, as well as technical animal health and veterinary public health management. Two Chapters of the WOAH Terrestrial Animal Health Code (the Terrestrial Code) are dedicated to the Quality of Veterinary Services.

PVS Pathway

Options for Targeted Support


Mission Reports


About the Programme

Based on these principles and standards, WOAH has developed the Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS) Pathway, WOAH flagship capacity building platform for the sustainable improvement of national Veterinary Services. The PVS Pathway empowers national Veterinary Services by providing them with a comprehensive understanding of their strengths and weaknesses using a globally consistent methodology based on international standards – a useful external perspective that can reveal gaps, inefficiencies and opportunities for innovation.
This enables countries to take ownership and prioritise improvements to their animal health system. Some key characteristic of the PVS Pathway:

  • a broad-based systems approach,
  • a voluntary, country driven process,
  • a longer term strategic focus (5-10 years),
  • a participatory, supportive and collaborative process, rather than being directive or presenting a risk to countries.

PVS Pathway Cycle and Toolkit

Cyclical in nature, the PVS Pathway provides a robust mechanism for the continuous improvement of national Veterinary Services,  through a staged approach using a set of proven tools and methods to evaluate, plan, cost and support the strengthening of national Veterinary Services.

The four stages of the PVS Pathway are:

  1. Orientation;
  2. Evaluation;
  3. Planning;
  4. Targeted Support
The four stages of the PVS Pathway Cycle

The PVS Tool

The PVS Pathway activities are based on the basic methodology of the WOAH PVS Tool, as the basis for evaluating performance against the international standards published in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code. The PVS Tool describes 45 Critical Competencies of Veterinary Services, categorised into four Fundamental Components:

  • I. Human, Physical and Financial Resources,
  • II. Technical Authority and Capability,
  • III. Interaction with Stakeholders
  • IV. Access to Markets.
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PVS Evaluation Tool PVS Evaluation Tool: Aquatic

History and Evolution

The PVS Pathway has proven an unmitigated success since its launch in 2007 and the numbers testify to this, with currently 140 countries actively engaged.During 2006-2010, the WOAH progressively developed the WOAH PVS Pathway, from the PVS Evaluation alone, followed by the PVS Gap Analysis, to a comprehensive, staged approach providing a series of sequential capacity-building activities for the systematic strengthening of Veterinary Services.
In 2013, a similar tool was developed for the evaluation of Aquatic Animal Health Services.
During 2017, marking the ten-year anniversary of the PVS Pathway, the WOAH convened a PVS Pathway Think Tank Forum involving numerous stakeholders to confirm its successes, take stock of lessons learned and set directions for the future. The Forum affirmed the relevance of the PVS Pathway and existing activities and identified new activities to ensure that countries are more continually engaged in this process, can tailor their engagement based on governance and technical needs, and can more equally benefit from its outputs.

The main recommendations of the PVS Think Tank Forum were summarised in the following Think Tank Forum infographic or “placemat”

Click on the image to see the infographic in full screen mode

Since then, the concepts derived from the PVS Think Tank Forum have been realized as newer PVS Pathway engagement options, designed to increase country ownership, positive impact and sustainable change.

They include: PVS Orientation Training, PVS Self- Evaluation, PVS specific content, PVS strategic planning support and PVS/IHR National Bridging Workshops , all of which are described in their staged format within the next section.