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ACVAA Endorsement Guidelines for Certificate Granting Programs in the Areas of Veterinary Anesthesia and Perioperative Analgesia


  1. ) The ACVAA will consider applications for endorsement from individuals or groups (i.e. granting organizations) which provide training and certificates (i.e. a document that is official proof that you have finished a course of training) in the areas of veterinary anesthesia and/or perioperative pain management. For the program to be considered for endorsement, it must provide at least 12 hours of training (e.g. 1 hour is at least 50 minutes of training) solely focused on anesthesia and/or perioperative pain management. Programs which are primarily promotional (e.g. training on how to use a specific brand-named product or patented technique) or self-study (e.g. online or written delivery) will not be considered. Web-based programs may be considered; however the presenter of the lecture (or other method of instruction such as case-based learning) must be available for questions. A surrogate for the actual presenter of the lecture or instruction is not acceptable.

  2. ) Granting organizations shall provide the ACVAA a copy of the final examination and curriculum outline. Examinations should contain referenced questions which test the knowledge of the attendee in the area of certificate training. Additionally, a description of the course must be made accessible to the public (e.g. on the granting organization’s website) which details items including: the presenters and their biographical information relevant to their expertise in anesthesia and perioperative pain management, method of course delivery (e.g. lecture, lab, or case discussion), course syllabus and/or learning objectives, and a list of teaching resources used (e.g. specific textbook, video or website content). If copyrighted material is used, a statement indicating permission of the owner to use their material is appropriate. The ACVAA Certificate Program Endorsement Committee will determine if the certificate awarded is acceptable for the specific program content offered (whether broad or limited in scope). All applications will be reviewed by the ACVAA Certificate Committee and if accepted will be sent to the BOD for final ACVAA approval and endorsement.

  3. ) The anesthesia and/or perioperative analgesia certificate program must have a minimum of 2 ACVAA Diplomates overseeing and ensuring adherence to the guideline requirements through either review or direct involvement in program delivery, course development and exam preparation.

  4. ) At the time of application, a recertification plan must be specified by the granting organization for all certificate holders, which shall occur at minimum every five years. The nature of the recertification requirements may vary based on the scope of the certificate program but must ensure maintenance of current knowledge and skills in the area(s) for which certificates are awarded. All ACVAA endorsed programs must monitor their certificate holders on an ongoing basis to ensure this guideline is met. This ensures that the granted certificate maintains its value as an indicator of updated knowledge and skill attained in anesthesia and/or perioperative analgesia and that the certificate's legitimacy is maintained once ACVAA endorsed.

  5. ) A publically accessible code of conduct for certificate holders is encouraged to be provided by the granting organization. All ACVAA endorsed certificate granting programs must require that their certificate holders comply with the AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics relating to the use of the granted certificate. Specifically, “Veterinarians should obey all laws of the jurisdictions in which they reside and practice veterinary medicine. Veterinarians should be honest and fair in their relations with others, and they should not engage in fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit.” (from https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Pages/Principles-of-Veterinary-Medical-Ethics-of-the-AVMA.aspx) Similar standards should apply to non-veterinarians who are granted certificates.

  6. ) Sponsoring organizations/groups must maintain a current, public database (e.g. on their website) which lists the certificate holders and their certification status. This is to provide a publically accessible means of verification of the certificate holder’s current status.

  7. ) Certification programs must clearly specify (in a publicly accessible place such as a website) the differences between their certificate and the diploma of any AVMA-recognized specialty organization. No program should mislead or confuse the public as to the experience or expertise of the veterinary care provider holding the credential. “It is unethical for veterinarians to identify themselves as members of an AVMA recognized specialty organization if such certification has not been awarded and maintained.” (from https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Pages/Principles-of-Veterinary-Medical-Ethics-of-the-AVMA.aspx)

  8. ) Certificate Program endorsement by the ACVAA is valid for 5 years. Renewal of endorsement at that time requires adherence to all guidelines and submission of an updated application.