USDA revises the National Veterinary Accreditation Program

Updated August 23, 2011

Update August 2011
The USDA has announced that veterinarians currently accredited in the National Veterinary Accreditation Program (NVAP) may continue to perform accredited duties and may elect to continue to participate in the NVAP until October 1, 2011. Currently accredited veterinarians must elect to continue their participation in NVAP by October 1 to maintain their accredited status, after which the USDA will confirm their continued participation and notify them of the first renewal date. For more information, including access to a webinar that explains the process, please visit the USDA NVAP page.

On December 9, 2009 the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) published a final ruling that revised the veterinary accreditation program.

Established in 1921, the National Veterinary Accreditation Program (NVAP) is designed to allow private practice veterinarians to assist federal veterinarians in controlling animal diseases. According to the USDA-APHIS, the revisions will "strengthen animal health safeguarding activities and increase the training and skills of accredited veterinarians in disease prevention and preparedness for animal health emergencies."

The revised program took effect February 1, 2010.

The changes to the NVAP program include the following:

  • Two species-based accreditation categories instead of one
  • Accredited veterinarians will be assigned a six-digit national accreditation number
  • Requirements for supplemental training in 2013 at the earliest
    • Supplemental training will be available online, in print form, and at multiple veterinary meetings and conventions.
    • NVAP training may be accepted by many states as credits toward license renewal CE requirements.
  • Renewal of accreditation every three (3) years
  • Veterinarians accredited before February 1, 2010 must apply to continue their accreditation in the NVAP.
    A one-page form, available on the USDA NVAP site, should be completed and returned via email, fax or mail to the NVAP headquarters.

National Veterinary Accreditation Program

Read the USDA-APHIS press release (December 9, 2009)

Read the final rule as published in the Federal Register (December 9, 2009)

USDA to restructure accreditation program, require renewal (JAVMA News, January 15, 2010)

Thousands of veterinarians sign up for new tiered accreditation (JAVMA News, April 15, 2010)

New accreditation requirements prepare veterinarians to protect U.S. security (AAEP Web site)