The AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities recently implemented new standard operating procedures for programs seeking initial accreditation.
The changes were approved by the CVTEA this past October and went into effect in January.
According to the new procedures, veterinary technology programs now should submit an application for accreditation prior to enrolling students. Programs that wish to become AVMA CVTEA-accredited may request a waiver of this requirement if they are located in states where there already is a state approval or accreditation process. This would include programs that have been in existence for some time and have already had graduates but that are not yet CVTEA-accredited.
A program seeking initial accreditation must also undergo an initial review by the CVTEA within three months before or after enrolling students. This initial review requires submission of additional information to the committee; programs that pass this initial review will receive confirmation of acceptance of the initial application. From there, an initial accreditation site visit will be coordinated by AVMA staff.
Previously, the CVTEA did not have any standard operating procedures for programs seeking initial accreditation. Julie Horvath, CVTEA coordinator, said that with the growing number of programs starting up, the committee was finding that many programs were struggling to meet the standards during the startup years. The CVTEA thought having standard operating procedures would better facilitate the process.
"The CVTEA implemented the new SOPs as a way to improve communication between programs starting up and the CVTEA during those challenging initial months and years, with the ultimate goal of helping new programs increase the likelihood of a positive initial accreditation site visit," Horvath said.
As always, initial review of a program and scheduling of a site visit do not guarantee accreditation, nor do they necessarily result in the granting of temporary accreditation status.
Currently 165 programs in veterinary technology are CVTEA-accredited, including nine distance learning programs. Twenty programs offer baccalaureate degrees (10 offer bachelor's degrees only, and 10 offer associate's and bachelor's degrees). There are 113 programs assigned full accreditation, 43 assigned provisional accreditation, seven assigned probationary accreditation, and two programs that are being voluntarily discontinued and have been assigned terminal accreditation.