Accreditation of Veterinary Technology Programs - Site Visit Guide

Last Update: June 2014

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Congratulations on your endeavor to achieve and/or maintain accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA). The CVTEA is committed to shaping the future of veterinary medicine by promoting veterinary technology and the veterinary professional team through education, quality, integrity, service, leadership, and collegiality.

The CVTEA strives to make the accreditation process an insightful and collegiate opportunity to learn, grow, and improve. In addition to the value of external review, most program directors find the process of self-analysis inherent in developing the self-study to be very beneficial. You are encouraged to contact AVMA staff as often as you need with questions or concerns throughout the process.

SITE VISIT DATE

Your site visit date is confirmed with the enclosed cover letter. If for some reason the original site visit date needs to be postponed, the AVMA CVTEA cannot guarantee availability of the desired date change.

SETTING UP THE EVALUATION TEAM

The evaluation team typically consists of five members:

  • a CVTEA member who serves as chair of the team;
  • a veterinarian representing the state veterinary medical association or a veterinarian who resides in the state or local areas served by the institution;
  • a veterinary technician;
  • a public representative;
  • and an AVMA staff member.

Site Team Chair
AVMA staff is responsible for identifying the CVTEA member who will serve as chair of the site team and the AVMA staff member(s). CVTEA members may not chair site visits within their states of residence. As soon as known, this individual will be identified to you.

Selection of Veterinary Medical Association Representative
AVMA staff will contact your state veterinary medical association (VMA) for its recommendation. As soon as this person is identified, you will be notified. If you believe a potential conflict of interest exits with the nominated individual, it is the program's responsibility to notify AVMA staff immediately. If the state VMA does not appoint a representative, a veterinarian from the state selected by the Program or AVMA staff may also serve on the site team.

Selection of Veterinary Technician and Public Representatives
The Program is responsible for providing the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email information of the public member and the veterinary technician by the date noted on the cover letter. Include brief background information on each individual. Confirming availability of both individuals is your responsibility.

  1. Submit the name of one public member willing to serve. The public member should not be associated with the college, may not be a veterinarian or veterinary technician, and may not serve on the program advisory committee or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

  2. Submit the name of a veterinary technician willing to serve. The veterinary technician member must be a credentialed veterinary technician, preferably a graduate of an AVMA-accredited veterinary technology program. If at all possible, the candidate should be chosen by the state technician association. It is preferable that the veterinary technician not be a graduate of the program; however, the CVTEA recognizes that graduates of other accredited programs may not be available and will accept graduates of your program. The technician cannot be a member of the program advisory committee or IACUC.

SUBMITTING A SELF-STUDY REPORT

Where Do I Find the Self-Study Report?
The self-study template can be found in the Accreditation Policies and Procedures of the AVMA CVTEA (P&P). Please keep in mind that this document is continuously updated. Programs are notified as updates occur (usually twice per year); however, when you begin to prepare your report, check with AVMA staff to confirm that you have the most recent version. The P&P is available online at www.avma.org, or a copy can be emailed to you.

You may find it easier to use the electronic file for "fill-in-the-blank" purposes. An electronic copy can be requested by emailing Ms. Julie Horvath or calling her at 800/248-2862 ext. 6624.

How Many Copies?
You will need to prepare five hard copies of your self-study report and one electronic copy (maximum file size the AVMA server can accept is 4 meg).

Where Do I Send the Self-Study Report?
Mail one hard copy of your report, along with a college catalog, to each of the evaluation team members by the deadline date on your cover letter.

AVMA staff will provide you with the mailing addresses of the CVTEA and state veterinarian team members as they are identified. Be sure to track your packages and notify AVMA staff to confirm that reports have been shipped.

Electronic Copy of Self-Study Report
Email an electronic copy of your self-study report. Microsoft Word is the preferred format for the narrative portion of your report.

Self-Study Format Guidelines
You will need to prepare five copies of your Self-Study Report.  Mail one copy of the report, along with a College catalog, to each of the five evaluation team members.  AVMA staff will provide the mailing addresses of the team members as they are identified.  Track your packages and call or email the AVMA office to confirm when the reports have been shipped.  In addition, email an electronic copy of the self-study report, including appendices to the AVMA office at jhorvath@avma.org.

 

All self-study reports should be:

  1. Authored by the Program Director or Interim Program Director and reviewed and approved by any necessary institutional personnel.
  2. Limited to 50 pages for the narrative section and 50 pages for the appendices. Course outlines may be submitted on on thumb drive or as a separate bound booklet.
  3. Single-sided, single-spaced.
  4. Page numbered (including appendices).
  5. Sectioned by Standard, with each section and appendix separated by a tab. Tabs should be numbered to coincide with the Standard.
  6. Spiral bound with a soft cover. No three-ring binders.
  7. Concise, yet complete. Be judicious in the amount of material included in the report. If you are unsure as to whether or not to include something, contact the AVMA office.

 

Provide the following information in APPENDICES: (Information in the appendices should be organized by Standard and the tab appropriately labeled):
 
  • Most recent letter of accreditation from Institutional Accreditor
  • Organizational chart
  • Membership of the advisory committee and copies of the minutes of the last two advisory committee meetings
  • Facility diagrams and Photographic evidence of facilities. If using an online video source such as YouTube provide the link to the video in the narrative of the self-study report. Photos may also be submitted on a thumb drive
  • Copy of latest USDA Inspection Report and responses to deficiencies if noted
  • Copy of one example of Memorandum of Understanding with off-campus clinical sites (if applicable).
  • Copies of last two IACUC meeting minutes and an example of one animal use protocol
  • Student Pregnancy Policy and Student Rabies Vaccination Policy
  • Job Description of Program Director
  • Suggested Course sequence
  • Course descriptions
  • Copies of Official CVTEA School Report as provided by PES for the last five years (summary sheets and domain scores of VTNE may be provided if the Official CVTEA School Report is not available. Reports may be submitted on thumb drive).

  

Provide the following as separate ITEMS along with your self-study report:
 
Item 1 – College catalog (if print copies are no longer used, provide a link to the website on a cover page
Item 2 – Student handbook and orientation materials, if applicable.
Item 3 – Aggressive animal and management of animal bites/injury to student policy
Item 4 – Course outlines on a thumb drive
 

 

Have the following items AT THE SITE VISIT for the site team.  One copy of each for the team to review will suffice. Arrange items according to the Standard. Note: although some items listed below may have already be submitted in the self-study, have the documentation at the visit for the team.

 

 
a.       Standard I
                                                              i.      Document verifying institutional accreditation with _______
b.      Standard III
                                                              i.      Current roster of the membership of the program advisory committee
c.       Standard IV
                                                              i.      Aggressive animal policy
                                                            ii.      Management of animal bites/scratches policy
                                                          iii.      Emergency plan (if not provided in SSR)
d.      Standard V
                                                              i.      All animal care and use protocols
                                                            ii.      Animal care and use concern complaint protocol
                                                          iii.      Evidence of reporting to the Institutional Official
                                                          iv.      Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee minutes
                                                            v.      Animal Care and Use Committee membership (if different from membership submitted in self-study)
                                                          vi.      All signed memoranda of understanding (MOU’s) [animal resources and off-campus providers of clinical instruction]
                                                        vii.      Medical logs utilized by the program, including controlled substance log and/or mock controlled substance log
                                                      viii.      Documentation of requirements, if any, for providers of off-campus clinical instruction
                                                          ix.      Photographs or video of off-campus sites used for primary instruction
e.       Standard VI
                                                              i.      List of texts, periodicals, and databases available to the program (can be in an electronic format)
f.       Standard VII
                                                              i.      Program admission packet, if applicable
                                                            ii.      Program brochures, if applicable
g.      Standard VIII
                                                              i.      Documentation of student enrollment numbers
h.      Standard IX
                                                              i.      Resumes of program personnel (at minimum those employed at least 25% time) and additionally:
1.      Veterinarian(s)
a.       Copy of license(s)
2.      Credentialed veterinary technician(s) who fulfill the FTE requirement
a.       Copy of degree transcript(s) from CVTEA accredited veterinary technology program
b.      Copy of veterinary technician credential(s) (i.e. LVT, CVT, or RVT)
                                                            ii.      Documentation of program personnel workloads
i.        Standard X
                                                              i.      All standardized criteria used for the evaluation of essential skills
                                                            ii.      Course syllabi
                                                          iii.      Examples of course content (e.g. unit of instruction with lecture and laboratory components, exams)
                                                          iv.      Signed externship/internship/preceptorship agreement/contracts
j.        Standard XI
                                                              i.      Samples of completed Graduate and Employer surveys
                                                            ii.      Samples of evaluations by preceptorship/internship/externship supervisors, students, or program personnel, if available
                                                          iii.      Job placement information, if available
 

Self-Study Review
AVMA staff and the site team chair will review your submitted self-study before the site visit. If additional information is needed or areas of concern are identified, you will be notified as soon as possible.

LOGISTICS - HOTEL, TRAVEL, AND MEALS

Hotel
The Program is responsible for making hotel arrangements (single non-smoking rooms) for the evaluation team, as needed. If lodging needs of the team members are unknown, it is best to make a total of five room reservations and then cancel them as appropriate. Provide the confirmation numbers to AVMA staff once ready.

Meeting Space
Provide a secure room at the hotel or at the college to be used the second day after lunch and following dinner on the second night for the team to work on the report. Team members may need printing capabilities which can be achieved by having access to a computer with printing capabilities at the college or at the hotel business office.

Travel
Site Team members are responsible for making their own flight arrangements. If feasible, it is recommended that site team members be picked up from the airport by program personnel.

Meals
The Program is responsible for arranging all meals including both dinners. It is best to arrange a box lunch on campus in a quiet area for the first day of the site visit. The dinner with the advisory committee/faculty is semi-business and a private or semi-private room at a restaurant or at the campus is highly recommended to allow for easy conversation between guests. If there are any dietary restrictions of a team member, AVMA staff will notify the program as soon as possible.

Hotel, travel, and meal logistics are due by the deadline date on your cover letter.

SITE VISIT AGENDA
A tentative site visit agenda is enclosed. If changes to the agenda are needed, call AVMA staff for approval. A final agenda is due approximately three weeks before the site visit that includes participant names, meeting room locations, and any other unique aspects of the site visit.

The program director serves as the primary host for the site team and is required to be present for the entire visit, unless otherwise indicated by the site team chair.

A secure room should be provided for use by the evaluation team during the site visit. It generally works best if the different groups meeting with the site team come to a central location rather than the team moving from one location to another throughout the visit.

EXPENSES
During the evaluation site visit, AVMA staff will initially take care of the expenses for the team. Because of this, it is important that lodging and food arrangements are made with institutions that accept MasterCard credit cards. An institution may pay for expenses up front if there are advantages to do so; however, AVMA staff will need to be advised in advance. Eventually, all site visit travel, meals, lodging and associated expenses will be billed to the college. The average site visit cost is approximately $2,700 – 3,700.

CONFIDENTIALITY AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST
All evaluation team members will be asked to sign and abide by a confidentiality agreement. The program has the prerogative to reject any member of the evaluation team if it is believed there is a conflict of interest, but this must be done sufficiently far in advance to allow finding another site team member to fill the position.

The AVMA Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality statement:

Confidentiality Agreement
In accordance with AVMA policy, all information related to the CVTEA accreditation of a veterinary technology program is strictly confidential. This includes, but is not limited to reports of evaluation, letters, self-evaluation and accreditation materials, interim/annual/biennial reports, correspondence, and the content of any discussion related to the program and/or its accreditation. All requests for information related to a specific institution and/or program must be referred to AVMA staff, or the respective institution.

Freedom of Information Acts which may be applicable in a given state, province, or country do not apply to AVMA confidential information related to the accreditation of veterinary technology programs. Information requested through such acts may be obtained through due process from the respective institution or state/province/country office.

Conflict Of Interest
To ensure that all matters dealing with accreditation of programs of veterinary technology are conducted in an unbiased manner, the CVTEA has adopted a Conflict of Interest Policy. The Policy extends and pertains to those site team members who have immediate family (parent, spouse, siblings) who fall into any of the areas listed. Criteria that may pose a conflict of interest for a candidate include, but are not limited to:

  1. Graduation from the institution being evaluated.
  2. Past or present employment by the institution or program being evaluated.
  3. Service as a consultant for the institution/program being evaluated.
  4. Membership on the advisory committee of the program being evaluated.
  5. Other potential conflicts of interest.

It is expected that the candidate will communicate with AVMA staff for clarification of any concerns. If conflicts of interest are revealed to the entire team, and if it is agreed that the site team member will be unbiased in evaluating the program, it will be acceptable to allow the individual to remain on the site team.

POST SITE VISIT
Draft deficiencies developed by the site visit team will be discussed with the program director during an exit interview. After discussing the report with the program director, the site team will present the findings to the highest levels of administration available. After the site visit, the site team creates a Report of Evaluation (ROE) based on its findings during the site visit. After review and acceptance by the site team, you will be asked to review the draft ROE for accuracy. In addition, if the program believes that the site team has erred in interpreting the Standards and/or that deficiencies in the ROE are inappropriate, the CVTEA invites comments that elaborate on the concerns. A final draft ROE is presented to the CVTEA at its next feasible meeting for the accreditation decision.

Accreditation decisions are made by the CVTEA, not the site visit team. Decisions are made by a majority vote of the CVTEA. The ROE and deficiencies are confidential information that is provided to the program director and to the college president by the AVMA. Distribution of information from and about the site visit and AVMA reports is the prerogative of the program and/or institution, not the AVMA nor site team members.

FOR NEW PROGRAMS ONLY

Application Fee
An application fee of $3,000 is due along with the application form.

Program Informational Material
After an application for accreditation has been received and accepted, a program may indicate to the public that the program has applied for AVMA accreditation. The program or parent institution may not in any manner insinuate that application for accreditation connotes or ensures accreditation.

Application for accreditation does not grant any preliminary accreditation status. Misleading information on licensure eligibility may jeopardize the accreditation process.

Upon successful achievement of accreditation, the AVMA will notify your state licensing board and veterinary medical association. A list of programs that have applied for AVMA accreditation is posted on the AVMA website within 30 days of acceptance of the application.

ALL QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS
Please direct all questions and concerns to AVMA staff as often as possible.

 

Ms. Rachel A. Valentine, RVT, BS 
Assistant Director
800-248-2862 ext. 6676

Ms. Laura Lien, CVT, VTS (LAIM)
Assistant Director
800-248-2862 ext. 6609

Ms. Julie Horvath
CVTEA Program Coordinator
800-248-2862 ext. 6624