CVTEA accreditation policies and procedures

Last update to this section: January 2023

Appendix I – Accreditation standards and guidelines for interpretation

Accreditation is the voluntary process by which educational institutions are evaluated for quality based on conformity with established Standards. Accreditation serves to enhance the profession and protect the public by identifying goals and assisting institutions in achieving those goals. The following minimum Standards have been established by the AVMA CVTEA for quality assessment and provide a framework within which institutions are expected to identify and achieve goals for quality enhancement of accredited veterinary technology programs.

How to use this document: The accreditation process looks for objective evidence that institutions are effective in meeting the standards and achieving desired outcomes for student learning, safety, and animal welfare. The standards are not prescriptive and the committee recognizes that institutions may employ a variety of means, consistent with their individual missions, to meet the standards. Compliance/performance examples are offered within the document to show how an individual program might demonstrate it is meeting the standard through verifiable documentation facilities inspection, site visit interviews, and other means. Note that examples, while intended to be helpful, are not exhaustive and should not be considered directive.

  1. Institutional Accreditation

    An accredited veterinary technology program in the United States must be part of an institution of higher education accredited by an agency recognized by, and in good standing with, the U.S. Department of Education. Non-U.S. programs must be part of an institution of higher learning recognized by, and in good standing with, the appropriate national, provincial, or regional agency with that authority.

    Rationale: CVTEA focuses accreditation efforts on standards for delivering a quality education in the field of veterinary technology. It is expected that institutions are meeting accreditation standards relevant to overall delivery of educational and student services and are operating in a way that maximizes student success.

    Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

    • A copy of the institutional accreditation certificate is available with the accreditation status indicated and date of the institution's next review, as well as communication from the accreditor outlining any deficiencies and/or concerns.
    • Evidence that the Administration is aware of any findings by the institutional accreditor that are relevant to the program, including any corrective action plan(s), expected participation by the program in effectuating these plans, and required timeline(s) for completion.
    • Evidence that the institutional accrediting or recognizing agency is in good standing with the US Dept. of Education or another appropriate government agency if outside the U.S.
  2. Finances

    Sustainable financial support must be adequate for the program to attain the educational goals and support its mission.

    Rationale: The financial stability of a program ensures that it can provide continuity to a student's educational experience. In addition, sufficient financial resources must be available to provide for emergencies, capital purchases, facilities maintenance, and the recruitment and retention of qualified faculty and staff. Financial information allows the Committee to assess budget allocations (including for faculty and staff salaries), to ensure that quality teaching and support services are provided, and to ensure that facilities and equipment are available and maintained to meet the standards of accreditation.

    Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

    • All sources of revenue are accounted for—e.g. tuition, fees, government allocations, grants.
    • A Program budget is available for review that is adequate to attain the short and long-term educational goals of the Program and to support its mission.
    • Evidence, including site visit interviews, that the budget planning process includes input from the program director.
    • The budget provides:
      • Allocations from recurring and sustainable funding sources to meet the needs of the program based on the number of faculty, staff, and students.
      • Adequate salaries for faculty and staff to ensure continuity of instruction and program management.
      • Allocations for supplies, facilities, and needed equipment with consideration for any long-term plans for facility building/remodeling.
      • Provisions for emergency funding to meet equipment and/or facility maintenance and replacement needs.
    • Site visit interviews with the program director, faculty, staff, and students corroborate that resources, including salaries, are sufficient to meet the needs of the program.
  3. Organization and Communications
    1. The program must develop, publicize, and follow its mission statement.

      Rationale: Having a mission statement allows for the alignment of administration, faculty, staff, and students with the philosophy and goals of the program. A mission statement provides the framework for a program to set and re-evaluate goals.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • The mission statement is succinct and easily understood by program stakeholders (i.e., students, staff, faculty, program advisory committee, and community members).
      • Action taken by the program in regard to the focus of the curriculum, facilities, equipment, off-site placement opportunities, program outcomes, and interactions with the community align with the mission statement.
    2. There must be clearly defined lines of communication that are open and effective between the institution and the program director, program director and faculty/adjuncts, between program personnel, and between program personnel and students.

      Rationale: Effective communication among all parties is key to a well-functioning program. Communication between the program and college administration and between students and staff is ideally frequent, professional, collegial, and transparent.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • An organizational chart indicates alignment with other departments within the institution and a clear chain of command between the Program Director and administration.
      • Site visit interviews with faculty and staff indicate that regularly scheduled meetings between the Program Director and institutional administration are encouraged.
      • Site visit interviews with faculty and staff indicate that scheduled meetings between the Program Director and faculty/staff (including between program personnel and off-site partners), are encouraged (see Standards 5e and 10e).
      • Evidence (such as regularly scheduled office hours or the ability to communicate through other synchronous or asynchronous communication) that students have access to Program personnel and instructors of record.
      • Site visit interviews with the program director, faculty, staff, administrators, and students corroborate:
        • An aligned understanding of program needs, expectations, and goals.
        • Open communication channels that permit problems or concerns, once identified, to be addressed in a timely manner.
        • Interactions with staff are professional, particularly when concerns about animal welfare, student performance, or program improvement are brought forward.
    3. Program relationships with students, faculty, administrators, and the public must be conducted with integrity. Policies and available educational services for veterinary technology students must be clearly defined.

      Rationale: Productive working relationships with a variety of stakeholders ensure long-term student success. In return, students should understand the expectations for their educational program in order to meet or exceed those expectations. The Program should honor agreements and actively solicit feedback for program improvement.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • A student handbook or other information is available on a website or other online resource that makes students aware of institutional policies and resources that affect them.
      • Evidence that Program information available to students and the public accurately reflects the activities of the program.
      • Materials review and site visit interviews verify that there are opportunities for clinical sites, advisory committee members, students, and graduates to provide input for program improvement.
      • The results of site visit interviews with administration, the program director, faculty, staff, and students demonstrate integrity in the program's communication and operations.
      • Feedback in surveys, input from the advisory committee, and the breadth and stability of relationships with clinical placement sites and other community partnerships demonstrate integrity in the program's communication and operations.
    4. The CVTEA must be apprised of changes in administration, organization, association with the parent institution, and major changes in the curriculum, faculty, or stated objectives. All changes must be reported to the CVTEA and conform with substantive change reporting requirements and describe how the program will continue to comply with accreditation Standards. It is expected that the program director or interim program director be included in all program reporting. (see AVMA CVTEA Substantive Change Report)

      Rationale: Program accreditation is based on the state of the program documented in the Self-Study Report and Report of Evaluation generated from the most recent site visit. Information is also presented in Subsequent Reporting and Substantive Change Reports. Changes must be submitted and reviewed in a timely manner to keep this assessment current and to ensure the continued quality of the educational program.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • The program self-study accurately reflects the current state of the program.
      • Substantive changes since the previous Report of Evaluation have been reported to the CVTEA according to policy timeline requirements.
    5. The program must have an advisory committee that meets at least annually to provide counsel regarding equipment, curriculum, demographic trends, and other matters pertaining to the veterinary technology profession. Membership must include veterinarians and veterinary technicians with diverse professional interests, not currently affiliated with the program. Representation should include credentialed veterinary technicians, veterinary technician students, industry representatives, and public members.

      Rationale: A properly constituted and functioning advisory committee assists the program in meeting its goals for program improvement and serves as a bridge between the program and the entities that will hire graduates. The intent of the advisory committee is to bring a variety of outside perspectives to the program that it may remain current and attuned to stakeholder needs. In order to do so, the advisory committee must meet minimum requirements for membership and attendance. The inclusion of public members and those from a wide cross-section of the veterinary industry, including current students, program alumni, and veterinary professionals unaffiliated with the Program, ensures diversity of perspective and experience.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Advisory committee meeting minutes:
        • Accurately reflect the content and attendance of meetings.
        • Include a list of all members in attendance and all those absent.
        • Reflect that, at a minimum, meetings occur annually.
      • The advisory committee roster and the members in attendance demonstrate a diverse population of professionals and public members.
    6. Programs with agreements between two or more institutions are recognized. The institution accredited by the CVTEA is declared the parent (home) institution and grants the degree or certificate.

      Rationale: This standard defines the responsibilities of individual institutions in the case of collaborative agreements and does not include satellite campuses of the same institution.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • A written agreement that clearly defines the responsibilities of each entity involved in the collaboration.
    7. Communication and interactions with veterinary technician educator associations, veterinary medical associations, and veterinary technician associations should be maintained.

      Rationale: Professional veterinary organizations provide access to current resources, information, and a gateway to the latest research in the field. Faculty will benefit from memberships and affiliations with these organizations while also modeling to students the importance of continuing education and life-long learning.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • The role and value of professional organizations is included within the Program curriculum.
  4. Physical Facilities and Equipment
    1. All aspects of the physical facilities must provide an environment conducive to learning and the achievement of the educational goals. Classrooms, teaching laboratories, and other teaching spaces shall be clean, maintained in good repair, adequate in number, appropriate in capacity, and provided with sufficient equipment to meet the instructional need and the number of students enrolled.

      Rationale: It is essential that students learn in an environment that is clean, well maintained, sufficiently spacious to accommodate students and animals, and includes sufficient equipment for the number of students and animals. Facilities should be safe and free of hazards to personnel, students, and animals. Facilities capacity and maintenance directly impact the educational experience of students in veterinary technology programs. A 'best practice' approach is encouraged rather than maintenance of a minimum standard.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Site visit facilities walkthrough and interviews verify that classrooms, treatment areas, animal housing areas, surgery suites, and laboratories (including shared labs and those used to teach required core courses such as biology, chemistry, and microbiology):
        • Look and smell clean
        • Are large enough for students and animals to move freely
        • Are free of clutter and extraneous items
        • Are free of hazards including but not limited to chipped tiles, water damage, leaks, low hanging wires, and trip hazards
        • Have lighting that is adequate for safe work and learning
        • Have HVAC, electric, plumbing, and other mechanical systems that are properly functioning and serviced regularly
        • Have floors, counters, shelves, and other surfaces that are in good repair, impervious to fluids, and easily cleaned/disinfected.
      • Site visit facilities walkthrough and interviews verify that surgery rooms are:
        • dedicated to surgical activities only
        • of sufficient size for teaching activities
        • free of extraneous materials
        • protected from excess personnel traffic and contamination
      • Site visit facilities walkthrough and interviews verify that if needed, emergency lighting is present in all areas of the physical facility.
      • Budgets, inventories, and site visit interviews with students, faculty, and staff indicate that equipment is provided in sufficient quantity so that waiting to use equipment does not impede learning.
      • Budgets and planning documents indicate that Program growth is supported by commensurate growth in physical facilities.
    2. All clinical facilities for primary learning must emulate contemporary veterinary facilities. Standard types of laboratory and clinical equipment, consistent with those used in contemporary veterinary facilities, are provided. Programs must have access to all items listed in the Equipment and Instructional Resource List (Appendix H) over the sum total of all primary learning sites.

      Rationale: The purpose of this standard is to ensure that student learning is taking place in functional, modern, and properly equipped clinical environments conducive to the proper treatment of patients and provision of humane animal husbandry.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Site visit facilities walkthrough and interviews verify that all equipment is in good working order.
      • Receipts, contracts, and other documents verify that appropriate inspection, maintenance, and quality control measures are in place for essential equipment including (but not limited to):
        • Anesthetic vaporizers
        • Microscopes
        • Laboratory analyzers
        • X-ray machines
        • Lead aprons and lead gloves
      • Evidence that the required equipment/instructional resources listed in Appendix H are either owned or accessible to the program during scheduled student learning activities.
      • Site visit facilities walkthrough and interviews verify that surgery rooms are dedicated to surgical activities, free of extraneous materials, and protected from excess personnel traffic and contamination.
    3. Office space must be sufficient for the instructional, advisement, and administrative needs of the faculty, staff, and program.

      Rationale: In order to ensure that student learning objectives and program outcomes are met, program personnel must be provided with the basic infrastructure to efficiently meet their instructional responsibilities. This includes (but is not limited to) access to dedicated office space and administrative resources sufficient for the numbers of program faculty, staff and students.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Site visit facilities walkthrough and interviews verify that the Program Director and faculty/staff have:
        • Access to office space that allows for the efficient execution of their administrative responsibilities.
        • Access to private space or technology for student counseling and advisement.
        • Access to space or technology for program conferences and meetings.
        • Adequate access to administrative technology and equipment (computers, copiers, printers, etc.) to support student learning.
      • Facilities walkthrough verifies that Program office space provides a secure location for storing confidential program materials.
    4. Animal housing must be consistent with accepted humane standards and federal and state regulations. (See 5b)

      Rationale: In all situations, the CVTEA endorses principles of humane care and use of animals, including their housing. All animal care and use must follow USDA regulations specified under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), even if the program is not registered with the USDA. Additionally, the program must follow all applicable state and local animal care requirements. A 'best practice' approach to animal housing is recommended rather than meeting minimum or outdated standards of care. Programs are referred to the Animal Welfare Act for a specific 'best practice' approach to animal housing standards for a variety of species.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Site visit facilities walkthrough and interviews verify that animal housing facilities are clean and kept in good repair, with an emphasis on safety for both animals and personnel.
      • If animals are housed on-campus, facilities inspection, still photography, and video documentation verify that:
        • Where possible and appropriate based on species, animals are housed in groups to minimize stress and encourage normal behavior (for example, predator species are not housed in close proximity to prey species).
        • Where species appropriate, animals are provided with hiding places.
        • Animals are provided with species-appropriate enrichment items.
        • Each enclosure provides adequate space for the animal(s) to move freely and engage in normal play, elimination, gustatory, grooming, and sleeping behavior.
        • Bedding and substrates are species specific and appropriate.
        • Enclosure flooring is species specific and appropriate (for example, wire mesh should be avoided in those species that may sustain foot injury).
        • Depending on species, surfaces in housing areas are impervious and easily disinfected.
        • Species specific requirements for temperature, humidity, and ventilation are maintained in areas where animals are housed.
      • The Program provides verification of an exercise schedule for those species that require it (i.e., a walking or supervised play schedule for dogs, turnout time for horses, etc.).
      • The Program adheres to a sanitation and disinfection schedule for kennels, cages, stalls, and enclosures that is available for review.
    5. Safety of students, program personnel, and animals must be of prime consideration. Prior to live animal use, students must be vaccinated against rabies or the program must implement a comprehensive rabies mitigation protocol as described in Appendix A. (see Statement of Safety Appendix)

      Rationale: Veterinary technology programs and their parent institutions must establish policies and procedures that ensure a safe and healthy environment for students, instructors, personnel, and animals involved in the educational program. Student acquisition of safety-related knowledge and skills is an important part of the educational process. Programs will be evaluated for attention to safety issues in general, with particular emphasis on specific subjects covered under Standards 4 (Physical Facilities and Equipment), 5 (Resources for Clinical Instruction), 8 (Students), and 10 (Curriculum). (See Appendix A and B).

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • The Program follows OSHA standards and includes them in the curriculum.
      • All areas in which program student learning takes place are compliant with OSHA regulations.
      • CVTEA expectations may expand on OSHA requirements to cover areas not specifically addressed therein. Facilities walkthrough and site visit interviews should verify that the Program attends to safety issues including:
        • Compressed gas cylinder placement and storage
        • Eye wash, safety shower, and drench hose availability and function
        • Radiation equipment, logs, use of dosimetry badges during all learning activities (including practical experiences), storage of dosimetry badges, and exposure records
        • Availability of sharps containers
        • Secondary labeling of repackaged materials, consistent with current Globally Harmonized System (GHS) requirements
        • Use of personal protective equipment that is in good repair and sufficient quantity for all students and staff
        • Available storage for student personal items to avoid contamination during laboratory activities
        • Anesthetic machine maintenance, vaporizer validation, and recalibration if indicated
        • Waste anesthetic gas exhaust and patient recovery area ventilation
        • Pregnancy, rabies, vaccination, aggressive animal, bite/scratch, and/or other zoonotic disease prevention policies
        • Formaldehyde standards
        • Noise protection
        • Refrigerator contents
          • Separation of pharmaceuticals, animal food, and patient samples for potential biohazardous material concerns
        • Hazard and safety signage
        • Imperviousness of surfaces in laboratories (including seat covers) in which potential pathogens and/or hazardous materials are used
        • First aid kits
      • Surgery rooms are dedicated to surgical activities only, free of extraneous materials, and protected from excess personnel traffic and contamination
      • Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are accessible and meet GHS requirements.
      • The Program curriculum covers the potential risks of animals as a source of zoonotic exposure or disease transmission to humans
      • Site visit interviews with faculty, staff, and students verify that program personnel model behaviors that minimize exposure to pathogens.
      • A written protocol documents the handling or disposition of aggressive or dangerous animals (such as "faculty restraint only" cage signage or removal of the animal from the program).
      • Electrical outlets are properly grounded and provide safe access.
      • Signage, paint, and other steps have been taken to minimize trip, fall, slip, and other hazards.
      • The Program has evacuation, animal care, and contingency plans in the event of an adverse weather event or disaster (for example: fire, flood, tornado, power outage, etc.) that are available for review.
      • Animal housing areas are secure to prevent escape, theft, or other malfeasance.
      • Program buildings are secure so that students and program personnel are protected from personal harm or injury if on campus after hours, on weekends, or holidays.
      • See Rabies Q&A
    6. All use of drugs, biologics, reagents, and other materials used in conjunction with animal care must comply with state and federal regulations including current dating and appropriate labeling. Materials used for demonstration purposes must be appropriately identified and stored. Controlled substances shall be stored and logged in accordance with state and federal regulations.

      Rationale: Proper management of medications and other materials used in animal care is an essential part of veterinary technician education. The student learning environment models compliance with regulations and demonstrates appropriate use of materials in animal care. This is applicable to all clinical facilities for primary learning.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Facilities inspection and review verify that:
        • Drugs and medical materials are used within their expiration date and stored according to label instructions.
        • Containers and packages are intact and not visibly damaged or contaminated.
        • Documented drug and material handling procedures are effective in mitigating risks to users and preventing contamination of drugs, reagents, and other supplies.
        • Drugs, including controlled substances, that are mixed or compounded meet the same standards for safety, efficacy, labeling, and recordkeeping as commercially available products.
        • All mixing/compounding of drugs follows state and local regulations.
        • Controlled substances are:
          • Securely locked
          • Only available to trained, authorized users
          • Logged at each use and logs readily accessible for inspection
          • Properly disposed based on local, state, and federal requirements
        • Any materials intended for demonstration purposes, including expired products, are clearly labeled as such to avoid use on live animals.
      • Students in classes where drugs, controlled substances, or other materials are used are made aware of methods for legal compliance, management of inventory, dating, and labelling.
    7. Waste management shall be appropriate for the needs of the program and consistent with regulatory agency requirements.

      Rationale: The practice of medicine and student teaching generates waste streams that are regulated by federal, state, and local agencies. On- and off-site primary learning facilities should teach students proper procedures for managing these waste streams while emulating current industry standards of practice.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Facilities inspection and materials review verify that:
        • Sharp containers are puncture resistant, labeled as biohazard or medical waste, and not overfilled.
        • Recapping of needles is not performed unless using a safety device or one-handed technique.
        • Blood, tissues, and other biological waste products are labeled appropriately and disposed of in compliance with prevailing biohazard and/or medical waste regulations.
        • Unused or expired drugs are disposed of using recommended methods for the locality.
        • Unused or expired controlled substances are returned to distributors or manufacturers or destroyed in accordance with federal and/or state guidelines, if allowed.
        • Solvents and reagents are disposed of utilizing a specific chemical waste stream if required.
        • Radioisotopes are disposed of in a radioactive waste stream.
    8. Storage must be sufficient for program needs.

      Rationale: Physical facilities should emulate contemporary practice, and this includes storage areas. A 'best practice' approach is encouraged rather than adopting a minimum standard.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      Facilities walkthrough and materials review verify that:

      • The Program has adequate space to store equipment and supplies for all program needs, including but not limited to
        • Files
        • Infrequently used equipment
        • Lab supplies (including models)
        • Supplies used to treat/care for animals (i.e. needles, bandage materials, food, etc.).
      • The Program has adequate storage to permit functional and uncluttered work, lecture, and animal housing areas.
      • Program personnel can easily access storage areas and stored items.
      • Storage is secured against theft and tampering.
      • Storage areas are clean and dry.
      • Surgery rooms are not utilized as storage areas. See Standards 4a, 4b, 4e above.
  5. Resources for Clinical Instruction
    1. Programs must follow all applicable federal and state regulations and guidelines for the care and use of animals utilized by the program. The CVTEA endorses the principles of humane care and use of animals as codified in the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and requires programs to follow AWA regulations and policies with respect to all animal use. All animal activities conducted by a program must be reviewed and approved by an animal care and use committee whose structure and functions are in accord with AWA requirements. For animals not covered under AWA (rodents), husbandry standards must follow the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

      Rationale: Humane animal care and use in teaching is an important ethical and social issue. The CVTEA requires veterinary technician programs to follow Animal Welfare Act standards even if the institution is not required to register with the USDA as a teaching/research institution, as they represent best practices for animal care and use. This serves to educate students on this important issue and assists programs in reinforcing the value of current guidelines for the well-being of animals under their care.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • The most recent USDA inspection report is provided OR evidence that the program is not required to be registered with the USDA (please refer to the USDA Animal Care Licensing and Registration Assistant
        • If there were any non-compliant items on the inspection, evidence of correction of the item(s) or an action plan and timeline for correction have been reported.
      • Verification that all USDA procedures are being followed.
      • An Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) has been established with letters of appointment by the Institutional Official for Animal Care and Use (IO).
      • The IACUC includes:
        • An IO that is an administrator with access to, and authority to delegate institutional resources to the IACUC for fulfillment of its mission.
        • Is comprised of minimally 3 members appointed by the CEO or designee, including a veterinarian (does not have to be the AV, can be a designee), a non-affiliated member (has no association with the institution), and a chair. The attending veterinarian should not serve as Chair. If the committee has more than 3 members, no more than 3 members can be from the same administrative unit of the institution. The non-affiliated member may not be shared with the Program Advisory Committee.
        • Documentation that all decisions require a majority vote of a majority quorum of the committee.
      • Evidence that the IACUC:
        • Meets at least twice annually (approximately 6 months apart)
        • Performs an inspection of on-campus facilities and review of the program at each meeting
        • Identifies any deficiencies or departures from standards
        • Provides correction actions and dates
        • Documents any minority opinions
        • Submits a report of the inspection and review to the IO.
      • At least two members must conduct the inspection and all committee members must be given the opportunity to participate in the inspection.
      • Review of IACUC meeting minutes is required and documents which members were in attendance, any non-voting members in attendance (if applicable), discussion items, actions taken, and recusals for any potential conflicts of interest.
      • Documentation shows that the IACUC has reviewed and approved the details of all animal use submitted by animal users prior to beginning the animal work.
        • Proposals for animal use include:
          • Justifications for live animal use,
          • The species and numbers of animals to be used
          • All procedures to be conducted (including number and frequency)
          • Potential for pain or distress and a veterinary care plan for mitigation
          • Drugs and dosages including anesthetics and analgesics
          • Any pre- and post-operative care
          • A description of the training/qualification of personnel performing animal procedures
          • Methods of euthanasia if required.
        • IACUC approved protocols and/or SOPs that outline husbandry requirements compliant with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.
        • Medical records that document care and use of applicable species.
        • There must be evidence that a veterinarian was consulted on alternatives for any procedures that have the potential for more than momentary or slight pain or distress.
        • All committee members are provided the opportunity to review the proposal, ask questions, request clarifications, and request a review by the full committee at a convened meeting.
          • If a full review is not requested, a single member of the committee may be designated to review and approve the proposal.
          • The principal investigator and/or the animal user submitting the proposal (if the latter is a committee member) must recuse themselves from voting on the proposal.
          • The committee may approve, require modifications to, or reject the proposal.
          • Significant changes to the proposal are approved by the IACUC before they are implemented.
          • An annual review of the proposal is performed to ensure it is current.
          • IACUC records must be maintained for at least 3 years.
      • Evidence that the IACUC investigates any allegations of animal misuse that are reported to it, that persons reporting allegations of animal misuse/abuse remain anonymous, and that they are protected from reprisal by the institution.
      • A written procedure for reporting concerns (a "whistleblower policy") is published and posted publicly in areas where animal use takes place.
    2. Adequate numbers of common domestic and laboratory animal species are required to provide the necessary quantity and quality of clinical instruction to meet curriculum requirements without overuse of the animals or violation of AWA requirements for humane use and care (see Use of Animals in Veterinary Technology Teaching Programs, Appendix B).

      Rationale: The use of live animals is considered critical for the development of hands-on technical skills and is required for certain essential skills. Subjecting animals to repeated procedures by unskilled students creates the potential for pain or distress but adequate numbers of available animals mitigates this risk. The CVTEA requires that programs have standards in place to limit potential animal stress and discomfort. In addition, student to animal ratios in teaching laboratories must be adhered to in order to ensure the safety of all participants.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Documented student to animal ratios and the laboratory schedule ensure that sufficient animals are available for all students to acquire essential skills within the published course syllabi/academic period.
      • Approved IACUC protocols limit the number of invasive procedures that can be performed on an individual animal within a given period of time and/or have objective assessment criteria for performing repeated procedures to prevent pain or distress from the procedures.
      • Evidence that animal resources are adequate to serve the needs of the program.
      • Site visit interviews verify that students, faculty, and staff have not raised concerns about animal use or welfare.
      • Evidence that animal resources are commensurate with program growth.
    3. Models and other alternate methods of teaching that are consistent with the goals of the curriculum must be considered to replace, reduce, or refine animal use.

      Rationale: While the CVTEA requires that live animals be used to assess student proficiency in psychomotor essential skills, models and other alternatives are useful to introduce students to concepts and skills and to refine their skills before live animal use occurs.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • The Program has access to and utilizes commonly available alternatives to live animals including but not limited to computer simulations, anatomical models, synthetic cadavers, and models for suturing, injections, venipuncture, intubation, and catheterization.
      • Models are sufficient in number to be readily available for use and are of sufficient quality/condition to meet the intended usage.
    4. Records and logs for animals used by the program must be comprehensive and accurately maintained.

      Rationale: A key tenet of veterinary technology education is that quality documentation is important for veterinary professionals to communicate with one another on details of case management and to comply with regulatory and legal requirements. Well-maintained medical records, logs, and other documents are also essential to meet the legal requirements of contemporary veterinary practice.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Medical records meet specific state practice act requirements.
      • In general, medical records include but are not limited to the following components:
        • Identification of the animal (including signalment, case number/medical record ID, etc.), owner, and clinic (or program name)
        • Medical history
        • Presenting complaint or reason for visit
        • Physical examination data
        • Results of laboratory tests
        • Date, type, and site of any vaccinations administered
        • Diagnosis and treatment plan
        • Procedures performed (including surgery)
        • Drugs administered and dosages (typically expressed as dose amount administered and strength/concentration of preparation)
        • Anesthetic monitoring data
        • Date and identification of person making entry
        • Commonly accepted abbreviations and appropriate terminology are used
        • Proper correction of handwritten errors
      • A SOAP format is used for medical records (other, comparable formats may also be acceptable).
      • Medical records comply with contemporary veterinary practice standards.
      • Review of medical log books (controlled drug, radiography, surgery, etc.) verifies that:
        • Controlled substances/usage logs comply with DEA and state requirements.
        • If logs for radiography or surgery are in use, they are complete.
        • Logs contain a key to identify the initials of those using the log.
    5. Off-campus providers of instructional support must meet objective requirements set by the program with respect to the physical facilities, staff, and available equipment. A memorandum of understanding or contractual arrangement must be established with all off-campus sites including, but not limited to, externship, preceptorship, and distance learning sites. (See Off-Campus Clinical Instruction, Appendix C.)

      Rationale: Teaching best practices does not end with the activities at program facilities. Programs should select partners for primary learning where students receive the same quality of education as they would on campus. Contracts or Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) are important for defining the responsibilities of the program, the student, and off-campus learning sites.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • The Program provides a documented process of review and approval for off-campus learning sites.
      • Images of off-campus sites of primary learning (i.e., where required skills are first taught and proficiency is assessed) demonstrate cleanliness, safety compliance, proper labeling, storage, the sanctity of the surgery room, and appropriate animal housing (see Standard 4).
      • Current, signed contracts or MOUs are available for off-campus learning partners (both institutional and individuals who are acting as program personnel).
      • Contracts or MOUs describe, in detail, the responsibilities of all parties.
      • If Essential Skills are assessed by personnel working outside the parent institution (for example, staff at a clinical site), there is evidence that these individuals are program personnel with appropriate training in assessment provided by the Program and they are overseen by the Program director.
        • Signed agreements between these program personnel and the Program or parent institution are available for review. (See also Standard 10e.)
      • Contracts or MOUs include an exit clause that provides sufficient lead time to allow the program to secure other partners, thereby ensuring continuity of resources critical to student learning.
    6. If program staffed clinical veterinary services are offered, documented evidence must exist that clients are informed that student instruction is a major component of patient care. The primary purpose of such clinical veterinary services, regardless of animal ownership, must be teaching, not revenue generation.

      Rationale: Programs may choose to provide veterinary services as a method of outreach and community service. If a Program provides veterinary services to the public, clients must be aware that education is the primary goal and that students will be providing that care under the supervision of their instructors. With the growth of hybrid and distributive model programs, clients of off-campus learning sites must also be made aware the students will be participating in the care of their animals.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Verification that clients are informed about student participation through methods such as:
        • Signed consent forms or waivers
        • Posted statement(s) in the reception area
        • Identifying students with a badge, name tag, or emblem on their work uniform.
      • If clinical services are offered to clients, the program provides verification that
        • Any cost associated with those services is communicated to clients prior to the performance of services.
        • This may take the form of signage, an estimate, signed forms, or other documentation.
      • The distribution of any funds earned (e.g., student club fund, scholarship fund, animal rescue donation, etc.), is displayed/posted for client review.
  6. Library and Informational Resources
    1. Libraries and information retrieval are essential to veterinary technician education and continuing education. Timely access to current information resources pertaining to veterinary technology through print, electronic media, and/or other means must be available to students, faculty, and staff. Students must have access to a qualified resource specialist with library science education credentials.

      Rationale: A commitment to life-long learning is part of the Veterinary Technician Oath. Library resources are an essential part of any accredited veterinary technology program. Library materials must be current to be relevant, resources must be diverse to meet student needs, and the library must be sufficiently sized to accommodate student numbers. As information resources have become more sophisticated, access to trained resource specialists has become important. The CVTEA will review the totality of the programmatic informational resources, electronic and print.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Diplomas, certificates, or other verification that the library resource specialist has a Master of Library Science degree, advanced certification, or equivalent training.
      • Budget review verifies the presence of a program-specific budget for programmatic library resources and/or a process to request new resources.
      • Key veterinary science and medicine references are available in print or electronically.
      • The library has a documented process for reviewing holdings and purging out of date or rarely used materials.
      • Campus tour and interviews with students and staff verify that the library has adequate space, capacity and/or resource accessibility to meet the needs of students.
    2. Knowledge of quality information resources, library use, and development and application of information retrieval skills must be included in the educational experience.

      Rationale: It is not sufficient to merely have access to information resources; students must also be taught to use them and understand how to assess the validity of information. These skills are particularly important to prepare students for lifelong learning following graduation.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Curriculum review, student interviews, and surveys show that students use library resources.
      • Student and staff interviews verify that there is a library orientation for students.
      • Documentation that students have the ability to retrieve and apply veterinary specific information and evaluate the quality of that information.
      • Faculty and library staff interviews verify that there is communication between faculty and library staff regarding desired resources.
      • Curriculum review and faculty interviews establish that students are assigned projects that require them to utilize library resources.
  7. Admissions
    1. The institution and program admission policies must be well defined and documented.
    2. Applicants must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Consideration of the qualifications of applicants for admission must include aptitude for, an interest in, and an understanding of a career in veterinary technology.
    3. The CVTEA recognizes that some institutions must perform under open admissions policies that prohibit selective entry into veterinary technician education programs. However, the development and consistent application of selective admissions standards may be helpful in admitting more qualified students, reducing attrition, and producing graduates who are most likely to succeed, and therefore should be implemented.
    4. Catalogs, website, or other official publications must contain the institutional and programmatic purposes and objectives, admission requirements and procedures, academic offerings, degree granted, and program requirements for completion of the degree, including the existence of any technical standards. This information must include the length of time necessary for completion; policies with respect to satisfactory academic progress; policies on transfer of credits; tuition, fees, and other program costs; refund policies; and national and state requirements for eligibility for credentialing or entry into the field of veterinary technology.
    5. The institution and program must demonstrate integrity and responsibility in student recruitment practices. Admission must be non-discriminatory and in accordance with federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations. Personnel who are knowledgeable about the program and its requirements should conduct student recruitment.
    6. The program director or director's appointee should participate in the deliberations of the admissions committee and selection of students.

    Rationale: The veterinary technology curriculum is challenging, as is the Veterinary Technician National Examination. In addition, the profession presents physical and emotional challenges that students should be aware of and students should have an understanding of the salaries and career paths available to them after graduation. Identifying motivation and scholastic aptitude during the admissions process improves the chances that a student will successfully complete the veterinary technology curriculum. Involving program faculty in the admissions process will help select students with the right motivation and fit for the program and reduce student attrition.

    Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

    • Program materials demonstrate that the program's admission and completion policies and requirements are accurately disclosed.
    • An admissions officer or career counselor is employed by the college to advise pre-program students.
    • Published admissions requirements accurately reflect the student process for admission.
    • Student interviews establish that the process to apply to the institution, program, and for financial aid was accessible and that admissions personnel were knowledgeable of program requirements.
    • Program application and informational materials verify that there is a pre-admission orientation, interview with the Program Director, and/or program faculty to inform students of the specific challenges associated with the veterinary technology curriculum and those inherent in the profession.
    • Program informational and application materials show that pre-admission or placement examinations are used to help students self-identify if they are likely to be successful in the program and allow the program to proactively identify students that may need academic support.
    • Volunteer or observation experiences in a veterinary clinic are/may be required for admission to the program.
    • The program provides information sessions to prospective students.
    • The program conducts recruitment events in the community.
    • The program holds open house events for prospective students where they have access to program personnel.
  8. Students
    1. The number of students must be appropriate to achieve the mission of the program. Enrollment must not exceed the available resources including the number of faculty and support staff needed to meet the educational goals of the curriculum. An appropriate program personnel-to-student ratio must be maintained to ensure student safety and adequate delivery of instruction in program specific courses. Program personnel to student ratios shall not exceed 1:12 for laboratory courses without animals present and 1:8 for laboratory courses with animals present. (Compliance with indicated ratios [final sentence of 8a] is required by September 1, 2020. Programs not in compliance at this time may be subject to adverse accreditation status.)

      Rationale: Students need adequate access to qualified instructors to ensure learning. When animals are present additional instructors are required to monitor student safety and animal welfare. For the best educational experience, student numbers must not exceed the available educational resources.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Substantive Change Reports have been submitted whenever the Program anticipates that increased enrollment will change ratios in conformance with current reporting requirements.
    2. Student support services must be available within the institution for program students. Interactions between students and faculty/staff must be sufficient to communicate expectations for successful academic performance, provide feedback for improvement of skills and knowledge, and encourage professional growth and development.

      Rationale: All veterinary technology students need regular feedback and coaching to perform at their best. In addition, student tutoring, counseling, and disability services provide specialized support that program faculty and staff may not be qualified or able to provide.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Student interviews and surveys indicate that they are aware of the support services available to them and have positive experiences with support services for financial aid, tutoring, counseling, and academic advising.
      • Faculty and staff interviews indicate that they are aware of the support services available at the institution and/or have referred students to support services in the past.
      • Program materials contain information about student support services.
      • There is evidence that student support materials are readily available to students.
    3. Throughout the curriculum, students must be exposed to veterinary team concepts and appropriate modeling of ethical and professional behavior.

      Rationale: Veterinary technician job satisfaction is predicated on optimal utilization and healthy working relationships with veterinarians, veterinary assistants, other veterinary technicians, and clients. Effective modeling of veterinary team concepts as well as ethical and professional behavior is an essential component of professional education.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • The curriculum exposes students to veterinary medical ethics and professional behavior concepts.
      • There is evidence that laboratory activities and student assignments require teamwork for completion.
      • Survey responses from employers and clinical placement sites document the ability of students to function in a team and behave both ethically and professionally.
      • Interviews with students and faculty establish that professional, respectful communication and team behaviors are modeled among the Program Director, faculty, staff and students.
    4. Students should be encouraged to form a student organization, and this organization should become an affiliate of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) and appropriate state veterinary technology associations. Students should be encouraged to be active in local, state, and national veterinary technician organizations.

      Rationale: Professional organizations have a key role in influencing public policy and public understanding of the profession. Exposure to these organizations can help students practice teamwork, promote collaboration, and develop leadership skills. Participation in student organizations models for students the many ways involvement in these organizations can be personally and professionally fulfilling for veterinary technicians.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • There is an active student chapter of NAVTA and/or the state veterinary technician organization.
      • Student interviews show that students are aware of the roles of professional organizations in the field.
      • Curriculum review establishes that professional organizations and the benefits of membership are a component of the curriculum.
      • Documentation that the college or Program offers students discounted memberships or membership reimbursement to student chapters of professional organizations.
      • Student interviews indicate that they are encouraged to join state and national technician organizations.
      • Events are held that introduce students to representatives of local and national technician organizations (CE sessions, etc.).
    5. The program must promote a learning environment that values diversity, equity, and inclusion.

      Rationale: Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are important to the experience of students, faculty staff, and animal owners, as they interact with the program, and for students as they transition to their professional lives. Veterinary technicians must understand the populations the profession serves for the healthcare team to deliver the best possible care to animals and meet the needs of diverse populations of animal owners.

      Examples of evidence of documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy
      • Description of how the institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy is applied at the program level.
      • Programmatic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
      • Evidence of reporting and response system and process to remedy instances of discrimination and other forms of harassment involving faculty, staff, and students.
      • Evidence of advisory committee deliberations and discussions guiding the program on DEI.
      • Evidence of assessment to barriers to the recruitment and admission of diverse populations, and evidence of steps taken to address these barriers.
      • Evidence of scholarship or other financial assistance programs aimed at assisting potential students overcome identified barriers.
      • Evidence of support services for students navigating challenges entering the learning environment.
      • Evidence of programmatic engagement with student accommodations.
      • Evidence there has been consideration of DEI in faculty recruitment, hiring, and retention practices.
      • Evidence of curricular, and co-curricular elements that allow students to develop an understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion as they intersect with veterinary medicine.
      • Evidence of an outcomes assessment loop to assess the learning environment, and make adjustments as required.
  9. Faculty and Staff
    1. Faculty and staff numbers must be sufficient to deliver the educational program and meet the instructional goals of the program.

      Rationale: Refer to 8a

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Refer to 8a regarding appropriate faculty: student ratios in labs

      Growth in human resources is commensurate with the growth of the program.

    2. Instructors in the program must have knowledge and expertise in the topics they teach and promote the appropriate role of the veterinary technician in the veterinary health care team. Instructional duties must not violate local, state, or federal laws regarding the practice of veterinary medicine.

      Rationale: Veterinary technician education requires qualified instructors who can communicate the technical and medical material as well as the optimal utilization of the veterinary technician on the veterinary health care team.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Instructor curriculum vitae reflect the qualifications of the instructor.
      • Student interviews indicate that instructors are effective and motivational in their teaching.
      • Evidence that the duties of instructors do not require them to violate established local, state, or federal scope of practice for veterinarians or veterinary technicians.
    3. The program director must be a licensed veterinarian or a credentialed veterinary technician who must be a graduate of an AVMA or CVMA-accredited program. The program director must have the educational background and occupational experience appropriate to understand and fulfill program goals. The position of the program director should be full time with the institution.

      Rationale: The Program Director must have the necessary background and understanding to lead the program. Graduation from a CVTEA- or Canadian VMA-accredited program ensures that students are led and taught by faculty who have themselves been educated at an institution whose curriculum and requirements have met defined standards of quality, content, and outcomes.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • The curriculum vitae for the Program Director indicates that they are a graduate of an AVMA or CVMA accredited program.
      • A copy of the Program Director's current license is available for review.
      • If the Program Director is a veterinary technician, a copy of their official transcript is available for review.
    4. The director must have the responsibility, authority, and support necessary to manage the program successfully. This shall be documented in a written job description that also shall clearly defines the position of the director within the institutional hierarchy. The program director must be responsible for organizing continuous program review and development processes that assure program effectiveness. The program director's appointment must include sufficient time for administrative and teaching responsibilities as well as opportunities and support for professional development.

      Rationale: A qualified veterinary professional who understands the requirements of the profession should be in control of all aspects of the program. The job description documents these responsibilities and ensures that the institution is recognizing and supporting the responsibilities of the Program Director. Because the Program Director has significant administrative responsibility, if the Program Director is also an instructor, their teaching load should be adjusted to account for their administrative load.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • The Program Director's job description delineates the responsibilities of the Program Director.
      • The Program Director job description is reviewed periodically to most accurately reflect the duties and responsibilities of the Program Director.
      • Evidence that the level of authority granted to the Program Director is appropriate to administer the program and that there is sufficient time allotted to fulfill the role.
      • The Program Director's academic schedule demonstrates adequate time allotted to student contact hours /instructional time and to administrative time.
      • The Program Director's contract is available for review.
    5. Each program must have one full-time credentialed veterinary technician who must be a graduate of an AVMA CVTEA or CVMA-accredited program (compliance is required by September 1, 2021). Each program must have a minimum equivalent of one full-time licensed veterinarian.

      Rationale: Veterinary Technology students must interact with credentialed veterinary technicians who can act as role models. It is essential that veterinary technician students be trained by veterinary technicians with the knowledge and experience to teach the curriculum. The requirement that at least one veterinary technician be full time ensures continuity of professional modeling and instruction that may be compromised if only part time veterinary technician instructors are available.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • A copy of the full-time Veterinary Technician's official transcripts and current credential.
      • If a state electronic licensing database is available, a search verifies that Program veterinary technician and veterinarian credentials are active and in good standing.
      • A copy of current license(s) for the veterinarian(s) fulfilling the 1 FTE requirement of the Standard.
    6. Academic positions must offer sufficient compensation, incentives, and employment security to attract and retain qualified personnel in order to maintain program stability. Faculty and staff must have sufficient time for development and delivery of instruction, curriculum development, student evaluation, student advisement and counseling, and professional development. Programs should provide financial support for veterinary professional development activities.

      Rationale: Competence, motivation, and stability of the instructional staff are important aspects of program quality. Supporting them with adequate resources, including compensation that aligns with market conditions, is important to maintain program quality.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • Faculty interviews and class schedules verify that adequate time is available for class preparation, to assist with practicums, for curriculum review, and to provide student support.
      • Faculty interviews and financial self-study information indicate that support exists for professional development.
      • If contracts are utilized, they are renegotiated often enough to address adequacy of compensation, benefits, and employment security.
      • The Program documents the use of relevant information in assessing sufficiency of compensation for faculty and staff. This may include but is not limited to:
      • Documentation that the college or program provides funds to faculty and staff to maintain professional licenses, certifications, and/or credentials.
      • Faculty interviews verify that personnel receive compensation adjustments.
    7. The institution must provide evidence that it evaluates program personnel regularly and assists and facilitates professional growth. Program personnel should be encouraged and financially supported to be participating members of local, state, and national veterinary professional associations.

      Rationale: Evaluation of instructors is important for their development and to ensure the delivery of quality education to students. Development is also promoted through participation in professional organizations, attendance at conferences, and participation in other continuing education activities. In addition, it is important that professional development and participation in professional organizations be modeled for students.

      Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

      • A process exists for ongoing instructor evaluation.
      • Evidence that faculty and staff are evaluated with regularity and that their professional growth is supported.
      • A sample instructor review
      • Site visit interviews verify that students have input on instructor performance and have seen that their feedback results in improvements.
      • The college provides reimbursement or other funds to put toward dues, renewals, and memberships.
      • Professional memberships for Program faculty and staff are documented in the self-study.
      • Site visit interviews indicate that the Program encourages and supports faculty to be members of state and national professional organizations.
  10. Curriculum
    1. The curriculum must prepare graduates who will be fully capable of performing in a wide variety of professional roles within the veterinary field. At the completion of the curriculum, graduates must have attained entry-level skills needed to support companion animal, equine, and food animal practice, biomedical research, and other veterinary medical activities. The curriculum shall provide a foundation in veterinary technology that will prepare the student to successfully become credentialed and inspire the student to continue life-long learning. Opportunities should exist throughout the curriculum for students to gain an understanding of the important influences of diversity and inclusion in veterinary medicine.
    2. The specific courses shall teach basic medical science, communication, critical thinking, decision-making, and clinical application skills. Integration of nursing, technical, and medical skills within the curriculum must use live animals. Whenever possible, animal nursing skills should be developed in a setting and under conditions that are a reflection of the manner in which graduates will use these skills.
    3. The curriculum must include general education and specific veterinary technology course content. Required materials can be offered as complete course offerings or be integrated into courses involving more than one area of recommended material. Course objectives must be clearly communicated to the student through syllabi or other course documents. Course offerings to meet curriculum requirements must constitute a minimum of 60 semester credit hours (or equivalent).
    4. Practical veterinary experience that expands student knowledge and builds proficiency of acquired skills through task-specific exercises is a required portion of the curriculum. These experiences are usually termed preceptorships, practicums, internships, or externships. Practical experiences are for the purpose of honing skills learned in formal instructional settings and should be scheduled to occur following completion of skills acquisition. These practical experiences should be a minimum of 240 cumulative contact hours and must be monitored by the program director or the director's appointee who must be a program faculty or staff member who is either a licensed veterinarian or credentialed veterinary technician who is a graduate of an AVMA CVTEA/CVMA accredited veterinary technology program. Prior to the beginning of the practical experience, on-site supervisors must be contacted by the program. Students and faculty should seek progressive contemporary facilities that employ credentialed veterinary technicians to act as professional role models and mentors. During the practical experience, contact must be maintained with students and their on-site supervisors to monitor students' personal and educational experiences. It is highly recommended that such contact take place through personal visits and interviews by the program director or appointee. Specific criteria must be used to assist on-site supervisors in monitoring student progress. The program director or appointee shall review student performance evaluations by on-site supervisors, student evaluation of the experiences, and a final student performance evaluation.
    5. Successful completion of all required skills found in the Veterinary Technology Student Essential and Recommended Skills List, Appendix I must be evaluated and documented, indicating date completed, by program personnel who use standard criteria that reflect contemporary veterinary practice. Program personnel evaluating skills should be veterinarians or credentialed veterinary technician who is a graduate of an AVMA CVTEA or CVMA-accredited veterinary technology program. Program personnel must have a signed agreement with the parent institution, complete training in evaluating essential skills, and regularly communicate with the program director. This agreement is in addition to any facility MOU required per Appendix C.
    6. The CVTEA recognizes that a Program may wish to emphasize certain areas within the curriculum to capitalize on regional variation, institutional strengths, and available job markets. This emphasis should be clearly stated in the mission statement/objectives of the program, and the curriculum shall then reflect that emphasis. A choice to emphasize one aspect of the curriculum must not interfere with the acquisition of all skills listed on the Veterinary Technology Student Essential and Recommended Skills list (Appendix I).
    7. The CVTEA recognizes that academic institutions have the inherent right to accept credits from other colleges, universities, recognized educational entities, or prior learning. However, if the Program accepts veterinary technician-related course credit from institutions not accredited by AVMA CVTEA, the program must ensure that the rigor of transfer courses meets CVTEA Standards. Provision of prior learning must include documentation or critical evaluation of these experiences to award college credit or advanced standing. Documentation of the assurance may be requested for review during the program accreditation process.
    8. At times, accredited programs are requested to give credit for high school courses with titles similar to those required for graduation from a CVTEA-accredited program. If credit is to be given for such courses, the student must first be required to demonstrate to veterinary technology program faculty a level of competency comparable to that of students who complete the required course successfully.

    Rationale: The curriculum is the core of a veterinary technology program and must include sufficient depth and breadth of subject matter to prepare students for professional success. Having a clear focus on the program's mission, scope, and goals is important. The curriculum should reflect the overall mission statement of the program and include contemporary standards of veterinary care. While programs are responsible for the quality of education delivered by their faculty and staff, they are also responsible for assessing student learning and performance at sites offering practical experience. This requires maintaining channels of communication with off-campus clinical sites.

    Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

    • Course catalogs, website, and descriptions indicate where in the curriculum required elements are being addressed.
    • Curriculum review indicates that:
      • The curriculum aligns with the mission and focus of the Program.
      • Course sequencing is logical to build on concepts from each course.
      • The curriculum provides a basis for attaining required skills.
      • The curriculum can be completed sequentially within the published timeframe for degree completion.
    • Evidence that the Program provides standardized criteria for all Essential Skills.
    • If Essential Skills are assessed by personnel working outside the parent institution (for example, staff at a clinical site):
      • Signed agreements demonstrate that these individuals are Program personnel.
      • There is appropriate training in assessment specific to the Program's standardized criteria.
      • There is evidence of ongoing communication with the Program director.
    • Training materials document how personnel are instructed in the evaluation of Essential Skills.
    • Course credit awarded as transfer credit, credit for prior learning, or credit by exam is evaluated through a verifiable process to ensure that credit is awarded only for coursework that is comparable to Program standards and/or for the attainment of skills and knowledge that align with the Program's learning objectives and meets expected outcomes.
    • The process of awarding credit is free of any potential conflict of interest.
    • Evidence of curricular, and co-curricular elements that allow students to develop an understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion as they intersect with veterinary medicine.
    • Evidence of an outcomes assessment loop to assess the learning environment, and make adjustments as required.
  11. Outcomes Assessment
    1. The program must develop program-specific outcome assessment instruments that assist in determining attainment of the educational goals. Such instruments shall include, but are not limited to:
      * Attrition rates
      * Graduate surveys
      * Employer surveys
      * Pass rates and domain scores of the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) as compared to the average. Results from the VTNE are considered objective program-specific outcome assessment instruments.
      * Applicable state examination pass rates.
    2. CVTEA expects the institution to encourage and support the program review and evaluation process for the outcomes of the educational program. The results of all outcome assessments must be used to improve the program. In absence of significant data from peer reviewed examinations, programs must develop objective means to assess student compliance.
    3. Programs must comply with VTNE reporting requirements. (see Reporting to the Community, section VI)
    4. The program's three year rolling average VTNE pass percentage for first time test takers must be 50% or higher. (*Compliance with 11d is expected by September 1, 2021. Programs not in compliance at this time may be subject to a change in accreditation status.)

    Rationale: Student outcomes are the ultimate measure of the success of the program. While the VTNE is a key measure of outcomes, a successful program will also have low attrition rates, graduates who are in demand by employers, and students who are satisfied with their education and recommend the program to others. It is expected that programs will solicit feedback from stakeholders, review feedback, and make necessary changes to improve the program as needed.

    Examples of evidence or documentation provided by the program to demonstrate compliance:

    • Example evaluations for individual courses and instructors.
    • Samples of other mechanisms for student feedback.
    • Employers and graduates are surveyed via Program-specific surveys that are designed to provide feedback to improve a veterinary technology program.
    • The Program has a process for periodic curriculum review.
    • Examples of Program improvements made based on VTNE domain scores, pass rates, and feedback from students, employers, and/or Advisory Committee members.
    • The VTNE pass percentage is calculated and posted correctly on the Program website in an easily accessible location.
    • If VTNE pass percentages and participation rates are low the Program documents:
      • Efforts to ensure students understand the importance of the examination for credentialing and the importance of credentialing for their career and mobility, even if their initial plans do not include credentialing.
      • Efforts to encourage all students to take the exam (for example, some programs include the exam cost in program fees).
      • Availability of exam preparation sessions.
      • Access to practice exams.
    • Input from the advisory committee indicates that the Program utilizes outcomes to improve the Program.