Last update to this section: July 2021
II. The AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA®)
In 1972 the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) authorized a program of accreditation of training for animal technicians and assigned the responsibility for the program to the Council on Education. At the same time, the HOD authorized the Board of Directors to appoint a Committee on Accreditation of Training for Animal Technicians (CATAT) to function under the guidance of the Council on Education to carry out all duties associated with implementation and continuation of this program. The Board made the initial appointments in1972. In 1974 the charge to the Committee was extended to include all matters pertaining to animal technicians and its title was changed to the Committee on Animal Technician Activities and Training. In 1989 the HOD approved a change in nomenclature substituting the title veterinary technician for animal technician. In 1990 the AVMA Board of Directors approved the name change to the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).
The intent of the CVTEA is stated in its mission statement developed in 2001: to shape the future of veterinary medicine by promoting veterinary technology and the veterinary professional team through education, quality, integrity, service, leadership, and collegiality.
CVTEA accreditation of educational programs serves to inform the public of those institutions providing quality education for veterinary technicians and to benefit graduates by providing a measure of recognition and enhancing their prospects of employment mobility.
The Committee consists of 20 members. The membership includes eight veterinarians—one each from the following categories: AVMA Council on Education, private large animal practice, private small animal practice, laboratory animal medicine, faculties of colleges of veterinary medicine, educators of veterinary technicians, and two at-large. In addition, the Committee includes seven veterinary technicians (two of whom must be non-program affiliated, one who must be an educator in a veterinary technology program). The following two categories may be either a veterinarian or a veterinary technician: representing state boards of examiners in veterinary medicine and a veterinary medicine industry representative. A Canadian member of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) Animal Health Technologist/Veterinary Technician Program Accreditation Committee (AHTVTPAC) who may be either a veterinarian or a veterinary technician, and two public members who must be engaged in activity other than veterinary medicine or employment as a veterinary technician. All technician members must be graduates of an AVMA CVTEA or CVMA AHTVTPAC accredited veterinary technology program and be currently licensed/registered/certified. All US technician members must be members in good standing of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. Canadian veterinary technician members must be members of the Registered Veterinary Technologists and Technicians of Canada, and Canadian veterinarian members must be members of the CVMA.
Appointment and Tenure
The AVMA CVTEA Selection Committee appoints the members of the Committee with the following exceptions: the Council on Education appoints one member from its membership, the Committee appoints public members, and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) appoints the Canadian member. Members serve six-year terms, beginning at the close of the AVMA annual meeting. The COE representative is appointed by the chair of the COE to serve as a voting member for a one-year renewable term. A member shall represent only one area in the context of appointment to the Committee. Members may not serve consecutive full terms. For this purpose, a period less than three years shall not be considered a term.
The CVTEA has five standing subcommittees: Executive Committee (EC), Standards Validity and Reliability Subcommittee, Accreditation Policies and Procedures Manual Subcommittee, Equipment and Skills Evaluation (EASE) Subcommittee, and the Future Focus Subcommittee (FFS). The following procedure is used in forming committees:
Subcommittees are elected by the CVTEA membership to fill the required categories of representation from CVTEA on each subcommittee. Subcommittee members are elected for one-year renewable terms. Subcommittee chairs are elected by the full committee membership. The CVTEA chair or vice chair serves as an ex-officio member on each subcommittee.
The Executive Committee is comprised of the CVTEA chair, vice chair, chair of the Accreditation Policies and Procedures Manual Subcommittee, chair of the Standards Validity and Reliability Subcommittee, chair of the Equipment and Skills Evaluation Subcommittee, and chair of the Future Focus Subcommittee. The purpose of the Executive Committee is to serve as a decision making group for urgent issues that arise in-between full CVTEA meetings. The Executive Committee adheres to the voting policies and procedures established by the AVMA.
The Standards Validity and Reliability Subcommittee is a five-member subcommittee comprised of two veterinarians, two veterinary technicians, and one public member. The Subcommittee is responsible for ongoing review of and recommendations for improvement to the accreditation standards. The chair is elected by majority vote of the CVTEA.
The Accreditation Policies and Procedures Manual Subcommittee is a five-member subcommittee comprised of two veterinarians, two veterinary technicians, and one public member. The Subcommittee is responsible for ongoing review of and recommendations for improvement to the CVTEA policy and procedures. The chair is elected by majority vote of the CVTEA.
The Equipment and Skills Evaluation Subcommittee is a four–member subcommittee comprised of two veterinarians and two veterinary technicians. The Subcommittee is responsible for ongoing review of and recommendations for improvement to the essential skills and required equipment lists. The chair is elected by majority vote of the CVTEA.
The Future Focus Subcommittee is a five-member committee responsible for addressing current and potential future issues affecting the veterinary technology profession including, but not limited to, the CVTEA's ability to meet its charge, improvement of the accreditation process, and monitoring issues impacting the veterinary technology profession.
The officers of the CVTEA are as follows:
- Vice Chair
- Chair of the Standards Validity and Reliability Subcommittee
- Chair of the Accreditation Policies and Procedures Manual Subcommittee
- Chair of the Equipment and Skills Evaluation Subcommittee
- Chair if the Future Focus Subcommittee
The Chair of the CVTEA is the Chief Administrator of the Committee and presiding officer responsible for the conduct of all official meetings. As presiding officer, the Chair:
- Must be familiar with the bylaws and standing rules of the Committee as well as the job descriptions for officers and committees.
- Ensures that action taken by the Committee is based on a majority vote.
- Conducts meetings according to the most recent version of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
- In consultation with AVMA staff, establishes the agenda for Committee meetings.
- With AVMA staff assistance, originates or edits all official Committee correspondence and communication reflecting policies and procedures of the Committee to the veterinary technology programs and other individuals and organizations interacting with the CVTEA. Such correspondence communicating official Committee action or policy will be on AVMA letterhead over the signature of the Chair.
- The Vice Chair of the CVTEA shall be a member of the Executive Committee and shall assume all duties and responsibilities of the Chair in the latter's absence.
Meetings are held twice each year in Schaumburg, Illinois.
The Committee reports its activities to the AVMA Board of Directors and other stakeholders including evaluations and assignments of accreditation status through an online newsletter and on the AVMA website.
The AVMA reimburses committee members for expenses associated with attendance at Committee meetings.
To ensure that all matters dealing with accreditation of veterinary technology programs are conducted with integrity and objectivity, the CVTEA has adopted a confidentiality policy. Those who participate in CVTEA activities, including but not limited to CVTEA members, non-CVTEA site team members, and appropriate AVMA staff, must maintain the confidentiality of all non-public information relating to accreditation in accordance with this policy.
- Communications with veterinary technology programs, accrediting and state agencies, and the public. In order to provide veterinary technology programs, credentialing, government, accrediting and state agencies, and the public with the most accurate information possible, the CVTEA has adopted specific policies and procedures governing all CVTEA communications. Communications that are not consistent with the CVTEA policies and procedures and that have not been approved and issued by the CVTEA are strictly prohibited. All discussions, observations, and documents associated with site visits and accreditation decisions are confidential to the CVTEA and should not be discussed with anyone other than CVTEA members, appropriate AVMA staff, the AVMA Board of Directors as observers of the CVTEA, and non-CVTEA site team members when necessary. Information regarding accreditation decisions cannot be shared with any individual or group other than: 1) the veterinary technology program through the official report of evaluation, 2) reports to accrediting, credentialing, government, and state agencies, and 3) the public through official announcements. In the sole discretion of the CVTEA Chair, the reports to accrediting, credentialing, government, and state agencies may include non-public information or documents provided by veterinary technology programs or otherwise obtained by CVTEA in the accreditation process. Any inquiries made to CVTEA members regarding the accreditation process or specific programs should be referred to the CVTEA Chair and appropriate AVMA staff.
- Communications with AVMA staff, officers, and members. It is the policy of the CVTEA to ensure that its accreditation decisions are independent and are not subject to interference from any organization or individual. Appropriate AVMA staff and the designated AVMA CVTEA observers may attend CVTEA meetings and provide assistance to the CVTEA as necessary, and shall maintain the confidentiality of all non-public information regarding accreditation decisions. The CVTEA Chair and appropriate AVMA staff may share non-public information or documents provided by veterinary technology programs or otherwise obtained by CVTEA in the accreditation process on a confidential basis with AVMA officers, the Board of Directors, other AVMA-affiliated individuals, outside experts, or other consultants.
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 veterinary technology program and/or its accreditation. All requests for information related to a specific institution and/or veterinary technology program must be referred to AVMA staff, or to the respective institution.
Freedom of Information Acts which may be applicable in a given state 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 office.
Statement on Integrity
To foster ongoing confidence in the specialized accreditation process, both the veterinary technology program and the AVMA CVTEA must be assured that functions assigned to each entity are clearly understood. The following are some of the areas where special efforts must be made to assure integrity of the process:
Integrity – Veterinary Technology Program
- The program must present accurate information to the CVTEA for accreditation evaluation, and must allow access to all parts of the operation during the site visit.
- The program must refrain from misleading advertisement of the program, and must correct any inaccuracy in a timely manner.
- The program must make every effort to protect students. The protection must include, but is not limited to, unbiased grading procedures and access to educational opportunity, scholarships, and student services.
- If a program releases information regarding its accreditation status, the information must be correct. Should misinformation be released, the college must correct the information in a timely manner.
Integrity – CVTEA
- The CVTEA must conform to the Conflict of Interest Policy.
- During the evaluation process, the CVTEA must evaluate the program only on the Standards of Accreditation. Application of the Standards to all programs must be unbiased.
- The site visit and deliberation toward the assignment of accreditation status must be conducted with the highest ethical standards.
- All material, discussion, and decision of the CVTEA regarding accreditation must be confidential.
- The CVTEA must recognize institutional and program diversity when making accreditation decisions.
- The CVTEA must inform all appropriate state, institution, and program officials of matters related to accreditation in a timely manner.
- No current CVTEA members may serve on a site visit to a program in which there is a conflict of interest.