Accreditation by the AVMA Council on Education (COE) and Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) represents the highest standard of achievement for veterinary medical education in the United States. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review.
Accreditation is a process by which an educational institution or program submits to a voluntary, non-governmental review to determine whether it meets accepted standards of quality. Within veterinary medicine, the AVMA COE develops standards and conducts reviews of DVM or equivalent educational programs, while the AVMA CVTEA develops standards and reviews programs in veterinary technology. An institution or program is considered fully accredited when it is found to meet these standards (see the COE accreditation process and the CVTEA accreditation process for more information).
Graduation from an AVMA COE- or CVTEA-accredited institution is a prerequisite for licensure or certification for professional practice through the majority of state licensing boards and credentialing agencies in order to meet the educational prerequisites.
In brief, AVMA COE accreditation of veterinary medical programs and institutions assures:
- prospective students that they will meet a competency threshold for entry into practice, including eligibility for professional credentialing and/or licensure;
- employers that graduates have achieved specified learning goals and are prepared to begin professional practice;
- faculty, deans and administrators that their programs measure satisfactorily against national standards and their own stated missions and goals;
- the public that public health and safety concerns are being addressed; and
- the veterinary profession that the science and art of veterinary medicine are being advanced through contemporary curricula.