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.
COE Accreditation Renewal Hearing
The AVMA Council on Education (COE) recently participated in an accreditation renewal hearing with the National Advisory Committee for Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) of the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). This hearing was part of a routine assessment process conducted by the USDE with all of its accrediting bodies.
Our focus throughout this process has been to preserve the integrity of the profession. We will continue to work with the USDE to meet the remaining requirements recommended by the NACIQI within the next 6-12 months. Through the recognition process, we have identified ways to strengthen the accreditation process and we look forward to working with our members and colleagues to uphold professional standards and preserve the integrity of the veterinary professional degree. As an employer, accreditation provides you with peace of mind that your associates possess the knowledge and clinical competence to provide high-quality care for your practice's clients and patients. As a graduate of an accredited school, accreditation provides you with the confidence that the education you received provides you with the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful veterinary career.
Please refer to the AVMA@Work blog post for information on the recent NACIQI meeting.