Changes to USDA veterinary accreditation program to begin in February

The National Veterinary Accreditation Program (NVAP) is implementing changes to its program, effective Feb. 1. These changes have been in development since 2004 and are intended to address the needs of the increasingly complex and fast-paced world of animal health, business, trade, and travel.

The new program will require renewal every three years. Veterinarians accredited through the new program will be required to complete supplemental training, somewhat similar to the continuing education required to maintain a veterinary license in many States.

In addition, under this restructured program, veterinarians will be required to obtain their accreditation in one of two different categories. Each would have slightly different requirements for accreditation and renewal. Category I veterinarians would essentially be veterinarians working pets and non-livestock species (e.g. small animal practitioners). Category II veterinarians would be those who work with any/all species (e.g. mixed animal or large animal practitioners).

Veterinarians who are already accredited as of Feb. 1 must elect to participate in the new NVAP by Aug. 2, 2010. In order to apply for participation in the new program, you must complete an application and submit it to the NVAP.

Once you apply and obtain your accreditation in one of the two new categories, no further training will be required until it comes time for you to renew your accreditation. At that time, you will be notified by USDA-APHIS that your accreditation is up for renewal and you will need to complete applicable refresher training or document that you have already done so.

If you are currently accredited and do not apply for participation in the restructured NVAP by that Aug. 2, 2010, your current accreditation will expire. In addition, if you have attended an accreditation seminar and/or core orientation within the last three years but have not applied for your accreditation, your orientation will expire as well, and you would then be required to attend another seminar/orientation in order to qualify for accreditation.

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