CERTIFIED VETERINARY ASSISTANT
TVMA understands the importance of a well-trained staff. The Certified Veterinary Assistant (CVA) Training and Certification Program was initiated by TVMA to address the staff training needs of veterinarians. If you have a question regarding the CVA program that is not answered below, please contact the TVMA Director of Training and Certification at 512/452-4224.
CVA Training & Certification Program
TVMA offers a simple cost effective option for certification. The TVMA Veterinary Assistant Training Program is standardized and documents the basic skills and competencies required for animal care and assistance. The program will educate veterinary assistants in the essential skills and knowledge needed to become effective contributors to the veterinary medical care team. The best thing about this program is it can be completed either in a clinic or a TVMA approved educational program
In order to receive CVA Level I certification, certain standard requirements must be met. These include:
- 90 days of work experience under the supervision of a DVM or RVT
- Mastering all required Level I material
- Gaining and demonstrating the hands-on skills listed on the Skills Validation Checklist
- Exam Application and Skills Validation Checklist completed and approved by the DVM or RVT
- Successful completion of the certification examination (70%)
To be certified under the TVMA program, the applicant must successfully demonstrate 100% of the required skills and competencies. Some of the required skills may not be regularly practiced in the clinic where the applicant has gained experience. However, it is the applicant’s responsibility to develop all skills listed. For example, if the required skill states that the applicant has "demonstrated the safe and proper method for placing a halter on a horse," and the clinic where the applicant works does not treat horses, the DVM or RVT who is validating this skill may make this determination by having the applicant describe how this process works and the steps one would take when performing this procedure. Once the supervisor is satisfied that the applicant understands how to perform the skill correctly, they may check the skill off the checklist, even though the actual horse was not available for demonstration.
Upon supervised completion, the Exam Application, Skills Validation Checklist, and payment must be sent to the TVMA office for processing. The certification exam will then be sent to the supervising DVM or RVT, and must be administered within a one-week period. The completed exam and answer sheet must then be returned to TVMA for processing, after which the results will be mailed back to the clinic. Any applicant who passes the exam will receive a congratulatory letter and certificate. We hope the newly designated CVA will display the certificate in a prominent place and will take considerable pride in their new designation. In the unfortunate event of an applicant failing the exam, the applicant will be eligible to re-take the exam as many times as
needed and at a discounted price.
Once the applicant has successfully achieved Level I certification, they must complete six months at Level I before they are eligible to sit for the Level II exam*. This is a standard time requirement that also applies to those moving from Level II to Level III* (*see CVA policies and guidelines posted above for exceptions to this time requirement). Although there is no allotted ‘time maximum,’ TVMA suggests that applicants begin preparation immediately upon receiving Level I certification in order to master the Level II exam material at the conclusion of the six months period. Once requirements are met for the Level II exam, the supervisor or applicant must select a non-biased independent proctor preferably at a local testing center or community college. The proctor may not be an employer, co-worker, friend or relative of anyone in connection with the clinic. These stipulations also apply for the proctor of the Level III exam. Once TVMA receives the Level II Exam Application and Checklist, the exam will be sent directly to the designated proctor.
The profession of veterinary medicine is ever changing and new knowledge and treatment procedures are developed continuously. Veterinarians must remain current in their license and education and the same is true for Veterinary Assistants. In order to maintain CVA status, the CVA must renew their certificate annually on the month indicated on the certificate. The renewal requirements include verification of current employment in the veterinary field and a renewal fee due by the renewal month that is printed on the CVA certificate. If the requirements are not received by the month indicated on the certificate, the individual will be given a grace period in which to renew the certification. If the renewal fee and paperwork are not received by the deadline, the CVA will be required to successfully pass testing again to reinstate their status. As of January 2011 a CVA is required to take 5 hours of CE per renewal period & these may all be taken online.
TVMA has made every effort to develop the CVA program as a cost effective service to our members and other veterinarians in Texas. We have priced each component of the program at the lowest possible cost consistent with a high-quality educational and certification program. These costs are outlined below:
- Level I Training Manual, $149.95 members/ $179.95 non-members
- Level II Training Manual & DVDs, $499.95 members/ $599.95 non-members
- Level III Training Manual, DVDs, & “Veterinary Assistant ” textbook, $549.95 members/ $649.95 non-members
*All materials must be paid for by the employing veterinarian*
The educational materials for CVA Level I, II and III are available for purchase from the Texas Veterinary Medical Association. You may order these materials by phone 512/ 452-4224 or by mail at your convenience. While purchase of these materials is not mandatory to sit for the exam, TVMA believes it is a very beneficial tool for any veterinary assistant committed to the field.
- Certification Fees:
Levels I, II, III (each)
- Re-Test Fees:
Levels I, II, III (each)
- Annual Renewal Fees:
(Includes FYI e-newsletter subscription)
CVA Continuing Education Requirement
As of January 1, 2011 each veterinary assistant previously certified at any level must complete a continuing education requirement for certificate renewal. During the calendar year preceding the date of expected renewal, the CVA must complete a minimum of five (5) hours of continuing education instruction. These CE hours may be acquired through any legitimate veterinary educational content produced and provided by a recognized provider, including but not limited to: state and local VMA meetings, online courses, professional seminars presented by veterinary companies, etc. Hours accumulated beyond the five required hours may be carried over to the next year’s requirement. CVA’s may take all five hours of CE online.
CE Proof of Participation
Documentation validating each continuing education activity must be kept on file by the Certified Veterinary Assistant. These records will be audited at random, with a certain number of participants audited each year. When TVMA requests copies of CE documentation the veterinary assistant must provide copies of all documentation for review by TVMA. Failure to provide sufficient documentation of required CE will be cause for the applicant’s certificate to be deactivated to probationary status.
The Texas Veterinary Medical Association is proud to present an outstanding series of workshops that provide a simple, cost effective way to provide the groundwork for your entry-level personnel to become a Level I Certified Veterinary Assistant. This workshop will be held quarterly. We are also introducing the CVA Level II semi-annual workshop series. Level II of the program significantly expands upon the subjects covered in Level I and thoroughly covers many new subjects as well. Best of all, the Level II training incorporates a multimedia teaching approach that facilitates maximum understanding of topics.
Are you looking for a solid, affordable and applicable way to super charge your work team? The Texas Veterinary Medical Association is proud to present an outstanding series of workshops that provide a simple, cost effective way to provide the groundwork for your entry-level personnel to become a Level I Certified Veterinary Assistant. This workshop will be held quarterly.
Some clinics in Texas require all newly hired staff members to study for and pass the CVA Level I exam. What a great way to motivate your workers. A motivated workforce is more productive and higher productivity usually means higher profits.
TVMA’s Level I Veterinary Assistant Training Program is designed for beginning veterinary assistants with no experience working in a practice environment. This program will teach them the essential skills and knowledge needed to become effective contributors to the veterinary medical care team.
Purchasing the CVA Program has never been so affordable. TVMA is now offering the following package deals:
- Package One: If you have already purchased the CVA Level I program and you are interested in sending an employee to the workshop, your cost is $200 if paid one week prior to the workshop date.
- Package Two: If you are interested in purchasing the CVA Level I Training Packet and would like to register an employee for the workshop, your cost is $250 if paid one week prior to the workshop date. Each additional employee will cost $200 per person.
CVA Level I Workshops are held on Saturday and Sunday at the TVMA office in Austin from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Talented, experienced professional instructors will teach the following topics:
- General Veterinary Assistance Common & Exotic Animals/ Exotic Animal Restraint
- Veterinary Exam Procedures Surgical Preparation & Assistance
- Veterinary Lab Procedures Veterinary Animal Nursing
- Veterinary Medical Imaging Veterinary Pharmacy & Pharmacology
- Kennel/Cage/Stall Area Practice & Client Relations
The next CVA Level I Workshop date is TBD.
Since the inception of the CVA Level I program in August 1999, Texas veterinarians have regarded TVMA’s CVA program as an excellent tool for training beginning veterinary assistants. TVMA is now taking it to the next level. Level II of the program significantly expands upon the subjects covered in Level I and thoroughly covers many new subjects as well. Best of all, the Level II training incorporates a multimedia teaching approach that facilitates maximum understanding of topics.
Applicants for certification at Level II must have been employed under the direct supervision of a DVM or RVT for 180 days full time (or equivalent days part time) since obtaining Level I certification. When applying for the Level II program, CVAs and their employers will also have the opportunity to purchase a Level II Packet for $350. The packet is not mandatory in order to enroll in the workshop, but TVMA believes it is a very beneficial tool for any veterinary assistant committed to the field.
TVMA has a responsibility for helping members build and maintain successful veterinary practices and the CVA program is an effort to accomplish that task by helping to build a strong and capable veterinary support workforce. Sign up for this workshop today and learn the material for Level II CVA certification in just two days!
The CVA Level II program benefits our specialty practice from the reception desk to the patient care technicians. We are often expected to have the proper terminology and understand the patient's disease. The CVA Level II program can help veterinary professionals fulfill their career goals at their own pace, while enhancing the ability of the practice to care for patients and communicate with clients.— Michelle Hernandez, RVT (Gulf Coast Veterinary Internists)
TVMA is now offering the following package deals on the Level II Workshop:
- Package One: If you have already purchased the CVA Level II program and you are interested in sending an employee to the workshop, your cost is $250 if paid no later than one week prior to the event.
- Package Two: If you are interested in purchasing the CVA Level II Training Packet and would like to register an employee for the workshop, your cost is $600 if paid no later than one week prior to the event. Each additional employee will cost $250 per person.
The next CVA Level II Workshop date is TBD.
Directions and Hotels Near TVMA
Direction to TVMA Office, download map HERE.
The hotels listed below are not approved or recommended by TVMA
Holiday Inn Express North (2.4 miles from TVMA)
7622 North IH 35
Drury Inn & Suites Austin North (3.0 miles from TVMA)
6711 North IH 35
Crowne Plaza Hotel–Austin (3.0 miles from TVMA)
6121 North IH 35
Fairfield Inn & Suites - Austin Central (2.7 miles from TVMA)
959 Reinli St
Courtyard - Austin Central (4.2 miles from TVMA)
5660 N IH 35
Restaurants Near TVMA
Bill Miller’s BBQ