Certified Veterinary Assistant

The Certified Veterinary Assistant program (CVA) is a learn-on-the-job vocational training experience that covers the basic fundamentals of veterinary medicine and animal care and handling. This program is a member benefit for CVMA members; it was developed by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association and Animal Care Technologies to train and certify those individuals wishing to follow a career path as a veterinary assistant. Through this program, veterinary medical personnel are empowered to become informed, skilled, and trusted members of the veterinary medical team.

Certification levels

The CVA program consists of three levels:

  • CVA Level I: Entry level skills and knowledge, roughly equivalent to 90 days of on-the-job training in a veterinary hospital.
  • CVA Level II: Intermediate level skills and knowledge, roughly equivalent to 180 days of on-the-job training in a veterinary clinic beyond certification at CVA Level I.
  • CVA Level III: Advanced level skills and knowledge, roughly equivalent to 180 days of on-the-job training in a veterinary clinic beyond certification at CVA Level II.

All CVAs must complete each level in sequential order before progressing to the next level.

Eligibility criteria and requirements

CVA Level I

  • Applicant must be at least 16 years of age
  • Applicant must have obtained 90 days of practical work experience (equivalent to 500 hours, paid or volunteer) in a veterinary setting under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian or a certified veterinary technician
  • Applicant must submit a completed application for examination for CVA Level I certification including complete payment of examination fee(s)
  • Completed CVA Level I “Skills Validation Checklist”
  • Applicant must score 70% or better on the CVA Level I certification exam

CVA Level II

  • Applicant must hold a valid CVA Level I certification
  • Applicant must have obtained 180 days of practical work experience (equivalent to 1,000 hours, paid or volunteer) under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian or a certified veterinary technician, counted from the date initial certification at CVA Level I was awarded (see section 3.3 for exception)
  • Applicant must submit a completed application for examination for CVA Level II certification including complete payment of examination fee(s)
  • Completed CVA Level II “Skills Validation Checklist”
  • Applicant must score 70% or better on the CVA Level II certification exam

CVA Level III

  • Applicant must hold a valid CVA Level II certification
  • Applicant must have obtained 180 days of practical work experience (equivalent to 1,000 hours, paid or volunteer) under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian or a certified veterinary technician, counted from the date initial certification at CVA Level II was awarded (see section 3.3 for exception)
  • Applicant must submit a completed application for examination for CVA Level III certification including complete payment of examination fee(s)
  • Completed CVA Level III “Skills Validation Checklist”
  • Applicant must score 70% or better on the CVA Level III certification examination

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