What is the Colorado Veterinary Practice Act bill (HB 22-1235)?

Every regulated profession in Colorado has a practice act that establishes a regulatory body that oversees the process by which professionals are licensed or regulated. The Colorado Veterinary Practice Act can be changed two ways: 1. At any time during the regular annual legislative session by lawmakers. 2. Once every approximately 10-15 years during a scheduled sunset review process.

As a critical stakeholder in the review of the Colorado Veterinary Practice Act, CVMA invested over 500 staff and volunteer hours analyzing the practice act and collaborating with other key stakeholders.

Current status: Changes to the Colorado Veterinary Practice Act were signed into law by Governor Polis and went into effect on August 10, 2022.

What’s included in HB 22-1235

While the bill is awaiting to be signed into law by the governor, these are the key changes included in HB 22-1235 as it currently stands.

1. Continues the veterinary practice act for 11 more years until 2033.

2. Establishes regulation of veterinary technicians (this amendment was proposed jointly by CVMA and CACVT):

  • Adds a definition of a veterinary professional as a licensed veterinarian or a registered veterinary technician
  • Revises the Veterinary Peer Health Assistance Program section to include veterinary technicians and reorganizes it to improve understanding

3. Expands the administration of rabies vaccines:

  • Allows administration of rabies vaccine under supervision of a licensed veterinarian
  • Amends public health statute 25-4-607 to allow veterinarians to delegate under indirect supervision the administration of rabies vaccinations in a public health emergency situation

4. Expands continuing education requirements for license renewal:

  • Allows veterinarians to receive up to 16 hours of credit toward relicensing for continuing education on topics such as client communication, management, leadership, wellbeing and developing a highly functional veterinary workforce
  • Requires two hours of jurisprudence CE on the veterinary practice act per license renewal period

5. Requires veterinarians to create a written plan for the storage, security, and disposal of patient records.

6. Permits the state veterinary board to require a physical examination of a licensed veterinarian if there is reasonable cause to believe the veterinarian is unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety (Note: This provision exists in other practice acts such as the Dentist and Dental Hygienists Practice Act, Medical Practice Act, Nurses and Nurse Aides Practice Act, and Pharmacists Practice Act)

7. Repeals the requirement that the state veterinary board send a letter of admonition by certified mail.

8. Cleans up vague or conflicting language related to supervision:

  • Defines indirect supervision
  • Resolves conflicting language among 12-315-105 (b) and (k) and 12-315-116 regarding duties delegated to veterinary students under direct supervision
  • Clarifies the requirements concerning confidential agreements

Why veterinarians should care about HB 22-1235

HB 22-1235 will impact how veterinarians practice veterinary medicine in Colorado. As the number one advocate for veterinarians in Colorado, CVMA is highly attuned to legislative and regulatory issues in Colorado that have the potential to impact veterinarians and veterinary medicine. Every practitioner will be impacted by any changes to the Colorado Veterinary Practice Act since it sets laws that govern the practice of veterinary medicine in Colorado.

The practice act only undergoes a review every 10-15 years…so this is a very important time for veterinary medicine in Colorado.

Stay informed

CVMA is communicating information about this legislation and other legislation with the potential to impact Colorado veterinarians via eVOICE, CVMA’s weekly member e-newsletter. Keep an eye on eVOICE for more information about HB 22-1235, including any changes to it.

Are you a CVMA member but not receiving eVOICE? Email us at [email protected] to make sure we’ve got your right email address on our list.

Not a CVMA member? Join now to support us as we work to be a voice for veterinarians in Colorado (and enjoy CE discounts, too!).