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The American Association of Veterinary State Boards launched Veterinary Care Elite earlier this year. The program stores all qualifications and achievements for veterinary technicians in an easily accessible manner.
The Veterinary Care Elite program also acts as a concierge service for licensing and includes regulation cards and information on requirements in other jurisdictions in the event a participant wishes to acquire a license in other territories. The AAVSB collects, verifies and stores the qualifications of the participants.
“Veterinary Care Elite validates and recognizes the regulated veterinary technicians who have met the highest standards of the profession as set by the AAVSB board of directors,” said Dr. Roger Redman, AAVSB President, in a press release. “The AAVSB will do this by reviewing their education, credentials and professional behavior, and reaffirming their belief that a robust and efficient regulatory process will support and advance the veterinary profession.”
The information collected is stored in the Veterinary Information Verifying Agency, a database of license information established by the AAVSB’s member bodies.
Jim Penrod, the executive director of the AAVSB, said the program will hopefully solve some mobility issues and allow other AAVSB member boards to expedite the review of license applications.
“We believe it solves one of the problems we’ve seen veterinary technicians have,” said Penrod. He added that this is an easy way for veterinary technicians to stand out in an animal hospital as it demonstrates a gold standard to employers.
Depending on the state, veterinary technicians can hold the title of registered veterinary technician, a licensed veterinary technician, a state-certified veterinary technician or a licensed veterinary medical technician. This usually means that a veterinary technician has completed an AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities – accredited program, including an exam such as the National Veterinary Technician Exam. There may be other ways to obtain a license, such as documented hours of experience.
Most states regulate the licensing of veterinary technicians, but some don’t, including Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wyoming, according to the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. These states recognize private certifications from veterinary or technical associations that individuals can pursue.
NAVTA executives have worked to standardize the qualifications for veterinary technicians. In particular, license portability was a concern they tried to address.
Additional benefits of the Veterinary Care Elite program include a full professional profile, an account to easily find and track training, and access to information for licensing and regulatory issues.
The program originally opened in the US in April as a pilot for VTNE applicants who had completed an accredited program, but by the fall it will be open to all recognized veterinary technicians on all AAVSB member boards.
The AAVSB also plans to offer a similar program for veterinarians in the future, which is expected to be released next year.