Certified Veterinary Practice Manager: Frequently Asked Questions
Question (Q): Are there any alternate options for eligibility such as a “grandfather” option available?
Answer (A): No “grandfathering” process exists with respect to any of the eligibility criteria. All candidates must meet the same minimum requirements.
Q: What qualifies for the practice management experience requirement?
A: All candidates must have a minimum of three (3) years of veterinary practice management experience. In the application, thirty (30) duties that are common to most veterinary practices are listed, and a definition is given for each. You must have performed at least twenty-six (26) of the thirty listed functions for at least three (3) years within the preceding seven (7) years to qualify as having the necessary management experience needed for certification. List of thirty (30) duties.
Important note, when completing the experience portion of the application, select only those duties for which you were totally responsible for doing. You may take credit for duties that you delegated to a staff member, if you were fully responsible for that staff member’s performance.
If you are unsure you have fully performed a duty that is listed, or if your experience differs from the description, please write a detailed explanation and the Certification Board will rule whether it may be counted toward the twenty-six (26) needed.
If you have not performed or been responsible for at least twenty six (26) of the listed duties but have engaged in other activities not listed, you may request that the Certification Board consider these as experience. Please submit a full description of the activity, including dates and attach it to your application. The Certification Board’s decision regarding these functions will be final.
Please note that management experience from other industries will not apply; your experience must have been obtained in a veterinary practice.
Q: Where can I obtain my formal education?
A: All candidates must have at least eighteen (18) college semester hours to meet the formal education requirement. The typical college semester course will count as three (3) credit hours. To complete the formal education requirement, courses must be in at least two (2) or more of the following disciplines: Accounting, Economics/Finance, Computer Science, Marketing, Management, Labor Relations/Human Resources and Law/Taxation. Samples of course titles are provided in the CVPM application.
Candidates are welcome to take business management specific courses at any accredited college or university. Testing programs such as Educational Testing Service (ETS), the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) or any other recognized by an accredited college or university will be accepted.
Continuing education certificates that do not award formal college semester credits will NOT be applicable toward the formal education requirement.
If you are unsure that course(s) you have already taken will apply or if courses that you plan to take will apply, please feel free to contact the VHMA office or fax a copy of your transcript for review.
There is no time limit or requirement for the formal education requirement.
Q: Where can I obtain my continuing education?
A: All candidates must have at least 48 hours of acceptable continuing education within the preceding seven (7) years to meet the continuing education requirement.
For a continuing education course or seminar to be acceptable, it must be given or sponsored by a recognized entity (example: VHMA, AAHA, AVMA, VetPartners, etc.) and the subject must be management oriented. Credit will NOT be given for courses relating primarily to veterinary medicine or seminars in the practice given by drug or food representatives. Additionally, credit will NOT be given for viewing videos or listening to audiotapes or CDs. Continuing education credits provided online are accepted (i.e., VetMedTeam.com or VSPN.org).
Management education hours from any of the major veterinary conferences will be accepted. Management education (and roundtable discussions) presented at local management groups may be accepted based on information provided. General management education offered by Skill Path, Padgett-Thompson (National Seminars), American Management Association and Fred Pryor will all be accepted.
In-house training programs are not considered acceptable continuing education.
Each hour of an acceptable program will count as one (1) continuing education unit (CEU).
All continuing education must be documented to be accepted. A certificate of attendance or proof of the candidate’s registration is acceptable as proof of participation.
The CVPM Board will be the final judge on which courses are acceptable and the number of hours that can be credited for each course.
Formal education with proper documentation (consisting of an official transcript) may be substituted for continuing education in the following proportions: one (1) semester/college credit hour will equal six (6) continuing education hours.
Q: Do all of the minimum requirements have to be completed when I send in my application?
A: Yes, each of the minimum requirements: formal education, experience and continuing education must all be already accomplished or achieved at the time of your application submission. Applications for candidates who have not fulfilled these minimum requirements will not be reviewed for approval.
Q: Is there a Study Guide?
A: The CVPM Board offers a free Study Guide and Recommended Reading List designed to help candidates become familiar with the topics that are included in the examination. The CVPM Task Analysis Outline is also available and details the content areas of the examination. The Examination Blueprint provides a breakdown of the percentage of questions per domain on the examination. Copies of the current Study Guide and Recommended Reading List, Task Analysis Outline and Examination Blueprint can be obtained from the CVPM page of the VHMA Web site (www.vhma.org).
A CVPM Preparation Workbook is also available for $229. The CVPM Preparation Workbook, an essential tool to help guide you through the entire process of CVPM certification. Document relevant application information, organize your study efforts, and chart your timeline to the examination date. Qualifying and preparing to take the CVPM examination requires financial commitment, time, and energy. The CVPM Preparation Workbook provides the tools you need to prepare in advance to make the entire process flow smoothly. An order form for the CVPM Preparation Workbook is available on the main CVPM page under Documents and Resources.
Q: What is the pass/fail point or percentage?
A: The CVPM Board uses the Modified Angoff Rating Method to develop the pass point for each examination; it is the most widely accepted scientific method for determining a pass point. Simplified, when a test question is added to the examination database it is reviewed and rated by a Committee of Subject Matter Experts and given an individual difficulty rating. When test questions are compiled to form the examination (based on the test blue print which identifies how many questions for each domain are on the examination), the examination pass point is determined from the individual difficulty ratings for the questions selected for that specific examination. Depending on the composition of examination items, the pass point may fluctuate up or down a few points with each examination. Using this methodology there is no curve, and candidates do not compete against each other. There is no limit on the number of candidates who may pass or fail the test.
Q: What is the current pass rate?
A: The CVPM Board publishes an Annual Certification Activities Report. This report includes a summary of the previous year’s activities including the total number of candidates who sat for the examination, as well as the total number of candidates certified. Annual Certification Activities Report
Q: Is there a limit to the number of times an individual may take the examination?
A: No, there are no limites on the number of times a candiates may take the examation.
Q: Is there a mandatory waiting period between examinations administrations?
A: Yes, you may only take the CVPM examination once per administration cycle.
Q: If I am not an American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) member how can I obtain the AAHA Standards of Accreditation?
A: The AAHA Standards of Accreditation are included on the CVPM Recommended Reading List as preparation material for the examination. AAHA has provided CVPM candidates with a means of accessing these standards through their Web site with a special password.
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