SCHAUMBURG, ILL. — Rapid growth of the veterinary technician field is forcing the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to make changes
to the way it accredits veterinary technician programs.
The AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) recently made several recommendations to the
AVMA Executive Board regarding changes to its fee structure, policies and composition.
The changes were suggested in response to this growth, according to AVMA. For example, from 2004 to 2011, the number of AVMA-accredited
veterinary technology programs increased from 105 to 185. Because of the surge in the number of programs, CVTEA has had to
increase the number of site visits it conducts, from 19 in 2003 to 35 in 2010. For 2011, 53 site visits are planned, plus
another 45 already scheduled for 2012.
The Executive Board granted the four recommended changes requested by CVTEA, including a $100 hike—from $500 to $600—in the
annual accreditation fee. Accreditation application fees will go up $500, from $2,500 to $3,000.
The Executive Board also approved a request from CVTEA to institute a due process policy, similar to one enacted earlier this
year by the AVMA Council on Education (COE), which accredits DVM programs. The changes made by COE were mandated by the U.S.
Department of Education, and while CVTEA isn't subject to the same rules, AVMA's general counsel advised CVTEA to follow suit.
Finally, the Executive Board agreed to add another position to CVTEA's 19-member committee. CVTEA always has had a COE representative
on board as a voting member and accreditation site visit team member. But due to increased site visits and time commitments,
the COE position has been vacant since July 2010. AVMA says the extensive time and effort required for the position have made
the vacancy difficult to fill. In response, CVTEA will keep a COE position, but only as a non-voting member. A new position
will be added for a credentialed veterinary technician, who will perform accreditation site visits. CVTEA hopes to fill the
new position by November.