Veterinarians who want to keep their veterinary accreditation will need to elect to participate in the newly revised National Veterinary Accreditation Program (NVAP) before August 2. 

“The response to the new program has been excellent,” said Dr. Tim Cordes, senior staff veterinarian with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).  Dr. Cordes and other APHIS NVAP veterinarians and staff have been speaking and exhibiting at veterinary meetings as part of an outreach and education campaign to alert the profession to the changes.   He added, “We’re encouraging veterinarians to sign up as soon as possible to avoid a paperwork backlog.”

What You Need to Know
The revised program has two accreditation categories (see below) in place of the current single category, adding requirements for supplemental training with renewal of accreditation every 3 years, and providing for accreditation specializations.  Veterinarians accredited as of February 1, 2010, must elect to participate in the NVAP as a Category I or Category II veterinarian; otherwise, their accreditation will expire August 2.

Category I animals: All animals except:  food and fiber species, horses, birds, farm-raised aquatic animals, all other livestock species, and  zoo animals that can transmit exotic animal  diseases to livestock.

Category II animals: All animals.

What You Need to Do and When
Veterinarians need to select an accreditation category and submit a VS Form 1-36A, the National Veterinary Accreditation Program Application Form, by August 2, 2010 or their accreditation will expire.  This form is available on-line at (click on Instructions for Currently Accredited Veterinarians) or through the State Veterinarian or USDA Area Veterinarian- In-Charge for each state. 

Why NVAP Is Important
APHIS has enhanced the program to help meet the demands of a global market and threats of emerging diseases.   “These changes will promote the mutual respect and professional partnership between APHIS, accredited veterinarians, and State animal health officials, “Dr. Cordes said.  The enhanced program will strengthen accredited veterinarians’ understanding of the program and increase their knowledge on current animal health issues. It will also allow for the administration of a consistent and uniform program.

During the past decade, the United States has seen the incursion of several foreign animal diseases (FADs).  In most cases, the FADs have been eliminated successfully with the veterinary practitioner as the first line of defense.  Additionally, there has been an increase in live animal export document requests growing from approximately 4000 to 15,000 in the past five years.  Most of these requests start with the efforts of an accredited veterinarian.  Now, more than ever, APHIS depends upon accredited veterinarians to carry out many of the programs and services designed to safeguard public and animal health.

How the Supplemental Training Works
APHIS is developing educations programs for accredited veterinarians, and supplemental training is expected to be available online in December.    Category I veterinarians will be required to take three units of supplemental training and Category II veterinarians will need 6 units.  A unit is approximately one hour.

Online training modules have been created by the IowaStateUniversityCenter for Food Security and Public Health, and will be free to U.S. veterinarians.  Paper or CD copies will be available for the cost of production and shipping for those without computer access. Training may be presented at various professional meetings.  And in 2012, organizations offering accreditation relevant training through meetings may apply to have such training added to the list of APHIS-approved supplemental training.

More information