The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA) has offered a certification opportunity since 1989 to those who wish to practice veterinary management. This certification will allow successful individuals to become a certified veterinary practice manager (CVPM). The CVPM certification is known as the highest level of credential available to professional veterinary managers.
Interested individuals will be assessed against a predetermined set of standards to evaluate their skills and, if they pass, will be required to fulfill certain renewal requirements on a certain time basis. Proof of accumulation of a total of at least 48 continuing education hours must be submitted every two years.
There are some qualifications that must be met in order to be eligible to earn this certification. First, current active employment as a practice manager for at least three years within the last seven years. Second, a completed 18 college semester hours in management related courses. The third requirement is a total of at least 48 hours in other continuing education areas, such as courses, seminars, and other related management events. The final items needed are four letters of recommendation.
In order to completely earn this certification, individuals must complete an application, pass a written exam, and make a commitment to uphold excellent veterinary practice management and the VHMA professional Code of Ethics.
The actual exam consists of both true-false questions and multiple-choice questions. Some of the multiple-choice questions are traditional knowledge-based, while others are scenario-based. There will be a maximum number of 200 questions on the exam. Subject areas include Law and Ethics, Marketing, Human Resources, Finance, and Organization of the Practice. Exams are graded by assigning a difficulty level to each exam question. A pass point is awarded depending on the answer to the particular difficulty level of the question.
Those who are taking this test may want to consider finding a study group or taking a preparation course. VHMA has community discussion groups set up for this exact reason, and individuals often find other people with whom to study and prepare. Choosing to take a course to prepare often involves taking a practice test, learning the exam, study strategies, and review of key concepts. However, taking a prep course is not mandatory.
By earning this certification, those in the veterinary profession will become more knowledgeable about the skills needed to become a leader and help their company to become successful, while providing exceptional care to animals. This certification also presents the bearer as someone who has excellent supervision and managerial abilities. Most people who have this certification receive better salary and job position opportunities.