High School Veterinary Science Apprenticeship – 500 clinical skill hours
To complete the high school certificate program and be eligible for TVMA certification, students must complete 500 clinical skill hours under the supervision of the teacher and veterinarian. The clinical skills checklist may be found on the TVMA website at tvma.org > Certifications > CVA > Level I High School Application and Checklist.
Skills for animal handling, restraining, and managing, along with selected laboratory skills, may be taught by the instructor. Skills requiring specific expertise, will be taught by the veterinarian. The veterinarian and teacher will determine which of the 78 listed skills they will teach. A log is kept to track student hours inside the classroom and at the workforce site.
200 skill hours may be obtained under teacher supervision in the classroom.
300 skill hours must be obtained under supervision of DVM, RVT/CVT/LVT at the workforce location for a combined total of 500 hours. For those following the One Health or laboratory track, skill hours will be obtained under skilled professional in that field.
TVMA Certification – CVA Classification
To receive TVMA certification, the clinical-skills checklist must be validated by the DVM, RVT, CVT, or LVT. Teachers may teach identified skills, but cannot validate the skills for certification (Certified Veterinary Assistant – CVA). The student must demonstrate or verbally explain each skill, taught by the teacher, to the DVM and or RVT/CVT/LVT to receive validation. This should take place over the course of the apprenticeship, not at the end. Once the application form and clinical skills checklist is submitted to the TVMA, an exam will be sent to the identified testing proctor to administer. Students must pass the exam to receive CVA certification. The fee for the exam is included on the application form and clinical skills checklist.
High School Certificate – VA Classification
Students who complete the program and do not wish to become certified through the TVMA, will receive a completion of program certificate with Veterinary Assistant (VA) classification by the high school. The 78 clinical skill hours do not have to be validated by the veterinarian. Students must have completed:
- Curriculum: 100 lessons, lesson questions, and 50 activities; and
- Apprenticeship: 500 clinical skill hours with a minimum of 300 in private veterinary practice and 200 maximum in class)