IVAPM Certification (CVPP)

IVAPM’s certification program was designed to be challenging and achievable. It is also a platform and incentive for continued learning about the many disciplines capable of enhancing comfort in animal patients.

The Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP) certification is awarded to candidates that have met IVAPM’s standards for education, training, and experience in interdisciplinary pain management. The program is open to veterinary health professionals with a minimum of five years in full time practice and at least two years of clinical experience working with animals in pain.

In addition, applicants must have a current membership and have been a member of IVAPM for at least one year prior to sitting for the exam. Requirements are the same for veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

The application cycle closes every year on December 31 for the following year’s test (i.e. December 31, 2018 is the application deadline for the 2019 application/testing cycle). By the deadline, candidates will need to have submitted the completed application, three references, two case studies, proof of completion of the CE requirements, and verification of their pain management skills.

With the exception of the Reference Forms, all documents should be submitted at the same time. The online system will not save your work or accept partial application submissions. The CVPP exam is offered annually in September.

Steps for Applying

  1. Apply for an Application Registration Number (ARN) by emailing IVAPM@NAVC.com and including the Subject Line: CVPP ARN Requested. This is required to begin the application and will be used on all
    supporting documentation to maintain anonymity.
  2. Complete CVPP Application. Upon processing the application, you will receive an email regarding the application fee ($250 for veterinarians and $150 for licensed veterinary technicians).
  3. Submit three Applicant Reference Forms. These should be written by a CVPP or Diplomate (AVMA, AVA, ECV, or regional equivalent). Only one of the three can be from a veterinary technician. Note: These are to be completed and submitted online by the individuals providing your references. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide their references with the link to the online form.
  4. Submit proof of 90 hours of pain related CE. CE must have been earned during the eight years prior to application submission. You can use the following CE form and/or Internship/Observation Record form. Information regarding approved CE can be found under CVPP FAQs.
  5. Demonstrate competency in pain management in 10 of the 29-pain management-related categories. A qualified evaluator will need to use the Skills Verification form for evaluation in the following categories:
    • Allopathic
    • Rehabilitation Therapy
    • Acupuncture/TCVM
  6. Submit digital images of pain management elements.
    • Allopathic Practitioners
      • Pictures of available pain medications from these major analgesic categories used by the applicant: Opiods, NMDA antagonists, NA channel blockers, CA channel blockers.  Pictures should include the controlled drug storage and record keeping as required by regional laws and regulations.  In the case of drugs not available on site, applicants must describe how they are accessed. Also, pictures of equipment used by the applicant including iv pump or iv syringe, epidural supplies, CRI calculators/recipe resources, nerve locator.
    • Rehabilitation Practitioners
      • Pictures of equipment used by the applicant including goniometer, gulick tape measure, tens, NMES, therapeutic ultrasound, low- level laser, cavaletti rails, therapy balls/bands, balance boards.
    • Acupuncture/TCVM Practitioners
      • Pictures of needles, herbals, electro-stimulation units.
  7. Submit two case studies. Click below for complete details on the case study guidelines and samples.
  8. Complete the CVPP Exam*: The Exam is offered once a year in September as an on-site examination in conjunction with IVAPM’s annual meeting. It is also offered online at various test sites. The exam fees are: $250 for DVM/VMD and $150 for Technician/Nurse. Exam fees are due 30 days prior to the examination. The exam covers the breadth of current knowledge concerning veterinary pain management in addition to elements specific to rehabilitation and acupuncture. It is closed book and consists of 100 questions. Time is limited to three hours. Applicants should begin self-studying once their application is accepted. Study Materials include:
    1. CVPP Learning Outcomes & Sample Questions
    2. CVPP Reading List
  9. Recertification: Beginning in 2017, applicants earning their CVPP certification, will require to recertify every five years. Letters of notification will be sent prior to the recertification deadline.

*ADA Exam Accommodations:  The IVAPM examination provides reasonable and appropriate accommodations for individuals with documented disabilities within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under ADA, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits an individual’s ability to perform one or more major life activities, as compared with most people in the general population. As a part of the application submission process, the applicant must indicate that they require ADA examination accommodations (in “examination information” section).  Applicants requesting accommodations must submit medical and/or psychological documentation from a qualified professional in support of the request for ADA exam accommodations. Additionally, if the applicant has received any other accommodations in the past, supporting documentation certifying prior accommodations should be included.  Accommodation requests with supporting documentation must be submitted at the time of application submission.