Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (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 licensed veterinary 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, 2023 is the application deadline for the 2024 application/testing cycle). By the deadline, candidates will need to have submitted the completed application, letter of good standing, two case studies, proof of completion of the CE requirements, and verification of their pain management skills.

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 Info@IVAPM.org 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. Do not share use your ARN with anyone. Do not use your ARN in communications with other IVAPM members or committee members. Your ARN should only be used when submitting documentation and as the application dictates, as well as in correspondence with the IVAPM Executive Director. Adhering to these guidelines ensures anonymity throughout the entire process.
  2. Consider an IVAPM CVPP Mentor! If you are interested in having a mentor help you through the process, please complete this form.
  3. 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).
  4. Submit a Letter of Good Standing or the regional equivalent. Applicants must be current, practicing veterinary professionals of good standing with their governing board.
  5. 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 form. Information regarding approved CE can be found under CVPP FAQs.
  6. Demonstrate competency in pain management in 10 of the 29-pain management-related categories. A qualified evaluator will need to use the Skills Competency form for evaluation in the following categories:
    • Allopathic
    • Rehabilitation Therapy
    • Acupuncture/TCVM
  7. Submit digital images of pain management elements.
    • Allopathic Practitioners
      • Pictures of available pain medications from these major analgesic categories used by the applicant: Opioids, 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.
  8. Submit five pain management specific questions and answers as potential CVPP exam questions. Submitted questions and answers must include the following:
    • Multiple choice questions must consist of a stem and four options; one correct answer and three distractors.
    • Copies of the supporting references must be submitted with questions. References submitted must include:
      • One reference, but no more than two, may come from available literature including peer-reviewed journals or textbooks.
      • Citations published within the past five years. Older references may only be admissible if updates information or newer editions of the text are unavailable.
    • For further question writing assistance, download a copy of the IVAPM Writing Guide located on the IVAPM member portal or email IVAPM.
    • Email the questions to IVAPM separate from the application.
  9. Submit two case studies. Click below for complete details on the case study guidelines and evaluation grading specific guide with sample case study (NEW).
  10. Complete the CVPP Exam*: Beginning in 2023, the CVPP Exam will be offered online only and proctored via remote AI. The exam fees are: $280 for DVM/VMD and $180 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:

2024 Testing Date:

  • CVPP Exam Date Tentatively Scheduled For: First or Second week of September, starting at 8:00 AM Central.

*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.