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February 13, 2018
April 17, 2017

Is Hiring a C.V.P.M. the Smartest Move for My Practice?

Sheila Grosdidier

At VMC we have the opportunity to visit many different types of practices and we advise on many different management strategies.  When setting up the organizational chart for a hospital, we often have practices ask us if they could benefit from a CVPM, and if the expense is worth the benefit?  I think every practice could benefit from having a leader with this level of experience and training; it is important to understand the designation and how it is acquired.

The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA) was founded in 1981, by our very own Mark Opperman, with the vision of creating an association for practice managers, administrators, veterinarians, and consultants to share information, knowledge, and visions for our industry.  Later, in 1989 the VHMA recognized the need to qualify the knowledge and experience needed to run a successful practice; out of this the CVPM certification process was born. 

What is a CVPM?  

A Certified Veterinary Practice Manager. 

How do you become a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager?

In order to become a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager, the individual must possess a given skill set, a standard of knowledge, they must have applied for certification, prove that they have the required experience, and must have passed a rigorous written examination.  In addition, to remain certified, a CVPM must receive continued education. They are held to the highest standard of ethics within our profession. 

The requirements for CVPM are:

  1. The candidate must already be involved in veterinary practice management, with a minimum of 3 years of experience as a practice manager.  Additionally, there are specific duties that the candidate MUST have performed while acting as a practice manager.  Such duties include: staff development, maintenance, computer training, communication, interaction, records, safety, benefits and payroll. Additionally, accounts receivable, income reconciliation, credit policies, accounts payable, inventory, financial reporting, budgeting, purchasing, fee setting, patient medical records, medical knowledge, hospital medical logs, client service, client communication, client interaction, client grief protocol, client education, client/patient/staff comfort, professional liaison, and community involvement. 

  2. The individual must have completed 18 college hours in management related courses. Examples of qualifying courses include accounting, economics/finance, computer science, marketing, management, labor relations/human resources and law/taxation.

  3. They have to complete 48-hours of continued education devoted to management.

  4. Four letters of recommendation must be provided.

  5. Their application must be accepted. A thorough professional and educational background check is performed.

  6. The candidate must pass the CVPM Exam. This is a three and a half-hour examination with up to 200 questions composed of multiple-choice and true-false questions related to practice management, human resources, law and ethics, marketing, practice organization and finance. 

  7. In order to maintain their CVPM the individual must accumulate 48 hours of continuing education every two years. 

A Certified Veterinary Practice Manager designation is the ‘highest level of credential for professional veterinary managers.’ Although each practice possesses a unique dynamic, a CVPM should possess the flexibility and know-how to elevate the practice to the next level. With such rigorous standards for certification and the requirement to remain current within the industry, a CVPM may be a key addition to your practice team!

Credit: Information taken from:

Learn from the industry’s leader! We offer the VMC School of Veterinary Practice Management. The course is applicable toward the continuing education requirement for the CVPM program offered by VHMA. Upon completion of the course, students receive 40 hours of VHMA approved continuing education credit towards their CVPM certification.

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