Who is eligible?

All licensed 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 may apply for certification. In addition, candidates must be members of IVAPM for at least one year prior to sitting for the exam.

When are applications due?

The deadline for the application and associated documentation and requirements is December 31st. With the exception of the Applicant Reference Forms, all documents should be submitted online at the same time. The online system will not save your work or accept partial application submissions. Note, there is an application fee to be processed at time of application submittal ($250 for veterinarians and $150 for licensed veterinary technicians).

What are the requirements for the CVPP?

Requirements include a completed application and supporting documentation, letter of good standing, two case reports, 90 hours of pain-related CE, verification of pain management skills, and successful completion of the CVPP written exam.

Who should provide a letter of good standing?

Your licensing or governing veterinary board can provide a letter of good standing.

What is IVAPM looking for in the case reports?

Case reports should involve patient care delivered during the five-year period preceding the application deadline. They may pertain to perioperative pain management, major acute or chronic pain management. Case reports are graded pass/fail. In certain cases, applicants may be asked to resubmit a report with revisions or clarifications.

What are the continuing education requirements for certification?

Successful completion of 90 hours of pain management-related CE during the eight years prior to the application deadline is required.

What are the options for meeting the CE requirement?

What pain management skills must be demonstrated?

You must be able to demonstrate competency in a total of 10 of the 29 skills in the following pain management-related categories:

  • Allopathic
  • Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Acupuncture/TCVM

How do I verify that I have the medications and equipment needed for the skills demonstration?

A simple list and digital photographs of the required equipment and medications should accompany your application.

How will I verify my skills competency?

A CVPP or Diplomate (AVMA, AVA, ECV, or regional equivalent) will evaluate your pain management skills.

What if there aren’t any credentialed professionals in my area?

Video documentation is a possible option. You would need to provide a letter clarifying your need for this alternative at the time of your application.

What if I am in a position that does not currently allow access to the required medications and equipment?

We know that not everyone pursuing certification is currently in a setting that allows access to the necessary drugs and equipment. These candidates should include a letter clarifying their need for an alternative option. The Certification Committee will consider waivers on a case-by-case basis.

Are the requirements and the exam the same for veterinarians and veterinary technicians?


Is there an examination fee?

Yes. The exam fee is $250 for veterinarians and $150 for licensed veterinary technicians. This fee is due 30 days prior to taking the exam. Note, there is also an application fee ($250 for veterinarians and $150 for licensed veterinary technicians).

How will the exam be structured?

The examination is closed book and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. Time is limited to three hours.

What will the exam questions cover?

The exam will emphasize foundational pain management related principles. It will also cover elements specific to physical rehabilitation and acupuncture as they relate to pain management.

When and where will the examination take place?

The exam will be offered every September at an onsite examination in conjunction with IVAPM’s annual meeting. It will also be offered online at various testing sites.

Will the IVAPM certification title be bestowed for life?

No. There is a recertification process every five years. Recertification requirements can be found here.

What happens if I don’t pass the exam?

If you do not pass the exam you will have up to two years to retake it. If you are not successful after a total of three attempts you will be asked to resubmit your application for certification.

Who can answer any questions I have about IVAPM’s certification program?

Contact the IVAPM office at IVAPM@NAVC.com.