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AVA Program Guidelines

To better define the veterinary health care team and the role of the credentialed technician, NAVTA created a veterinary assistant approval program in 2010. Schools with a Veterinary Assistant Program are encouraged to review the NAVTA Veterinary Assistant Programs Policy, Program Document Submission Guidelines, AND the NAVTA Veterinary Assistant Skills List when creating their curriculum and submitting their program for NAVTA approval. Once approved, graduates of these programs will be given the opportunity to take the national test. With successful completion of the exam, individuals will become an Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) and be recognized for their accomplishment with the AVA designation

NAVTA Approved Veterinary Assistant Program Application/ Renewal Policies and Fees

Submission Documents should be submitted quarterly (January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1) of the calendar year. The AVA committee will review the submitted documents within 90-120 days after the submission deadline, and a letter of approval or denial (with deficiencies) will be mailed to the Program Director.

The initial application and review fee is $350, due at the time of submission. Denied programs which re-apply within six months of the receipt of the letter of denial will not be assessed an additional fee. Programs re-applying after six months of receipt of the letter of denial will be required to submit an additional $350 fee.

Renewal fees for current programs is $300 (effective Jan. 1, 2024). Renewals are scheduled as follows:

  • 1st renewal: two (2) years from initial approval
  • 2nd renewal: 2.5 years from 1st renewal
  • 3rd and all subsequent renewals: three (3) years from previous renewal

Policy on delinquent renewals:

NAVTA will send renewal reminders 90 days in advance of their renewal date. If the program has not submitted renewal documents by the renewal date, NAVTA will send a reminder on the renewal date.

  • Failure to submit renewal documents and fee within 30 days of the renewal date will incur a 10% increase in the renewal fee.
  • Failure to submit renewal documents and fee after 60 days of the renewal date will incur a 20% increase in renewal fee.
  • Failure to submit renewal documents and fee after 90 days of the renewal date will incur a 30% increase in renewal fee.
  • If renewal has not occurred with 120 days of the initial renewal date, NAVTA Approval will be revoked, and the program can no longer advertise or use language that suggests the program is NAVTA Approved. The program would then have to re-apply for approval and pay renewal fee plus 30% penalty.

Programs with enrollment or faculty issues requiring a suspension in the program for a period of one semester or more should contact the AVA Office by email at

Educational and Corporate owned programs with multiple campuses must submit a fee for each campus program and understand that while the curriculum may be similar in content, separate information as to instructors, facilities, and separate advisory boards is required for each campus.

For further information on the NAVTA Approved Veterinary Assistant Program, please contact the NAVTA office at