It was recently announced that the Fear Free certification program, which has already certified more than 20,000 veterinary professionals as individuals, will expand to offer a veterinary practice certification in April 2018.
The Fear Free program is designed to eliminate the anxiety and stress associated with veterinary visits, creating a better and safer experience for pets, owners, and the veterinary team. The Fear Free certification is recommended for veterinarians, veterinary technicians and nurses, and other veterinary personnel.
The self-paced Fear Free curriculum that is currently available for individuals includes eight modules that must be completed in consecutive order. An exam must be successfully completed at the end of each module to advance to the next section. Individual certification was introduced in March 2016 and has been very popular (as mentioned above they already boast more than 20,000 participants). Individual certification is offered for a fee of $279 per person, but groups who register together can take advantage of significantly discounted rates (starting at 50 percent off per person for groups of 10 to 19). Fear Free also offers a second level of individual certification for those seeking advanced knowledge, as well as a Fear Free Animal Trainer program.
The new practice-level certification will be awarded after a comprehensive on-site evaluation by a certification committee of veterinarians, who will ensure that the practice meets all standards on a pass/fail basis. To apply for practice certification, at least 25 percent of staff must already be Fear Free certified (with all managers/leadership being certified, 50 percent plus one of all FTE veterinarians, and 25 percent of vet techs/nurses and support staff). There will also be a Fear Free Premier Practice Certification for practices with higher levels of Fear Free education. Smaller practices with 1 to 15 FTE veterinarians will have a $500 base price plus $200 for each veterinarian for the practice certification, and larger practices with 16 or more FTE veterinarians will have a flat rate of $3,500 for practice certification. An on-site visit will be required every three years to maintain certification.