Alachua, FL. In 2022, the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM) program marks 30 years of recognizing the knowledge and experience of veterinary management professionals.
"In the three decades since this program was created, the CVPM credential has become recognized by practice leaders and others in the veterinary industry as proof of professional achievement and excellence," said Veterinary Hospital Managers Association Executive Director Christine Shupe, CAE. "These four letters have become shorthand for a vast knowledge base and experience."
Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA) members realized in 1989 that both veterinarians and practice managers had an increasing need for a means to ensure managers had the knowledge and experience necessary to successfully manage the complex business of a veterinary practice. A committee was formed to develop a certification program.
The first 17 CVPM credentials were earned in 1992. In 2021, 118 CVPMs were awarded, and later this year, we expect the total number of certified professionals will reach 1,000. "The rigor of this credentialing program coupled with the extraordinary skill displayed by the professionals who have earned it have aided in elevating the role of the veterinary practice manager from a job to a career," Shupe said.
CVPM candidates must meet experience and education requirements before qualifying to sit for the examination. The examination tests relevant knowledge in human resources, law and ethics, marketing, organization of the practice, and finance. Practice owners know that if they hire a CVPM, their practice will be managed by a competent professional, allowing them to focus on providing medical care.
The Benefits of CVPM
The results of the VHMA 2021 Compensation and Benefits survey show that practice managers who hold the CVPM credential are the top earners in the field. The median annual salary of a manager with CVPM was $64,000, which was $4,000 higher than the overall median and $6,000 higher than those holding a college degree.
Those who have earned the CVPM credential say it is a source of pride, creates a community with others who are equally committed to their profession, and has brought career opportunities.
"CVPM certification is recognition that I really know the industry and how to lead a hospital," said Paul Miranda, CVPM, a former practice owner who last year became operations support manager, west, for NVA Compassion First, based in Kansas City. The credential helped him stand out among other candidates, he said.
“This is something I wanted to do for myself, something that I could be proud of, something I could accomplish,” said Starla Weaver, CVPM, practice manager at Animal Hospital of Kannapolis in Kannapolis, North Carolina.
"Just the process of earning your CVPM helps you become a better manager by highlighting any areas where you may have limited experience or knowledge, so you can grow and develop them,” said Jen Bruce, RVT, CVPM, practice manager of Wellesley Animal Hospital in Toronto. “To me, this is not just a job. It’s a career. It’s a passion. And when I meet someone else who has earned their CVPM, I know they feel the same way."
Bruce’s hospital was recently acquired by a corporation. “They were very happy to see my CVPM certification,” she said. “It has already opened the door to career advancement discussions – a door I didn’t even realize was there.”
About The VHMA
The VHMA is a nationally recognized thought-leader and innovator in providing training, education, and resources to more than 4,200 members and a trusted resource that the veterinary sector relies on for industry insights, research, and advocacy to assure performance at the highest levels. VHMA's core purpose is to advance and support veterinary practice management professionals by developing professional competence, supporting and encouraging standards through the industry's highest-level certification program, the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM), and providing individuals with a network for professional connection and support.
For more information, visit: https://www.vhma.org/cvpm-certification/about-certification