Professional Regulation FAQs

Background Information

As the professional association for CVTs in the state of Colorado, CACVT continues to work toward increasing professional protections. For an overview of past and ongoing regulatory activities, please click HERE.

In November 2020, CACVT submitted a Sunrise Review Application for the profession of veterinary technology to initiate a review of whether veterinary technicians should be regulated. The last time a Sunrise Review Application was completed was in 1994, and we all know how far the field of veterinary medicine has come since then! Veterinary technicians are currently regulated in 39 states with varying levels of credentialing, title protection, and CE requirements. In Colorado, credentialing = certification = CVT (as opposed to licensing or registration). For a thorough description of credentialing and the different levels, visit this page on NAVTA’s website. Throughout the US, these terms are used to signify a credentialed veterinary technician. Despite the lack of a credentialing requirement to work as a veterinary technician we are proud that Colorado, as a voluntary private entity credentialing state, has one the highest number of credentialed veterinary technicians in the US – over 2400!

Concurrently, the Colorado Veterinarian's Practice Act is open for sunset review. A sunset review seeks to determine the ongoing need for regulation of a profession and to address any problems with the profession's statute. 

Click below to learn more about CACVT's involvement:

Sunrise Review
Sunset Review

Sunrise Review

What is a Sunrise Review?

The Department of Regulatory Agencies states that “a sunrise review explores whether there is a need to regulate a currently unregulated profession or occupation”. This process involves submitting a detailed application to the Colorado Office of Policy, Research & Regulatory Reform (COPRRR) to educate them on occupational responsibilities and how a lack of regulation has been a disservice to the public. Over one year, the application is evaluated, and a comprehensive study is submitted to the Colorado General Assembly. The application itself is composed of several questions...26 to be exact. The review process takes almost a full year, which began the end of 2020 and will culminate in presentation of a final report to the Colorado legislature in October 2021. During the review process, DORA Analysts will review the application, research other states' regulation, contact stakeholders, and create their recommendations. 

Why are we doing this?

CACVT periodically surveys our members and professional regulation is consistently at the top of the list of concerns for CVTs. CACVT has functioned as a private-entity certification system for the last 25 years. The current system has worked to support the veterinary community but it is time to prepare for the future. Veterinary medicine is ever-evolving and CVTs have done their part to advance the profession. CVTs are an essential member of the animal healthcare team, with more and more responsibility and utilization as veterinarians increasingly recognize the value of CVTs. To step into their roles in a more comprehensive way, CVTs need to be recognized for their education, diligence, and contribution to veterinary healthcare. Regulation can provide the differentiation between non-veterinarian staff the public deserves.

How will regulation affect CVTs?

The potential affects are a bit dependent on the level of regulation recommended by COPRRR. To learn more about the different levels of regulation, click HERE. In all instances, credentialing would move to the state in some capacity. The state could have the responsibility to determine the amount of CE needed for renewal and also the credentialing requirements. 

What level of regulation has been proposed?

As Colorado is an innovative state, we sought out an innovative solution to regulating CVTs while decreasing barriers to attain certification. In 2019, new state law was passed to regulate the profession of pharmacy technicians through a certification process. This process requires an applicant for certification to pass a criminal history record check and provide proof of certification by a board-approved, nationally recognized organization that certifies pharmacy technicians. Details of the state-endorsed certification process can be found here. This model serves as an example of private entity certification working in tandem with government regulation to protect the public. This model relieves the government of the burden of establishing and maintaining certification standards while simultaneously assuring the public there is a process in place to track criminal histories and allow for verification of certification. Benefits of a model such as this include increased credential portability across states allowing for accurate reporting of malpractice incidents in the state and across state lines, accurate tracking of certified veterinary technicians within Colorado for information dissemination purposes, and an assurance of credentialing for veterinarians to support proper task delegation.

How does DORA determine a need for professional regulation?

When considering whether a profession should be regulated, DORA looks for key criteria including:

  • Whether the unregulated practice of the occupation or profession clearly harms or endangers the health, safety or welfare of the public, and whether the potential for harm is easily recognizable and not remote or dependent on tenuous argument;
  • Whether the public needs, and can be reasonably expected to benefit from, an assurance of initial and continuing professional or occupational competence;
  • Whether the public can be adequately protected by other means in a more cost-effective manner; and
  • Whether the imposition of any disqualifications on applicants for licensure, certification, re-licensure, or recertification based on criminal history serves public safety or commercial or consumer protection interests.

How can you help?

CACVT is hosting a series of member forums from February - April 2021 to discuss the stakeholder process and how members can contribute to the process. Watch your email for more information!

To learn more about advocating for your profession, visit Tips on Becoming an Advocate.

Additional Resources in Support of Regulation of CVTs

Data Supporting Regulation of Veterinary Technicians

Licensure in Veterinary Medicine: How it Protects the Public and Our Animals