CACVT Advocacy Task Force and the Sunrise Review

Written by Leslie Neidermyer, CVT and Erin Henninger, BA, CVT, VTS (ECC)

In early 2020, CACVT created the Advocacy Task Force in response to the growing desire of our membership to explore the possibility of more professional protections. Our first order of business was to prepare for the repeal and review of the Veterinary Practice Act, but we quickly learned there was more to the process of advocating for professional regulation. To achieve recognition and legitimate our profession, we would need to initiate a Sunrise Review.

The sunrise review application process was a collaboration by eight volunteer CACVT members that make up the Advocacy Task Force. To start, what exactly is the “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) as a means 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.

In order to complete the application, research was completed on other states’ Veterinary Practice Acts, their regulation and occupational entry requirements, and what sort of continuing education should be required to maintain credentialing. Thanks to member demographic data, a Colorado-specific profile was compiled to detail the different areas of veterinary medicine and the veterinary industry in which CVTs currently work. Several questions also asked for an explanation of what regulation of CVTs would mean for the industry itself: Would there be changes in veterinary cost to the public? Would this change the cost to run a veterinary practice? Would there be an impact on the number of professionals able to practice the occupation? We had the opportunity to explain how the public and animals would benefit from regulation in areas such as consumer awareness, education in zoonotic diseases, and food supply safety. We highlighted how the education, knowledge, and continuing education required of every CVT makes a substantial contribution to the treatment of animals and disease prevention.

While the sunrise review and governmental regulation focus on public protection and welfare, regulation would be symbolic of the hard work and dedication of CVTs and veterinary technology students. So while we wait for COPRRR to complete their inquiry, we will continue to educate DORA on the benefits of professional regulation for CVTs.