Mandatory CE for Veterinarians – Frequently Asked Questions

1.  I want to attend some CE courses within the next few weeks or months. How can I determine if these courses will be counted as “approved CE” here in California?

CE courses that are relevant to veterinary medicine and sponsored or cosponsored by any of the following will count toward mandatory CE requirements:

  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited veterinary medical colleges
  • Accredited colleges or universities offering programs relevant to veterinary medicine
  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • American Veterinary Medical Association recognized specialty or affiliated allied groups
  • American Veterinary Medical Association’s affiliated state veterinary medical associations
  • Non-profit annual conferences established in conjunction with state veterinary medical associations
  • Educational organizations affiliated with the American Veterinary Medical Association or its state affiliated veterinary medical associations
  • Local veterinary medical associations affiliated with the California Veterinary Medical Association
  • Federal, state, or local government agencies
  • Providers accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) or approved by the American Medical Association (AMA), providers recognized by the American Dental Association Continuing Education Recognition Program (ADACERP), and AMA or ADA affiliated state, local, and specialty organizations
  • CE providers approved by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards’ (AAVSB) RACE program

2.  How many hours of CE are required to renew my license?

A minimum of 36 CEUs are required for license renewal which must be earned in the two years prior to your license expiration date.

  • Of the 36 hours:
  • Up to six hours may be self-study
  • Up to 24 hours may be business practice management or stress seminars
  • All 36 hours may be science or medicine-based

3.  If I have excess hours of CE during my current license period, can I carry over the extra hours into the next renewal cycle?

No – all 36 of the required CE units must be earned during the two-year license period immediately preceding the expiration date.

4.  How will the Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) verify my CE record? Will I be required to send in my records at the time of my license renewal?

All licensees will be required to maintain a record of their CE activities for at least four years. Each year, the VMB will audit approximately 10 percent of renewal applications for compliance with CE requirements. Those chosen for the audit will be asked to mail in copies of their records.

5.  What kind of records must I maintain to show compliance with minimum CE requirements?

These records should consist of the signed certificates of attendance distributed by the approved providers. Verification of the six hours of self-study will be on the honor system meaning license renewal applicants will be asked to present a signed document stating they have spent at least six hours in self-study activities.

6.  Do Internet courses count toward the minimum requirement?

Internet courses that are interactive may be used to earn all 36 hours of required CE. Interactive internet courses are those in which the participant has the opportunity to contact the instructor and ask individual questions during the presentation. Non-interactive internet courses are considered self study.

7.  What happens if I don’t have all of the required 36 hours of CE on my renewal date?

Your license will not be active upon renewal. If you send in your renewal fee, the VMB will issue a new license, but it will be designated as inactive. You will not be able to legally practice veterinary medicine, but your license renewal payment will not be delinquent. As soon as you complete the required CE and submit proof, the VMB will convert your license to active status for a minimal fee.

8.  My license expires at the end of this month and I don’t have enough units of CE to qualify for renewal. What are my options?

CE completed even as late as the last day of this license period will count, so you should make every attempt to find approved CE courses. Check the CVMA website for upcoming CE events, Distance Learning, or search Find a Meeting. The internet may be an option. There are a number of approved providers that conduct interactive online CE programs.

If you simply cannot complete the required CE, you have the option of paying your license renewal fee and indicating that you have not met the CE requirements. The VMB will issue a new license, but it will be designated as inactive. You will not be able to practice legally, but your license renewal payment will not be delinquent. As soon as you complete the required CE and submit proof, the VMB will convert your license to active status for a minimal fee.

9.  I am retired from active practice, but I would like to maintain my license. Do I still need to accumulate CE credits? What happens if I don’t?

Yes, you do. To maintain an active license, you will be required to complete the CE requirements. If you do not, your license will become inactive and you will be required to show the VMB that you have completed the required CE before your license will be reactivated.

10.  I just got my license to practice veterinary medicine in California. When do I need to start keeping records on my CE for license renewal?

Newly licensed veterinarians are not required to complete CE during their first licensing period. A minimum of 36 hours of CE credits must be accrued during the two-year period prior to your second licensing period and for each subsequent renewal period.

11.  Can I earn CE credit while participating in an internship program?

Yes. If the facility offering the internship program is also an approved CE provider, such as the AVMA-accredited veterinary schools, your participation will earn CE credits. You will earn 15 CEUs for each semester unit and 10 CEUs for each quarter unit.

12.  Will CE obtained at meetings primarily designed for physicians or dentists be applicable toward my license renewal?

Yes. As long as the topic is applicable to veterinary medicine, courses offered by most national medical and dental national associations and state and local affiliates will be acceptable.

13.  What is the new requirement for CE on the judicious use of antimicrobial drugs and when does it go into effect?

Beginning January 1, 2018, a veterinary licensee must complete a minimum of one credit hour on the judicious use of medically important antimicrobial drugs every four years for license renewal.

This means that after January 1, 2018 you will be required to complete a course on the judicious use of medically important antimicrobial drugs at least once every other license renewal period as part of the required 36 hours for that renewal period.

If you have any questions about CE-related issues, please call the CVMA office at 800-655-2862 or email staff@cvma.net

© 2020 California Veterinary Medical Association

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