Today is an incredible day for any veterinary practice that has compassion as its most important value, and protecting pets from fear, anxiety, and stress as their mission. For the very first time, entire veterinary practices in the U.S. and Canada can apply to become Fear Free Certified!
Until today, Fear Free Certification has been available only to individual pet professionals. That entails taking a lengthy, 8-module course, and passing an exam on each module. Once certified, professionals are required to take additional continuting education and renew their certification every three years. It’s not easy, but nearly 30,000 professionals have taken that step already to demonstrate the depth of their dedication to the pets they care for.
Practice certification goes far beyond even that. It requires that 100 percent of on-site managers and leadership and 50 percent + 1 of all full time or full-time equivalent veterinarians be individually certified. It involves a lengthy pre-certification process demonstrating that the practice has successfully implemented Fear Free into all aspects of their business, from culture and leadership to client education, staff training, facility, and patient visits.
Once a practice is confident about passing all or a sufficient number of standards, an in-person visit will be scheduled. The in-person visit will be conducted by a Fear Free consultant, and results will be submitted to Fear Free for review and final determination of pass or fail. Ongoing education and re-certification will be required. It will be a detailed and meaningful process, and pet owners can trust that the veterinary practice has made an extraordinary commitment to the emotional as well as physical well-being of their precious pets.
If you’re a pet owner, you can search for a Fear Free Certified Professional, and soon for Fear Free Certified Practices, on our website, too!