Changes to VTNE Policy

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The AAVSB Board of Directors Approves Changes to VTNE Policy 

[December 21, 2023] -- The American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) Board of Directors has recently made critical decisions to modify the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) policy, recognizing the evolving landscape of veterinary care and the need for a more agile response to the veterinary workforce shortage. 

Established in 1978, the VTNE has played a pivotal role in enabling AAVSB Member Boards to make informed credentialing decisions, ensuring veterinary technicians possess the minimal competencies to practice in their jurisdiction without harming the public or animals. 

Several AAVSB Member Boards recently asked the AAVSB Board of Directors to consider changes to its exam eligibility requirements to address the veterinary team shortage and allow veterinary technicians to begin practicing to their full ability immediately following graduation. 

The AAVSB Board of Directors conducted a comprehensive review process to review the VTNE eligibility requirements, meticulously considering the perspectives of all stakeholders. A session at the 2023 AAVSB Annual Meeting & Conference provided insight on the administrative burden put on some Member Boards to review candidate eligibility. A number of correspondences from affiliate organizations, educational institutions, and AAVSB committees were also considered. 

Additionally, the Board reviewed member statutes and regulations related to alternate pathways to take the exam, as well as pass rates of graduates from accredited colleges, non-accredited colleges, alternate pathways, and pre-graduates allowed to test in some jurisdictions. The Board also considered the capacity and strategic position of the AAVSB by asking staff to determine various ways the administrative process would be affected. Finally, the Board considered ethical implications, including conflicts with some existing Member Board requirements, how proposed pathways to the exam could diminish the profession, and that colleges use the VTNE pass rates as a measure for accreditation. 

After a thorough exploration of options and weighing their respective advantages and disadvantages, the AAVSB Board has decided to amend the VTNE policy. The changes include: 

  • To have the AAVSB approve pre-graduate testing for enrollees of AVMA CVTEA and CVMA accredited schools upon verification of good standing from the school, allowing testing during the final semester of the accredited program.  

  • To amend the VTNE eligibility policy to have the AAVSB evaluate and determine the eligibility of on-the-job trained and alternate pathway candidates per each jurisdiction’s qualifications.   

Looking ahead, the AAVSB Board has directed staff to diligently research and implement the necessary changes. A timeline detailing the implementation plan will be shared with all impacted stakeholders in the near future. Your continued support and feedback are valued, and we welcome any questions. Please contact Channing Benson, Exams Program Manager at [email protected] or directly by phone at 1.913.392.2188. 


The American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas. We are an association of veterinary medicine regulatory boards whose membership includes licensing bodies in 63 jurisdictions, including all of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the ten Canadian provinces.