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FAQ

Got questions? We got answers!

Who should become certified?

If you are a veterinary professional who would like to create a calming experience for your patients, enhance the quality of medicine in your practice, increase compliance, and improve safety for your team, the Fear Free Certification Program is for you. Although the course is geared toward clinical settings, any pet professional could benefit from becoming certified.

Why should I become certified?

As a veterinary or pet professional, you have joined this profession to look after the wellbeing of pets. Fear Free will give you the opportunity to look after both the physical and emotional wellbeing of your patients. Your clients will realize what a difference in experience a Fear Free visit is and will start looking for Fear Free Certified Professionals. Pet owners can find Fear Free Certified Professionals in our online directory and you will want to make sure you are part of that listing!

Can practices become Fear Free Certified?

The Fear Free Practice Certification launched in April 2018. For more information on Practice Certification, click here.

Can I purchase my renewal before my current membership expires?

Yes, you can! If you want immediate access to more credits so you can take additional CE courses, you can renew at any time. Your Fear Free membership will simply be extended for an additional 12 months. Note that completion of the Fear Free Veterinary Professional Certification Program is a prerequisite for starting with Level 2, and that the completion of the Fear Free Veterinary Professional Certification Program and Level 2 is a prerequisite for starting with Level 3.

Who created the Fear Free Certification Program?

The Fear Free Certification Program modules were created by members of the Fear Free Executive Committee and highly regarded experts in the field, including board-certified veterinary behaviorists, veterinary technician behavior specialists, board certified veterinary anesthetists, well-known veterinary practice management experts, and boarded veterinary practitioners experienced in Fear Free methods.

What else will I get with Fear Free certification?

Fear Free Certified Professionals will have access to additional Fear Free courses, a Fear Free Toolbox with downloadable resources for education and marketing, an educational library, our closed Facebook group, an exclusive job board, an online store, our Preferred Product Program, podcasts, webinars, and more!

Once certified, how can I let my community know I am Fear Free Certified?

Fear Free Certified Professionals will be allowed to use the Fear Free certification logo on lab coats, business cards, and the practice’s website. A RACE-approved certificate of completion can also be printed and used for display. In addition, a large variety of posters, brochures, and handouts are available for download in the Toolbox or for purchase in the Online Store.

How is Fear Free different from Cat Friendly and Low-Stress Handling?

The Cat Friendly Practice Program is a collaboration of mostly feline experts in practice who provide guidelines and recommendations specifically for cats.

Developed by the late Sophia Yin, DVM, MS, Low-Stress Handling applies to both cats and dogs but is primarily focused on restraint techniques.

Fear Free is a multifaceted, multispecies, and multi-focused program developed by experts inside and outside of veterinary medicine. The Fear Free Certification Program expands on Cat Friendly and Low-Stress Handling in techniques and action plans beyond the exam room.

What happens if a veterinarian, technician, practice, or speaker uses Fear Free without being certified or without permission?

We take our Fear Free certification very seriously. If the Fear Free marks are being used without permission, legal action will be taken.

I’m interested in Practice Certification, but I’d like to know more. Can I see the standards before I apply?

Yes! When you are logged in, you can download the standards from the Practice Certification page. You can also download the Practice Certification Supporting Examples & Resources PDF and view the Terms & Conditions. If you do not have an active Fear Free membership, please email your request to wags@fearfreepets.com.

Why should I renew my membership?

VETERINARY PROFESSIONALS
It’s the right thing to do. Fear Free helps professionals deliver better care to their patients by looking after the physical and emotional wellbeing of their patients. For only $99 per person, you will continue to attract an increased number of new clients, improve your client compliance, and increase frequency of visits (as per the Fear Free study completed in December 2018). Your renewal also provides you with the ability to use the Fear Free Certified Professional designation in your marketing, a listing in our directory, and continued access to complimentary and credit courses, our Toolbox, the closed Facebook group, the Preferred Product Program, and more. It’s your opportunity to be at the forefront of veterinary medicine and to help shape the future of the profession.

PET PROFESSIONALS
It’s the right thing to do. Fear Free helps professionals deliver better care to their client’s pets by looking after their emotional wellbeing. For only $39, you will continue to attract an increased number of new clients, build lasting relationships with veterinary team members, and work alongside them as a respectable referral. Your renewal also provides you with the ability to use the Fear Free Certified Professional designation in your marketing, a listing in our directory, and continued access to complimentary and credit courses, our Toolbox, the closed Facebook group, the Preferred Product Program, and more. It’s your opportunity to be a leader in the industry and help shape the future of the profession.

I am a Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional and a trainer. What are my options to renew?

As a Certified Veterinary Professional and animal trainer, you have two options for renewal: Renew your veterinary professional membership or renew by registering for the Animal Trainer Certification Program. Each renewal is priced at $99 for existing Certified Veterinary Professionals.

Is the Fear Free Certification Program RACE-approved?

Yes! It is RACE-approved for 9 hours of CE.

Where do I find options for attaining the required annual four (4) hours of Fear Free CE?

We provide additional Fear Free CE online that is either complimentary or available by using credits that come with your annual renewal on the Elective Courses page. Alternatively, in-person attendance at a Fear Free workshop or Fear Free track at any of the annual conferences counts toward the required Fear Free CE, as well.

I have not taken any Fear Free courses before. Can I take the Fear Free Animal Trainer Certification Program?

Yes! This course is designed for trainers without any previous Fear Free experience. However, you do need to be certified/accredited or a diplomate of one of the organizations listed on our website in order to qualify for the course.

I have not taken any Fear Free courses before. Can I take the Fear Free Groomer Certification Program?

Yes! This course is designed for groomers without any previous Fear Free experience.

I already took the Fear Free Veterinary Professional Certification Program. Can I also complete the Fear Free Animal Trainer Certification Program?

Absolutely! This course is designed for animal trainers and will provide them with invaluable education and resources as they relate to working with Fear Free Certified veterinary professionals. As an existing member, you will be able to take advantage of preferred pricing for this course ($99).

Can I take the Animal Trainer Certification Program instead of the Level 2 course?

Yes, animal trainers are encouraged to take the Animal Trainer Certification Program rather than the Level 2 course, as it is written specifically for trainers. To renew, simply purchase this course and email wags@fearfreepets.com so we can set it up as your renewal.

Help! I just renewed and would rather do the Animal Trainer Certification Program than the Level 2 course. Can I swap them out?

Yes! Please email wags@fearfreepets.com and we will be happy to assist.

Will the trainer program offer a new course every year?

Yes, the Fear Free Animal Trainer Certification Program will offer a variety of courses throughout the year, which are available to our members. Some of those courses will be offered for free and others can be purchased with the credits you receive when you renew your annual membership.

What are the requirements for renewing my groomer certification?

1. Fear Free requires two (2) hours of Fear Free-specific CEUs that will be available to you through your membership on the website annually.
2. A renewal fee of $39 is due annually from the date you initially register and pay for the Fear Free Groomer Certification Program.

Who should be the person purchasing a group?

Groups are set up in a way that the person who creates the account and purchases the programs is assigned a Group Leader role. A Group Leader is the only person on a team who is able to purchase memberships, assign courses to Group Members, and edit Group Member information. A Group Leader is also automatically assigned whichever program they purchase, so the Group Leader should plan to complete the program, as well.

How can I receive complimentary registration for the Veterinary Professional Certfication Program as a student or faculty member at a veterinary educational institution?

We require all students and faculty of veterinary educational institutions as well as employees of veterinary teaching hospitals to apply for complimentary registration through our Student Application.  You will receive an email following submission of this application with instructions on how to register your account.

I am a Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional and a groomer. What are my options to renew?

As a Certified Veterinary Professional and groomer, you have two options for renewal: Renew your veterinary professional membership or renew by registering for the Groomer Certification Program. Each renewal is priced at $99 for existing Certified Veterinary Professionals.

What are the requirements for renewing my trainer certification?

1. Fear Free requires two (2) hours of Fear Free-specific CEUs that will be available to you through your membership on the website as well as two (2) hours of additional CEUs of your choice annually.
2. A renewal fee of $39 is due annually from the date you initially register and pay for the Fear Free Animal Trainer Certification Program.

*These guidelines are mandatory to keep your certification active whether your specific credentials, license, or educational background requires it or not.

Who should take the Fear Free Groomer Certification Program?

The Fear Free Groomer Certification Program is written for experienced groomers. Groomers who complete this program will learn how to use Fear Free concepts to ensure that the grooming experience is as enjoyable as possible for every pet every time.

Who should take the Fear Free Animal Trainer Certification Program?

The Fear Free Animal Trainer Certification Program is written for experienced and accredited/certified animal trainers. It is not suitable for professionals looking to become animal trainers. Rather, the Fear Free course is designed to be a way for existing trainers to increase their knowledge and skills. The course provides animal trainers with the knowledge, tools, and skills to work alongside the veterinary team as a Fear Free Certified Professional.

Will the groomer program offer a new course every year?

Yes, the Fear Free Animal Groomer Certification Program will offer a variety of courses throughout the year, which are available to our members. Some of those courses will be offered for free and others can be purchased with the credits you receive when you renew your annual membership.

Help! I just renewed and would rather do the Groomer Certification Program than the Level 2 course. Can I swap them out?

Yes! Please email wags@fearfreepets.com and we will be happy to assist.

How do I purchase additional memberships for my group?

To purchase additional membership, simply click here. It will send you to the cart where you can select the number of memberships you would like to add. It will apply the appropriate per person cost for you.

Can I take the Groomer Certification Program instead of the Level 2 course?

Yes, groomers are encouraged to take the Groomer Certification Program rather than the Level 2 course, as it is written specifically for groomers. To renew, simply purchase this program and email wags@fearfreepets.com so we can set it up as your renewal.

How do I purchase renewals for myself and/or my team?

To renew your own account, go to the cart and select the Veterinary Professional Certification Program Renewal.  To renew Group Members’ accounts, go to the cart and select the Renew Team Members, edit the quantity to the number of members you wish to renew, and click “Update Cart”. Once purchased, if the renewal is for one of your team members, you can go back to Manage My Team and assign the renewal to your team member by simply clicking on the RENEW button next to their name. If the renewal is for yourself, visit your homepage and you will see 7 new credits in your account and your membership extended for another 12 months.

How do I remove and replace team members?

Removal of a team member within your veterinary professional group is allowed when a team member no longer works at your practice or other special circumstances. A membership registration will be replaced in your group if the individual being removed has not started the certification program. The registration spot will not be replaced if the individual has started and/or completed the certification program.

*If you have added a new team member to your group and have incorrectly entered their email address, contact wags@fearfreepets.com with the team member’s information and let them know the email needs to be updated. Do not remove this user from your group as this creates duplicates in our system.

Why is there an option to edit my team members’ contact information?

The option to edit your team members’ contact information should ONLY be used if they are not working in the same practice you are. All of your team members will automatically inherit the address of your practice, which will be used for their mailings and their directory listing.

Am I eligible for complimentary registration/renewal as a student or faculty member of a veterinary educational institution?

Students – post-high school educational programs for DVM, technician, and assistant are approved to apply.  You will be required to upload proof of enrollment (i.e. class schedule, letter of acceptance, etc.).

Faculty – any educational programs focused on veterinary professionals (DVM, technician, assistant) are approved to apply.  You will be required to upload proof of employment (i.e. faculty ID, letter of employment, etc.).

Employees – employment at a veterinary teaching hospital is approved to apply.  You will be required to upload proof of employment (i.e. hospital ID, letter of employment, etc.).

*High school programs are not eligible to apply at this time.  We highly recommend faculty of these programs register to teach the concepts of the certification program to students.  Individuals under the age of 18 are not permitted to register their own account as they will be listed in our online directory upon completion of the certification.

I already took the Fear Free Veterinary Professional Certification Program. Can I also complete the Fear Free Groomer Certification Program?

Absolutely! This course is designed for groomers and will provide them with invaluable education and resources. As an existing member, you will be able to take advantage of preferred pricing for this course ($99).

How do I renew as a student or faculty member of a veterinary educational institution?

We require all students and faculty of veterinary educational institutions as well as employees of veterinary teaching hospitals to apply for complimentary renewal through our Student Application.  You will receive an email following submission of this application with instructions on how to renew your account (please follow instructions for RENEWAL).

What does it take to become certified?

Fear Free certification requires professionals to successfully complete the online certification program. The online certification program is eight modules long with a 20-question quiz at the end of each module that a professional must receive an 80% or better on in order to move forward.

How much does Fear Free Certification cost and how long is it valid?

Individual registration starts at $279 per person. Price breaks are offered to groups with more than 10 individuals. To learn more about larger group pricing, refer to the pricing grid here.

Fear Free Certification is valid for three years, but in order to keep your certification active and be eligible for renewal, you must:
• Pay an annual renewal fee of $99 per person or what you paid at initial registration, whichever is lower. This applies to individuals as well as groups.
• Earn four (4) hours of Fear Free CE each year. Please note: The 9 CE hours earned from the Certification Program do not count toward the additional 4 CE hours you must earn annually to keep your certification active. This can be completed by taking some of the additional Fear Free courses online or in-person by attending a Fear Free workshop or Fear Free track at any of the annual conferences.

My practice wants to become certified, but we have not yet signed up any team members for certification. Can we go straight into the Practice Certification process?

No. To be eligible for Practice Certification, a minimum of 25% of your team must be certified and have an active membership. The 25% must include 100% of your managers/leadership team and 50%+1 of your FTE veterinarians. An FTE employee is defined as working an average of > 35 hours per week.

How many team members have to be Fear Free Certified® before we can call ourselves a Certified Practice?

Having a minimum of 25% of your team (which must include 100% of your managers/leadership team and 50%+1 of your FTE veterinarians) is just the first step to becoming a Fear Free Certified Practice. Practices are required to implement ~50 standards and successfully complete an onsite visit with a Practice Certification Veterinarian to earn practice certification. For additional details about eligibility requirements, click HERE.

To be eligible for Practice Certification, it says we have to have a minimum of 25% of our team Fear Free Certified® and have an active membership. What level of certification is required?

Team members are considered to be Fear Free Certified® when they have completed the Fear Free Certification Program. Your team is strongly encouraged to take advantage of the complimentary CE courses, such as Module 8: An Implementation Guide for Leaders, webinars, and podcasts included in their individual memberships.

What does it mean to have an “active membership”?

An active membership is not expired. If you can not access the website, you do not have an active membership. Group Leaders can check their team members’ expiration dates via the EXP DATE column in their Manage My Team page.

To be eligible for Practice Certification, it says we need to have a minimum of 25% of our team Fear Free Certified® and have active memberships. We have 15 team members: Do we need to have a minimum of 3 or 4?

Fear Free will round up any non-whole numbers. A practice with 15 team members would need a minimum of 4 team members to be Fear Free Certified® and have active memberships.

15/4= 3.75, round up to 4.

If a practice has a large leadership team (e.g. multiple owners, multiple managers, multiple heads of departments, etc.), they could end up with more than 25% total people needing to be Fear Free Certified® and have active memberships to be eligible for Practice Certification.

To be eligible for Practice Certification, it says we need to have 50% +1 of our FTE veterinarians Fear Free Certified® and have active memberships. We have 5 FTE vets: Do we need to have 3 or 4 to be Fear Free Certified® and have an active membership?

Fear Free will round up non-whole numbers. A practice with 5 FTE veterinarians would need a minimum of 4 to be Fear Free Certified® and have active memberships.

5/2= 2.5 +1= 3.5, round up to 4.

If you have multiple PT veterinarians, their average weekly hours will be added up and divided by 35 to determine how many FTE they equal.

We have 2 practices, but they are owned by the same people. Do I have to pay separately to get each location certified?

Yes, each physical location must go through the process independently. They must each meet the eligibility requirements, pay the $500 non-refundable deposit, and successfully complete the onsite visit.

Once we start Practice Certification, how long do we have to complete it?

Your Group Leader will have access to the online self-assessment via his or her Practice Certification Dashboard for one (1) year. HOWEVER, if your self-assessment is submitted more than 90 days after your application is approved, you may be required to renew some individual memberships to remain eligible for Practice Certification. For additional information, click HERE.

After my application for Practice Certification is approved, how long will it take to get my onsite visit scheduled?

It will depend in part how far along you are in implementing the standards when you apply. The further along you are, the faster you will be able to complete and submit your online self-assessment. Once your self-assessment is approved by Fear Free, you will be given a minimum of three (3) dates to choose from to schedule your onsite visit. At least one (1) of those dates will be within a 60-day window from when your self-assessment is approved.

We are in the process of getting our practice certified. Why do I keep getting reminders to renew my team’s memberships?

If an individual’s membership expires, s/he will receive renewal notifications via email. If you are in your 90-day Grace Period, you do not need to renew anyone to remain eligible for Practice Certification. Expired members will not have access to the website.

What happens if I submit my self-assessment, but it’s not approved?

Clicking that submit button is a big step! Not to worry, if any information needs clarification or is missing, the Practice Certification Manager will schedule a consultation with you and together you will create a plan to keep you moving forward.

What happens if we don’t pass our onsite visit?

In the unfortunate event a practice does not successfully complete the onsite visit, Fear Free is committed to working with the practice until they are able to implement all the standards and achieve Practice Certification. If a second onsite visit is required, an additional $500 fee will apply.

How much does Practice Certification cost?

The annual Practice Certification fee is $500 + $200 per FTE veterinarian. An FTE veterinarian is defined as working an average of >35 hours per week. If you have multiple PT veterinarians, their average weekly hours will be added up and divided by 35 to determine how many FTE they equal. The annual fee is capped at $3500.

How do I pay for Practice Certification?

When you register for practice certification, you pay a non-refundable $500 deposit via credit card. Once a practice achieves certification, the Group Leader will receive an invoice for the remaining balance of $200 per FTE veterinarian. An FTE veterinarian is defined as working an average of >35 hrs. per week. If you have multiple PT veterinarians, their average weekly hours will be added up and divided by 35 to determine how many FTE they equal. The annual fee is capped at $3,500.

Is there an annual renewal fee for Practice Certification?

Yes. The annual renewal fee is $500 + $200 per FTE veterinarian. An FTE veterinarian is defined as working an average of >35 hours per week. If you have multiple PT veterinarians, their average weekly hours will be added up and divided by 35 to determine how many FTE they equal. The annual fee is capped at $3500.

Once our practice achieves certification, how much do we have to pay for any new team members to get certified?

One of the best benefits of achieving Practice Certification is that all your team members receive a Fear Free membership. The annual Practice Certification fee takes the place of individual membership purchases and renewals.

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