Note: Only Group Leaders have access to the Practice Certification process.
Step 1: Apply
After logging in to your account, access the Practice Certification Application by navigating to Veterinary Professionals > About > Practice Certification. Verify your pre-populated information and download the .csv file. Enter your entire employee roster into the .csv file, noting the instructions at the top left. When completed, upload the file, acknowledge the Terms & Conditions, and submit. Your application will be reviewed by Fear Free within 2 business days and you will be notified via email of its acceptance or if any changes are needed.
Step 2: Register
When your application is accepted, you will receive an email with a link to register for Practice Certification. When you register, you will pay the $500 deposit that will be applied to your total Practice Certification cost. Registering gives you access to the online self-assessment via the Practice Certification Dashboard.
Practices will have a 90-day grace period between the time of registration and the submission of the online self-assessment (Step 3) in that, if during those 90 days any of the 25% of certified staff’s membership(s) required to be eligible for Practice Certification expire, it will not affect the eligibility for Practice Certification. Additionally, if any of the aforementioned 25% staff have left the practice, they do not need to be replaced by another certified and active team member.
If a practice submits a self-assessment more than 90 days after registering and any of the aforementioned 25% of certified staff’s membership(s) have expired, the membership(s) must be renewed. Additionally, if any of the aforementioned 25% staff have left the practice, they must be replaced by another certified and active team member.
Step 3: Online Self-Assessment
The Dashboard houses the standards and supporting examples for practice certification. When you have completed your self-assessment, as indicated by your progress bars turning green, submit it for review.
Step 4: Review of Self-Assessment
Fear Free will review your self-assessment within 3 business days. You will be notified if any clarifications need to be made via email and a call with the Practice Certification Manager will be scheduled. Self-assessments must be approved by Fear Free before an onsite visit can be scheduled.
Step 5: Onsite Visit
On the first Friday after your self-assessment has been approved, you will receive email notification with at least 3 days to choose from to schedule your onsite visit. You have until the following Tuesday to select a date. You will receive a call from your Practice Certification Veterinarian (PCV) within 7 business days following your selection. The visit should take 2-4 hours.
Your PCV will need someone to accompany him/her throughout the visit, observe at least 2 patient visits, review at least 3 patient medical records, and may take photos to help support scoring of your standards. After your onsite visit, you will be notified within 3 business days if you can now call yourself a Fear Free Certified® Practice!