COST OF PRACTICE CERTIFICATION
For practices with 1-14 FTE veterinarians, the annual fee is five hundred (500) USD + two hundred (200) USD per FTE veterinarian ($700-$3,300 USD). For practices with > 15 FTE veterinarians, the annual fee is thirty-five hundred (3,500) USD.
ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATION
Eligibility is determined via the APPLICATION for practice certification.
To qualify for Practice Certification, a minimum of 25%* of the entire staff must be Fear Free Certified and have an active Fear Free membership. The 25% must include 100% of onsite leadership/management (e.g., Practice Owner, Medical Director, Hospital Manager, Practice Manager, Office Manager, Supervisor, Head, Lead etc.) and 50% +1* of all Full Time Equivalent (FTE)** veterinarians.
Specialty practices with multiple departments/services (e.g., Emergency, Internal Medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, etc.) shall have at least 1 veterinarian from each department/specialty Fear Free Certified and Active. These team members will count both towards the leadership/management and veterinarian eligibility requirements.
If a practice has veterinary residents and/or interns, they do count toward the total veterinary count when the 50% + 1 is calculated.
The application is to be completed via the Team Admin account. Approval of the application marks the start of the 90-day grace period for any certified practice team members whose memberships expire or new team members needing to become certified while the practice works towards practice certification. See ACTIVE FEAR FREE MEMBERSHIP GRACE PERIOD for details.
*round up non-whole numbers **FTE = 35 hrs/wk
REGISTRATION AND DEPOSIT
When a practice’s application is approved, an invoice link for the practice to REGISTER will be emailed to the Team Admin email. A non-refundable deposit of five hundred (500) USD is due at the time of Fear Free Practice Certification registration. When the certification process has been successfully completed, said deposit will be applied to the total final cost of practice certification and the remaining practice certification fees of $200 USD per FTE veterinarians will be paid. Upon registration, the practice will have access to the online SELF-ASSESSMENT (via the Team Admin Practice Certification Dashboard) for one (1) year.
Upon registration, the practice will have access to the online SELF-ASSESSMENT (via the Team Admin Practice Certification Dashboard) for one (1) year. Fear FreeÒ reserves the right to update the standards that comprise the Self-Assessment annually. Updates will be launched in April. If the self-assessment is submitted more than 1 year after the registration date, the most current Self-Assessment must be completed and submitted for review. When the Self-Assessment is submitted for review also determines if any expired practice team members need to be renewed or new team members need to become certified for the practice to remain eligible for Practice Certification. See ACTIVE FEAR FREE MEMBERSHIP GRACE PERIOD for details
When uploading medical records as part of the self-assessment, we ask that all personal client information is redacted prior to uploading the document. Alternatively, screen shots of the sections relating specifically to the standards (e.g. FAS scoring, Emotional Medical Record, pain scoring) are acceptable uploads.
ACTIVE FEAR FREE MEMBERSHIP GRACE PERIOD
Practices will have a 90-day grace period which begins when the application is approved. A practice will know the application has been approved when the invoice link to register is emailed to the Team Admin email.
If the Self-Assessment is submitted for review within the 90-day grace period and for whatever reason, the practice no longer meets the practice certification eligibility requirements, the practice will NOT be required to get additional staff members Fear Free CertifiedÒ and/or renew any expired members’ accounts to meet the eligibility requirements. Members with expired accounts will not have access to the website and will receive email renewal reminders.
If the Self-Assessment is submitted for review AFTER the 90-day grace period and for whatever reason no longer meets the practice certification eligibility requirements, the practice WILL be required to get additional staff members Fear Free Certified and/or renew any staff members’ accounts to meet the eligibility requirements.
SCHEDULING ONSITE VISIT
Once the submitted Self-Assessment is approved, the onsite practice certification visit can be scheduled within sixty (60) days*. Fear Free will provide the practice with a minimum of three (3) dates from which to choose for their onsite certification visit. Unless otherwise noted, dates will be emailed to the Team Admin email by 6 pm ET on the first Friday following approval of self-assessment. The practice must respond with their date of choice by 9 pm ET the following Tuesday. Failure to do so could result in release of offered dates and generation of a new set of dates. The new set of dates is not guaranteed to be within the previously specified sixty (60) day window.
*Does not apply to Canada. Fear Free will make every effort to schedule Canadian onsite visits as soon as possible, but at this time cannot guarantee it will be within this 60-day window.
ONSITE VISIT: PHOTOS
The Practice Certification Veterinarian (PCV) will take pictures to support scoring of the standards and to share with Fear Free for review. ‘Best Practices’ photos may be shared with the Fear Free community, unless you request otherwise.
ONSITE VISIT: PATIENT VISIT
The PCV will be observing at least 2 complete patient visits. During the onsite visit, please try to keep the appointment schedule as normal as possible.
ONSITE VISIT: MEDICAL RECORDS
The PCV will review medical records to support scoring for the standards. S/he will only review medical records from the date the self-assessment was submitted for review and forward. Any medical records that precede submission of the self-assessment will not be subject to review.
RESCHEDULING/CANCELLATION OF CONFIRMED ONSITE CERTIFICATION VISIT
If a practice needs to reschedule or cancel a confirmed onsite visit, the practice will be charged a two hundred and fifty (250) dollar fee to cover all travel-related change fees for the Practice Certification Veterinarian scheduled to perform the onsite visit. The onsite visit is considered confirmed when the practice notifies Fear Free of the chosen date.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF CERTIFICATION
The practice certification membership starts the date the remaining annual practice certification fee ($200 USD/FTE veterinarian) is paid.
CERTIFICATION PERIOD AND RENEWAL
Practice Certification is valid for one (1) year and is subject to an annual renewal fee. The annual renewal fee is based on the FTE veterinarian count at the time of renewal. A current employee roster will be reviewed at the time of renewal to determine the renewal fee. Renewals will be paid on www.fearfreepets.com. Practices shall not submit their renewal application more than sixty (60) days before their annual renewal date.
Fear Free Certified individuals are required to complete at least 4 hours of Fear Free CE annually and renew their individual certifications every 3 years (aka Elite). Practices who do not meet these requirements will not be approved to renew until the requirements have been met. Fear Free reserves the right to remove such practices from the Certified Practice Directory until said requirements have been met and the annual membership fees have been paid. Fear Free will work with practices on a case-by-case basis to assist them in meeting the renewal requirements.
At the time of the first annual practice certification renewal, the practice must have at least 75% of its employees Fear Free Certified. The 75% must include:
- 100% of all onsite leadership/management
- 100% of veterinarians
Employees who have been Fear Free members for fewer than 90 days are exempt from this requirement.
At the time of the second annual renewal and on, the practice must have 100% of its employees Fear Free Certified. Employees who have been Fear Free members for fewer than 90 days are exempt from this requirement.
Every third year, a self-assessment and onsite visit are required to maintain Practice Certification. The onsite visit must be completed prior to the end of the third year. For example, if the practice was certified on October 1, 2018, the onsite visit must be completed prior to October 1, 2021.
Failure to renew one’s Practice Certification by the annual renewal due date may result in the practice’s immediate removal from the Fear Free Certified Practice Directory. Team members will not be able access to the Fear Free website (fearfreepets.com) until the renewal has been processed. If the Practice Certification renewal fee has still not been paid 30 days past the due date, Fear Free reserves the right to remove all team members from the Fear Free Certified Professional Directory and the Fear Free Certified Professionals closed Facebook group.
If payment is received within 12 months of the missed annual renewal due date, the directory listings and team members’ access to the Facebook page will be restored. The annual renewal date will remain unchanged. For example, if the practice was due to renew on May 1, 2019, but did not renew until June 1, 2019, the next annual renewal is still due May 1, 2020, not June 1, 2020.
If payment is not received within 12 months of the missed annual renewal due date, the practice must re-establish their status as a Fear Free Certified Practice by successfully completing the process from start to finish: apply, register, online self-assessment, and onsite visit. The practice must complete the self-assessment within 30 days of the application being approved. At least one potential onsite visit date will be offered within 60 days of approval of the self-assessment.
In addition to the annual Practice Certification fee of $500 + $200 per FTE veterinarian (capped at $3,500 USD), there will be a $750 USD fee for the lapsed certification onsite visit.
Practice Certification standards are expected to evolve and change as Fear Free develops additional educational opportunities and improves processes. Any changes will not affect a practice’s current certification status but could impact renewal requirements.
FAILURE TO PASS CERTIFICATION
In the unfortunate event that a practice completes all the required steps, including the onsite visit, and is determined not to have met the standards for practice certification, Fear Free will provide support to said practice to continue working towards practice certification. A second onsite visit may be required and will be handled on a case-by-case basis. If a second onsite visit is required, an additional $500 USD fee will apply.
Fear Free reserves the right to change these Terms and Conditions at any time without prior notice. If any changes are made, the revised Terms and Conditions shall be posted on the website (fearfreepets.com) immediately. Please check the latest information posted herein to inform yourself of any changes.