Continuing Education Frequently Asked Questions

Where may I find information on suicide prevention continuing education?

Many of you know about the requirement to complete suicide prevention continuing education in accordance with RCW 18.92.280 (the law enacted by the legislature), WAC 246-933-435, and WAC 246-935-305 (the administrative rules adopted by the Veterinary Board of Governors).

Update: The legislature directed the board to develop training by June 30, 2022, specific for the veterinary profession. There have been multiple delays in the project and the final training module is now in development. Our current estimate is that the training will be published in an online format by June 2023.

Worried you won't have time to complete the training? A confusing part about the law relates to when the training is due. The law states that "training must be completed during the first full continuing education reporting period after July 1, 2022." Because renewal and continuing education periods are birthday-based, the first person required to complete the training is someone whose birthday is July 1, 2022. Their training would be due in that two-year CE cycle, so due by June 30, 2024. With the current projected timeline, the first veterinarians or technicians due to complete the CE would still have at least a year to complete it.

Updates will be posted to this webpage when the training is available to take.

Why were the rules changed?

The Veterinary Board of Governors (board) determined it was time to modernize the veterinary technician continuing education (CE) rules. The board addressed a number of policy issues, including shortening the reporting period, expanding the list of approved CE providers and discontinuing its practice of approving CE case-by-case.

Where can I get the new rule language?

The new rules are posted on the Washington State Legislature's website in the veterinary technician Chapter 246-935 WAC. CE rules start at section -270.

How are the new rules different?

Major proposed changes to the rule are summarized below:

Topic Previous rule New rule
Reporting period Veterinary technicians must complete 30 hours every three years. Veterinary technicians must complete 20 hours every two years.
CE edits There is not clarity on the CE audit process. Inclusion of language to clarify expected documentation when a veterinary technician is audited.
Board Approval of CE Courses If the CE provider or course is not approved by rule, the board will review CE courses on a case-by-case basis, as requested. Repeal of language that sets a process for the board to review courses not approved by rule. Expansion of the approved provider list.
Scientific coursework There is no minimum requirement for scientific or clinic courses. A minimum of 14 scientific or clinical hours are required.
Teaching as credit There is no credit allowance for teaching. A maximum of six hours may be obtained through teaching through an approved provider or through a healthcare learning institution.
Credit for Webinars Rules are silent on how live, interactive web-based study is counted. Language that clarifies that there is no credit limit for live courses attended remotely, provided that attendees have the documented opportunity to question the instructor, hear the questions of other attendees, and receive responses in real time.
Approved providers The approved provider list is somewhat limited Expansion of the approved provider list to include a number of new approved organizations and individuals.
When do the new rules go into effect?

January 21, 2020 (except for the implementation of the new two-year CE period, which started January 1, 2020).

Will the CE hours I accumulated before the rule change be valid?

Yes. The list of approved providers was expanded and any courses separately approved by the board are still valid as qualifying CE.

How do I know whether CE I take qualifies?

As long as your CE courses meet the requirements in WAC 246-935-270 through WAC 246-935-310, contribute to your professional knowledge and development, enhance services you provide to patients, and contribute to your ability to deliver current standards of care, they will most likely meet the new requirement.

Is there a tool to help me track my continuing education?

The Veterinary Continuing Education Tracking (VCET) tool provided by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) allows you to record all your CE course work in a centralized database. VCET is a free program to veterinary professionals and provides an easy way for you to communicate your CE to the board. See AAVSB's website for more information.

If you have a MyAAVSB account already, then you automatically have VCET on your MyAAVSB portal. If you don't have a MyAAVSB account, just complete the brief application.