Earn AAHA Accreditation

Explore the Steps to Veterinary Excellence

Step 1: Review these questions to determine if you’re eligible to apply.

Is patient care under a licensed veterinarian?

Patient care must be under the authority, supervision, and approval of a licensed veterinarian. A board-certified medical director is not required.

Is your facility following the appropriate protocols to meet AAHA standards?

You must have a facility that meets AAHA standards and appropriate protocols guiding facility usage, maintenance, supplies, and equipment.

For example, all major surgeries are performed by a licensed veterinarian in a surgical suite, which must be single-purpose (e.g., not also contain your radiology equipment) and enclosed.

Is your practice full service?

Your practice must be full-service, offering dentistry services (unless your practice is emergency-only) under anesthesia as well as quality on-site diagnostic imaging and surgery services.

Services such as hematology, serology, microbial cultures, and toxicology may be provided in-house or by outside laboratories. Emergency services, or referral to an appropriate practice, are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Clinical protocols: How is anesthesia administered?

The AAHA standard is that anesthetic agents are administered by a veterinarian or trained practice team member under the supervision of a veterinarian on the premises.

A means of assisting ventilation, either manual or mechanical, is readily available and utilized as needed.

In addition to a qualified practice team member’s presence, at least one of the following pieces of monitoring equipment is utilized during procedures requiring general anesthesia, including dentistry and radiographic evaluation:

  • Respiratory monitor
  • Pulse oximeter
  • Blood pressure monitor
  • Continuous electrocardiograph (ECG) monitor
  • Esophageal stethoscope
Clinical protocols: How is pain assessed and managed?

Your practice must consider pain assessment as part of every patient evaluation regardless of the presenting complaint and provide pain management based on the anticipated level and duration of pain, including all surgical procedures.

Clinical protocols: How does your practice administer oxygen?

The practice has the means to administer oxygen on a periodic or on-going basis for compromised patients. This may be accomplished by using methods such as nasal cannulas, oxygen cages, oxygen tents, or e-collars enclosed with plastic.

How does your practice hold animals and maintain animal holding areas?

Animal-holding areas (cages, runs, and exercise areas) are secure, escape-proof, in good condition, easily cleaned and adequate in relation to the normal caseload.

What if I am an emergency practice?

Great news, AAHA offers accreditation for emergency practices! Our standards can be curated to accommodate the differences in services offered by emergency practices. One of the main requirements is that your emergency practice performs surgeries with internal staff and doctors. If you have any other questions, please contact us and we will be happy to support you as you decide on accreditation!

I am a specialty practice; can I be accredited?

AAHA offers specialty accreditation for AVMA-recognized specialties. At least one board certified veterinary specialist in the specific discipline must be at the practice at least 75% of the time, that the services are being offered. The medical director must be a boarded specialist in the specific field as well. AAHA currently has accreditation available for:

  • Anesthesiology (DACVAA)
  • Avian (DABVP)
  • Behavior (DACVB)
  • Canine and Feline (DABVP)
  • Dentistry (DAVDC)
  • Dermatology (DACVD)
  • Critical care (DACVECC)
  • Exotics and companion mammal (DABVP)
  • Feline (DABVP)
  • Internal Medicine: Cardiology (DACVIM)
  • Internal Medicine: Neurology (DACVIM)
  • Internal Medicine: Oncology (DACVIM)
  • Internal Medicine: Small Animal (DACVIM)
  • Ophthalmology (DACVO)
  • Radiology (DACVR)
  • Radiology: Radiation Oncology (DACVO)
  • Reptile and amphibian (DABVP)
  • Surgery (DACVS)
I am an end-of-life care practice or my practice has a concentration on the end-of-life care experience?

AAHA offers an End-of-Life Care accreditation. This is available for practices that only offer end-of-life care, or for practices that have either a department or specific concentration on the end-of-life care experience. Contact us today, to begin your journey to end-of-life care accreditation.  

Take the Next Step. Apply and pay the $675 initial evaluation fee.

Take the Next Step. Apply and pay the $675 initial evaluation fee.

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What to Expect

After the you complete the application, self-evaluation, assessment, education and training, an AAHA accreditation specialist will contact you to schedule your evaluation.


How much are annual membership dues?

The following rates are effective as of May 2024. 

Accredited Members

  • $1,445 per practice or accredited university (includes all team members) (U.S.)
  • $1,155 per practice or accredited university (includes all team members) (Canada)

Pricing varies for specialty/referral and EOLC accredited members. Please contact us for your specific pricing.

Preaccredited Members

  • $675 for initial evaluation

Individual Professional Members

  • $335 - Veterinarian
  • $200 - Practice manager
  • $160 - Credentialed technician
  • $150 – Veterinary assistant or support staff member
  • $335 - International member
  • $335 - Industry member
  • FREE – New professionals for the first three years after graduating from veterinary school
  • FREE – Tech students while you are in school
  • FREE – Veterinary students while you are in school

What happens If your practice doesn’t pass the evaluation?

If you are unable to achieve AAHA accreditation after your initial evaluation, you will not be penalized. Your practice consultant will review any adjustments that you may need to make to achieve accreditation. We will then work with you to reschedule your formal evaluation.

What are other types of accreditation?

There are accreditations for

There is also an add on certification to an accreditation for internships and mentorship.

Get Started with Accreditation

Get Started with Accreditation

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