ACADEMY of VETERINARY
SURGICAL TECHNICIANS
VETERINARY TECHNICIANS 
DEDICATED TO THE ADVANCEMENT 
OF CUTTING-EDGE VETERINARY SURGERY

I am a little confused about how long you need to be certified/credentialed before you can apply?​

You may begin working on your application after you have completed a minimum of 10,000 hours (equivalent to 5 years of full-time employment) of work as a credentialed technician. Before starting your AVST application, ensure that you have been employed for at least 6000 hours (3 years) in a small and/or large animal surgical environment. You must also document that at least 4500 hours (75% of 6000) of your time was dedicated exclusively to performing veterinary surgical duties. For the purpose of this eligibility requirement, the definition of ‘surgery’ as established by the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians will be used.​

Could you tell me when the exam is to be given?

Unless otherwise noted, the exam will be administered annually, at the American College of Veterinary Surgeons Summit in October.

What is the application deadline?

The application deadline is February 1 of that year. For example, applications for the 2016 AVST certifying exam are due February 1, 2016. 

I just graduated and passed my VTNE and am interested in pursuing a veterinary technician specialty (VTS) in surgery. How do I go about this?  

You may begin working on your application after you have completed a minimum of 10,000 hours (equivalent to 5 years of full-time employment) of work as a credentialed technician. Before starting your AVST application, ensure that you have been employed for at least 6000 hours (3 years) in a small and/or large animal surgical environment. You must also document that at least 4500 hours (75% of 6000) of your time was dedicated exclusively to performing veterinary surgical duties. For the purpose of this eligibility requirement, the definition of ‘surgery’ as established by the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians will be used.

I know there is a specialty in anesthesia but I saw that there is also a specialty in surgery; are they the same or different?

The surgical specialty is different than the anesthesia specialty as we focus on the role of the veterinary technician in the surgical arena. 
The AVTAA emphasizes the advanced knowledge needed by veterinary technicians that perform anesthesia.

Is there a study guide or practice questions that can be reviewed?

We currently do not have a study guide nor practice questions for our candidates. 
There is a reading list on the website that identifies the resources that were utilized to construct the questions for the exam. 

If I am unable to complete that application and submit it by the deadline of February 1, when can I re-apply?

You may submit your application by the deadline of the following year. 
We are planning on offering the exam every year at the American College of Veterinary Surgeons Summit.

I was wondering if this academy has been officially recognized?

Yes, in January of 2010, NAVTA officially recognized the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians. 

I just earned my Anesthesia VTS last year and now I am very interested in pursuing this specialty. 
When can I begin?

If you just earned your Anesthesia VTS that means for the last three years you have been doing at least 75% of your work in anesthesia. The same criteria are required for surgery. You will have to wait a minimum of three years, assuming you are working 75% of your time in surgery, as a surgical technician, before you can apply.

Can I submit my application online?

Currently we are not in a position to accept online applications. 
You must print your application, make the appropriate number of copies (outlined in the instructions) and mail it to the Academy mailing address before the deadline.