Certified Veterinary Practice Manager
Who are Certified Veterinary Practice Managers?
Like managers in other professions, Certified Veterinary Practice Managers (CVPMs) are managers and leaders who are responsible for creating a positive, inclusive and engaging professional workplace culture, and for managing and overseeing the operations of a business, which in the case of a CVPM, is a veterinary clinic or hospital. They understand the specialization of veterinary medicine, are passionate about people and animals, and ensure that the overall practice runs optimally to the benefit of staff, animals and pet owners alike.
For more information, visit the website for the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association.
Veterinary Practice Managers come from all backgrounds but share a passion for and dedication to animals and people. Their focus is on motivating, leading and managing people, advancing their team members, and on handling multiple and diverse responsibilities. Their skills and business knowledge are applicable to other industries — it’s their interest in animals that sets them on the CVPM path.
Here are some of the positions typically available in veterinary practice management:
- Hospital Manager
- Hospital Administrator
- Practice Manager
- Office Manager
- Human Resources Manager
- Chief Financial Officer
- Financial Manager
- Patient Care Manager
- Facility Manager
- Client Relations Manager
- Marketing Manager
- Inventory Manager
- Regional or District Manager
- Operations Manager
Education & experience
Becoming a CVPM requires professional development in several key areas: communication, practice management, leadership, finance and human resources. The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association has an education map that outlines the various educational options.
In order to get your certification you must have experience as a Practice Manager for a minimum of three years within the last seven.
Certification is offered through the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association and is accredited by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence.
Being a CVPM is a leadership position that requires similar management skills as for other professions. A professional CVPM must have:
- Human resources skills
- Client relation skills
- Communication and networking skills
- Leadership skills
- Analytical skills
- Technical skills
- Financial skills
Compensation & hours
As in every profession, there are a number of factors that influence compensation, including: your level of education; your experience; if you have your own practice or are working at a veterinary clinic; the province or territory you’re practicing in; the number of years you’ve been practicing; the size of practice where you’re working; the type of practice; whether you’re practicing in an urban or rural setting; and external factors such as supply and demand and the country’s overall economic situation. The average salary is between $28-$40 an hour and may include profit sharing, business inclusion, bonuses and partnership.
Like in many other professions, a CVPM’s work week is based on an average of eight hours a day for a total of 40 hours a week.
Lifestyle & wellness
Being a CVPM is a calling for many professionals. This passion can have both a positive and negative impact on a person’s lifestyle — it can be motivating, rewarding and engaging, but can also be all consuming, emotionally draining and tuning out at the end of a work day can be challenging for many.
Here are a few aspects of the profession that CVPMs should be aware of:
- Being a CVPM can be an emotionally demanding profession: being around sick animals; upset and grieving pet owners; emotionally drained team members; being passionate and wanting to have a positive impact on the well-being of an animal; wanting the best for the team. To help mitigate these demands, provincial RVT associations, the Registered Veterinary Technologists and Technicians of Canada and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association emphasize healthy work teams, the importance of mental health, and have mental health resources available. It’s important to note that not all CVPMs face these challenges.
- Burnout and compassion fatigue can be common experiences.
This online education portal has hundreds of online courses on a variety of veterinary related topics. Register and create your profile to access the most relevant courses for you. You’ll be able to track, record and submit both online and live events. Tune in often to see new courses as they become available.