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The American College of Animal Welfare is an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)-recognized veterinary specialty. ACAW Diplomates are veterinarians recognized as board-certified experts in animal welfare. Diplomates hold positions in academia, government, corporate, practice and non-profit organizations. Diplomates are graduate veterinarians who have completed rigorous training and/or have obtained experience that qualifies them to sit for the certification examination. The path to board certification is described below, click on "Routes for Training" for a detailed step-by-step overview. There are three paths to certification, the Alternate, Provisional (the last day to apply using the Provisional Route is November 01, 2017) and Training Routes. All information and documentation is provided below. Please contact ACAW with specific questions to ensure the process is clear and followed correctly.

General INformation


Step by Step Process leading to Board Certification (choose one route)


Alternate Route

Step 1 (Registration, Mentor Identified)

Online Registration and Fee Payment


Step 2 (Instructions)

Download Applicant's Packet

Download Alternate Route Forms

Step 3 (Upload Details of Plan)

Upload Alternate Route Plan

Wait for an email confirming acceptance of your proposed Alternate Route Plan before proceeding onto the next step.

Step 4 (Upload Verification of Credentials Form and Supporting Documents in Order Listed)

Upload Credentialing Forms, Pay Fee


Step 5 (When Notified of Successful Credentialing)

Upload Optional Exam Accommodations Form

Upload Exam/Code of Ethics Form, Pay Fee

Step 6 (When Notified of Passing Exam)

Pay New Diplomate Dues

Step 7 (Provide Feedback)

Complete Survey

Provisional Route

Step 1 (Registration, Note: Last Day to Submit Credentials is Nov. 01, 2017)

Online Registration and Fee Payment

Step 2 (Instructions)

Download Applicant's Packet

Download Provisional Route Forms

Step 3 (Upload Verification of Credentials Form and Supporting Documents in Order Listed)

Upload Credentialing Forms, Pay Fee


Step 4 (When Notified of Successful Credentialing)

Upload Optional Exam Accommodations Form

Upload Exam/Code of Ethics Form, Pay Fee

Step 5 (When Notified of Passing Exam)

Pay New Diplomate Dues

Step 6 (Provide Feedback)

Complete Survey

Training Route

Step 1 (Registration)

Online Registration and Fee Payment


Step 2 (Instructions)

Download Applicant's Packet

Download Training Route Forms


Step 3 (Upload Verification of Credentials Form and Supporting Documents in Order Listed)

Upload Credentialing Forms, Pay Fee


Step 4 (When Notified of Successful Credentialing)

Upload Optional Exam Accommodations Form

Upload Exam/Code of Ethics Form, Pay Fee

Step 5 (When Notified of Passing Exam)

Pay New Diplomate Dues

Step 6 (Provide Feedback)

Complete Survey