Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chair

Dr. J. S. Butler

Executive Summary

When it comes to professional certification a number of potential benefits can be cited by the organizations that offer them. Self-improvement, recognition by peers, public benefit and enhanced career opportunities are just a few of the frequently mentioned values associated with certification programs. This study was conducted to identify the primary benefits of certification for the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) by recording and analyzing the perceived value of ABVP certification within the veterinary community. An online survey was developed to collect data from ABVP certified and non-certified veterinarians, relying heavily on the Perceived Value of Certification Tool (PVCT).

The survey was completed by 415 veterinarians who provided opinions on the value of ABVP certification with regard to improved income, enhanced ability and other benefits. Overall, respondents agreed with 17 of the 18 PVCT statements; however, ABVP certified diplomates were more likely to agree with them than non-dipomates. Factor analysis determined that statements with higher intrinsic value received more agreement than those with extrinsic value. Regressiona analysis revealed the intrinsic factor to have a strong predictive correlation to obtaining ABVP certification. Other variables had low or negative correlation.

This study supports the argument that ABVP is indeed fulfilling its stated mission to advance the quality of veterinary medicine by instilling veterinarians with greater knowledge and confidence. However, these benefits are largely internal and less likely to attract veterinarians primarily concerned with external rewards.