IVAS Certification

IVAS Certification

The AVAG is affiliated with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS). IVAS is an internationally recognised organisation dedicated to promoting excellence in the practice of veterinary acupuncture through its accreditation process, continuing education programs, annual congresses and funding for responsible research projects to advance veterinary acupuncture. The AVAG delivers The IVAS Veterinary Acupuncture Course through The Australian College of Veterinary Acupuncture.

In Australia more than 470 veterinarians have been trained to international standards set by IVAS. Certified veterinarians are entitled to use the letters CVA (Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture) and must participate in continuing education in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.in order to maintain their membership.

In the USA, specialty status (Board certification and Diplomat status) for advanced veterinary acupuncture study is underway, recognizing this valuable tool in the treatment of numerous conditions from allergies and behavioural problems to musculo-skeletal and immune-mediated diseases.

The Australian College of Veterinary Acupuncture Ltd (ACVA) has been formed to continue to deliver the outstanding Australian IVAS Acupuncture Course for veterinarians in Australia, Asia and the Pacific region.  The AVAG is excited to be contracting the improved on-line and on-site Australian IVAS Acupuncture Course through the ACVA.

If you would like some more information contact the course coordinator Bill Rae contact@vetacupcollege.com.au.

Requirements for achieving the IVAS Certificate of Veterinary Acupuncture are:

  • Attendance at all lectures and workshops
  • Passing grades (70%) in each examination: written, canine practical, equine practical
  • Completion of assignments
  • Completion of ten case logs
  • Completion of two peer-reviewed case reports

This course is designed for veterinarians interested in incorporating acupuncture into their day to day clinical practice. The course is based on a teaching program from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS). After successfully completing the course requirements and a written and practical examination the graduates receive IVAS Certification.

The course is divided into three sections:-


The first section teaches the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This basic theory is important for practitioners to be able to make a diagnosis and formulate an acupuncture treatment. Practical sessions during this section are very important in terms of point location and how to treat simple clinical conditions. The dog is used as the clinical model.

In addition to TCM , the neurophysiology of acupuncture is explained and the latest research is discussed.

After completing this session, students will be able to start treating cases as soon as they get back to their clinic. In between face to face sessions the students are required to complete assignments and keep a log of the cases they treat.


The second session introduces advanced TCM theory. In this session the practical session relates to horses as well as dogs. The emphasis here is on clinical conditions, how to make a TCM diagnosis and treatment, particularly conditions of the musculoskeletal system which are the most common conditions treated with acupuncture.

After completing this section, the students are required to complete assignments and continue to add to the log of cases they treat.


The third section focuses on clinical conditions in the dog and horse, but cats and cattle are also included. The clinical conditions include the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiac, gastrointestinal, urinary, reproductive tract and behaviour. These are discussed in detail and examples are given of those conditions that respond well to acupuncture.

One month after completion of the course there is a written and practical examination. In addition to the examinations, the students are required to write two in depth case reports which have been treated with acupuncture. Once all the requirements for IVAS Certification have been completed, graduates will be confident in making a TCM diagnosis and formulating a treatment for a variety of clinical conditions.

IVAS graduates find that looking at a clinical case from a TCM point of view will often explain a condition for which there is no medical explanation or diagnosis. While a few graduates exclusively treat cases only with acupuncture, most use it as an adjunct to their normal clinical diagnosis and treatment. The Australian Veterinary Acupuncture Group (AVAG) encourages its graduates to use acupuncture in addition to their medical and surgical skills to provide a better outcome for their patients.

Since 1991 there have been 12 Australian IVAS courses held in Australia with over 400 graduates.