Q & A regarding the legislation

December 8, 2017


Q: Current employees performing the tasks won’t be able to do their job once the law passes

A: If the legislation passes to license veterinary technicians in the state of MT under the veterinary board, the AAVSB (body who puts on the national exam for technicians) will allow the state to reopen the grandfather clause (for a short period of time). This will allow those currently not certified on the job trained personnel the ability to sit for the exam (as long as they meet the requirements set forth by the veterinary board, which will most likely be a predetermined number of years in clinic). Also, the current employees will be able to continue doing their jobs.  However, if they become licensed, they will be allowed to do more with less Veterinarian supervision at the Veterinarian’s discretion.

Q: Will liability insurance increase if this passes?

A: The veterinarians already carry coverage that includes their staff-that would not change. If anything, having technicians with greater credentialing serves to reduce risk compared to other hospitals that don’t employ credentialed Technicians.

Q: There have never been any complaints brought forth against technicians

A: There now have been complaints regarding Technicians with no system in place to address these complaints. The BSVTA is working towards finding out how many complaints have been brought forth.

Q: The previous law was “sunsetted” in part because it was stated that the way the law was written was not designed to protect the public.

A: With the proposed task list (no task list had been defined in the previous law) public protection is the main purpose for implementing this legislation.

Q: Licensing will reduce opportunities in the job market.

A: This bill does not reduce opportunities for those entering the field of veterinary medicine. Those entry level jobs will always be there, however, if an individual wants to better themselves and wants to have more responsibility with in the practice and to call themselves a Veterinary Technician, they will be required to seek higher education.  Just as an individual who wants to become the Veterinarian, will be required to get the education.  You ask any Veterinarian out there that has a job opening, and the majority of them would much rather hire a Credentialed tech then have to train someone.

Q: An employee that has been working in a clinic for 2 years will be required to enter a program to get a two-year degree in order to sit for the VTNE.

A: An employee who has worked in a clinic for 2years as of now (Dec 2016), presuming the legislation passes in 2019, will at that time have acquired 5 years of on the job training and will be eligible to sit for the test. As written, if a person has even 1 year training right now will be able to sit for the test if they continue to work for a veterinarian, because the grandfather clause will close 2022.

Q: There are techs out there that graduated from an AVMA program but did not take the test because they were coming to Montana to work, and it is not required. They should be licensed without taking the test.  Being a member of BSVTA and have taken a test does not mean that you are more qualified to be a LVT than a graduate of a certified school.

A: Those that are currently certified in Montana by the BSVTA with oversight by the MVMA either grandfathered in (Passed the VTNE by 2006) and have maintained certification by obtaining 16 hours of CE every 2 years and paying the application fee, or have completed an AVMA accredited program, have passed the VTNE and have maintained certification by obtaining 16 hours of CE every 2 years and paying the application fee. Anyone who has graduated from an AVMA accredited program no matter how long ago, is eligible to sit for the VTNE, and will be required to pass the test to become licensed.


We will be working on updating our website with more information about the practice act and veterinary technician licensure in the future.

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Contact the Legislation committee