International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care
Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (AHPC) Social Work Certificate Program Student Handbook
Welcome to the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care’s AHPC Social Work Certificate Program. Congratulations on becoming a standout in your field and demonstrating dedication to your professional growth. The AHPC Social Work Certificate is the voluntary process by which a non-governmental organization grants recognition to an individual who has demonstrated a high level of knowledge, skills, and abilities. Attaining the AHPC Social Work Certificate means and individual has met specific eligibility requirements including training, experience, education, and has passed a series of post-tests.
This handbook provides information about the application, program, and examination to obtain the Animal Hospice and Palliative Care Social Work Certificate. It outlines the design and content of the program and guides candidates through the entire process from application through receipt of the certificate.
About the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC)
The International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC) is dedicated to promoting knowledge of, and developing guidelines for, comfort-oriented care to companion animals as they approach the end of life. The IAAHPC is the only national/international organization dedicated solely to the advancement of high quality AHPC services provided by interdisciplinary teams.
About the AHPC Social Work Certificate
The AHPC Social Work Certificate Program will standardize and define the skills and knowledge required of individuals and organizations offering animal hospice and palliative care, and will establish a standard of care that will reflect a level of excellence achieved by those individuals who have obtained the AHPC Social Work Certificate.
Eligibility Requirements Program enrollment is limited to:
- Licensed Social Workers
- Applicants must be IAAHPC members in good standing.
The AHPC Social Work Certificate program includes a 37.5 hour online NASW approved continuing education program, and attendance at the IAAHPC annual conference which has *23.5 hours of NASW approved continuing education. To receive the AHPC Social Work Certificate *61 hours of NASW approved continuing education is required.
The program begins with an overview of fundamental concepts and progresses to cover the unique challenges of veterinary medicine, nursing care, and psychosocial support as related to the interdisciplinary animal hospice model. (*The number of CEU’s attached to the certificate may vary slightly from year to year, based on the length of the annual conference.)
The AHPC Social Work Certificate program is presented in ten modules; nine online and one on-site, in a flexible format designed to allow students to create a curriculum timeline that best fits their busy schedule. Online modules are composed of streaming lectures and activities that students can complete and submit at their own pace, however all nine modules must be completed no later than one week before the start of module ten (the IAAHPC conference). The certificate program can take between 3 and 24 months to complete.
The on-site module is offered once each year and is held in conjunction with the annual IAAHPC conference. Here students will partake in a laboratory that gives students the opportunity to be exposed to advanced euthanasia techniques (cadaver use only), and how to support the family and colleagues through the process. On-site sessions will allow for small group activities with individualized instruction from leaders in the field of animal hospice, and networking opportunities with hospice-minded colleagues, which will help facilitate learning well after the course is completed.
In order to be awarded the AHPC Social Work Certificate participants must successfully complete the following:
Module 1-9: (37.5 hours, online) Introductory and advanced topics pertinent to offering hospice and palliative care.
Module 10: (23.5 hours, onsite) Includes attendance at our annual conference, in addition to participation in a half-day Euthanasia Technique Laboratory. Fees to attend the conference and euthanasia lab are covered in tuition. Travel expenses are additional and the responsibility of each student.
The AHPC Social Work Certificate requires a series of post-tests that will follow each class in modules one through nine. Each post-test is designed to test a well-defined body of knowledge representative of the current professional practice in animal hospice and palliative care. The online post-tests cover the breadth of current knowledge concerning animal hospice and palliative care and consists of a mix of multiple-choice and True/False questions. Participants must achieve a passing score of 80 %. Students must have successfully completed all nine modules and passed their post-tests at least one week prior to the conference to be eligible to attend the conference as Module 10.
Preparing for the Post-tests
Your primary objective is to learn the material and pass the post-tests. Learning new material and reviewing old material are critical to this objective. Develop a study plan that will allow you to learn the most while you study, including goal setting. Review what you have learned as often as possible. The more you review, the more you will retain. All course material will be available online for review. You will be setting your own timeline for learning the material and taking the post-tests. Create a study plan that sets you up for success. Watching and learning from the online sessions will provide you the information needed to pass the post-tests.
- MODULE 1 through 9:
- Opens April 1 through July 1 (after this day, students will no longer be able to enroll for Modules 1-9, and will need to wait for the next enrollment period (January the following year) to begin the AHPC Social Work Certificate Program.
- MUST BE COMPLETED one week prior to attendance at conference intended to fulfill Module 10 but no longer than 24 months from enrollment.
- MODULE 10: completed at the conference
- Opens for registration with general conference registration (typically around June 1st of every year with annual conference held in the fall)
- Closes July 1 (after this day, students will no longer be able to enroll for Module 10, and will need to wait for the next enrollment period to begin the AHPC Social Work Certificate Program. o Conference attendance, with signed attendance sheets at sessions and including the completion of the required Euthanasia Techniques Lab will fulfill requirements
- The half-day Euthanasia lab is mandatory for the AHPC Social Work Certificate Program, even if previously taken.
- The AHPC Social Work Certificate is awarded at the conference.
- Preparing the Children textbook is provided at conference.
Exceptions to the Program Timeline
The AHPC Social Work Certificate program is designed to be completed anytime during a 24 month timeframe, from January of any given year to October of the following year.
*PLEASE NOTE that there will be no extensions granted to this timeline and it is the student’s responsibility to keep track of, and meet, all deadlines. Exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis and only in situations of serious personal illness, loss of a family member, or a natural disaster.
The total cost of tuition for AHPC Social Work Certificate will be $1,150 for licensed Social Workers. Tuition is paid in two stages. The fee structure is as follows:
- Module 1-9 - Online Module, 37.5 hours: $700
- Module 10 - Conference and Euthanasia Lab Module: $450 *Travel expenses are additional and the responsibility of each student.
TOTAL COST OF TUITION: $1,150 for Licensed Social Workers
Your completed application form and all necessary supporting documentation should be submitted to the IAAHPC, through the student portal, and will be evaluated to confirm that you meet or exceed the program entry requirements. If your application is rejected for any reason, including, without limitation, incomplete, inaccurate or unverifiable information, your application fee minus a $200 administration fee will be refunded.
Program fees are non-transferable. Candidates requesting to withdraw from the program after submitting an application will be charged an administrative fee of $200.00. Credit card transactions that are declined may be subject to a $25 handling fee.
Should you decide to drop out of your IAAHPC AHPC Social Work Certificate Program class, or if you are unable to meet any of the module deadlines (including post-tests, full conference attendance and completion of the required labs), the following will apply:
- • If you wish to re-enroll in the AHPC Social Work Certificate program, there is a $350 re-enrollment fee
- • Please note that re-enrollment is only offered for the following consecutive year!
- • If you do re-enroll for the following consecutive year, you do not have to complete any modules that you have successfully completed that previous year
- • However, if you are unable to re-enroll the following consecutive year, you will need to begin the AHPC Social Work Certificate program over, as if you were a new student, including re-submitting your application, paying for, and retaking all modules (even if they were previously completed)
The IAAHPC and Northeast Seminars do not discriminate among candidates on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, military discharge status, sexual orientation, or marital status.
Those students who have successfully completed the AHPC Social Work Certificate Program will be allowed to place on their marketing materials “Successful completion of the AHPC Social Work Certificate” This claim is unique to the field of animal hospice and palliative care and may not be used for any other medical field designation. Any person found using this statement without successful completion of the program will be prosecuted.
The field of animal hospice and palliative care is young and developing. Through research, case reviews, and collaborative analysis, we will undoubtedly continue to learn more each year. As new information comes forth, the program will be modified to share best practices with all participants. The IAAHPC encourages research in the areas of animal hospice, palliative care, and geriatric medicine to enhance the field and ever improve the AHPC Social Work Certificate Program.
Updated 4/1/19 SJ