NVAP Reference Guide: Introduction and Table of Contents

Last Modified: March 20, 2024

Welcome to the National Veterinary Accreditation Program (NVAP)! Thank you for participating in the program and becoming an APHIS-accredited veterinarian. 

This reference manual is your guide to the NVAP and contains information vital to understanding and performing your responsibilities as an accredited veterinarian, including: 

  • Animal identification;
  • Disease prevention, control, and eradication;
  • Regulatory immunization;
  • Regulations for intrastate, interstate, and international shipment of animals and animal byproducts; and
  • Instructions on the proper selection, completion, and submission of regulatory forms. 

As an accredited veterinarian, you are the first line of defense in ensuring the health of this Nation’s livestock and poultry. APHIS is dependent on accredited veterinarians for carrying out many of the programs and services designed to protect public health and safeguard animal health. You and other accredited veterinarians share in a partnership with APHIS, State animal health officials, and the animal agriculture industry. The professional ethic is the basis for trust between veterinarians and their clients and also between veterinarians and their peers working in animal health and regulatory medicine. 

As an accredited veterinarian, you must perform all accreditation work following State and Federal laws and regulations and approved procedures. Included in this guide are the Standards for Accredited Veterinarians from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) (appendix A). 

By agreeing to participate in the Accreditation Program, you have accepted the responsibility for knowing these and other appropriate Federal and State regulations and you have agreed to conduct all activities as an Accredited Veterinarian in accordance with the Standards of Accredited Veterinarian Duties and any amendments there to which may subsequently be issued and in accordance with any instructions received from an APHIS representative. 

It is important to be sure that all APHIS-accredited veterinarians are performing their duties in accordance with current USDA regulations. Within USDA–APHIS, Investigative and Enforcement Services (IES) provides support to all the agency’s program units, including Veterinary Services (VS). IES investigators look into allegations that an accredited veterinarian did not abide by the standards for accredited veterinarian duties as noted in 9 CFR PART (161.4). Further details about IES’ work and your role in the investigative process are found in the chapter entitled “Compliance and Regulations” of this Reference Guide. 

Questions, Comments, or Technical Issues?



Control and Eradication


Aquatic Animal

Animal Health Emergency Management

Animal Movement

Animal Identification