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Letter from the President: Don’t Be Scared

October 10, 2023, Jim Tedford

Achieving and Maintaining the CAWA Credential Means More Treats than Tricks

Dear Colleagues,

Halloween approaches and promises to bring all sort of things that go bump in the night. Our porches will be crowded with ghosts, witches, and superheroes demanding treats. We know that in animal welfare work there are plenty of things to be feared. 

For those of us whose fiscal year follows the calendar year, we are starting to think about next year’s budgets. Now THAT can be scary! 

You’re probably gearing up for year-end employee performance reviews – terrifying stuff! 

Some of you are nearing CAWA recertification time, which happens every 3 years – NOT SCARY!

I’ll be honest. I was due to recertify at the end of last year and, for whatever reason, in my mind it seemed like a gargantuan task. I’m not ordinarily a big procrastinator, but I put off completing my recertification tracking log until the bitter end. When I finally DID sit down to get it done, it took me NO time.  I was actually angry at myself for putting it off. The Association has done much of the work for you already. 

Follow this link to the recertification page to get started with your log. Remember that once you recertify your CAWA credential, you’re set for three years. And you only need to have earned a total of 60 credits in continuing professional development over the last three years to recertify.  See this page for a detailed listing of what counts towards CAWA CEs, which is basically anything animal welfare or leadership-related.

Some tips for you, including a few my staff want you to know:

  • As you attend workshops, webinars, and conferences, highlight the sessions you attended and save (or print) all the programs, then stack them on a shelf or in a folder in your office. When you recertify, you can reference that stack (starting at the bottom) and enter CEs until you reach the required number. Bonus: To aid in this compilation, find all the recent agendas for past conferences from The Association here.
  • Log into The Learning Center and go to your Dashboard. Click on the Transcript buttons and it will give you a report of everything you’ve completed. Remember, your eligible period covers three years only. 
  • Need more CEs? Watch any webinar recording, pass the 5-question quiz and you’ll earn CE points. Or complete one of our self-paced, online certificate courses.

I’ll repeat this for emphasis: CAWAs only need 60 points to recertify. I’d be willing to bet that the vast majority of you completed the required amount of CE in the first 9 months of your recertification period.  Then you kept going. You attended tons of webinars and the occasional in-person conference. You taught workshops and have served in leadership roles on boards and committees. Perhaps you authored articles or papers. Heck, you’re probably an overachiever, and you don’t even know it!

The fourth quarter of the year is going to be busy. It’s conference season, budget season, performance review season, and the holidays are right around the corner. Do yourself (and your professional association) a favor, and take care of your CAWA recertification log today. Then head to a store and stock up on candy corn and Milk Duds for the little angels and demons headed your way on the last spooky night in October.

All treats, no tricks,


Learn More

CAWA Recertification Page
Not Yet a CAWA? See If You Qualify
Meet a CAWA: Jeana Roth
Member Spotlight: Get to Know Tim Anderson, CAWA

About Jim Tedford
Jim Tedford, CAWA, is President and CEO of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement.