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NACA Continuing Education Requirements
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Maintaining NACA Certification

All NACA Certified Officers must successfully complete thirty (30) hours of continuing education over their three (3) year certification period to maintain their NACA ACO Certification. All thirty (30) continuing education hours must be completed during the three (3) year certification period. For example, if NACA Certification is earned in 2017, continuing education must be taken between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2020. It is the responsibility of the certified officer to ensure their certification requirements are met, and submitted to NACA for verification, prior to the expiration of their certification term.


Of these thirty (30) hours, a minimum of five (5) hours of continuing education must be taken in each calendar year. Within the thirty (30) continuing education hours, a minimum of five (5) hours of continuing education must be taken within each of the four (4) core learning criteria areas of focus. The remaining ten (10) hours of continuing education may come from any of the core learning criteria areas of focus.


To receive credit for the continuing education, fifteen (15) hours must be taken from NACA Approved training providers.  The remaining fifteen (15) hours may be taken with NACA Approved providers or completed as “In-Service” training with the officer’s employing agency.  In-Service training must be documented with a certificate issued by the agency, and must be verified by the agency. Certificates for In-Service training must be clearly marked as In-Service training and identify the core learning criteria objective met with the training.


Training provided by NACA Approved providers will be offered directly by NACA, and/or carry the ‘NACA Approved’ branding on training brochures and certificates. A list of NACA Approved Providers, and industry conferences, will be maintained on the NACA website.


NACA ACO Certification Core Learning Criteria

The four areas below have been identified as the core learning criteria for NACA ACO Certification. Continuing Education must fall into one of these four categories to qualify for NACA Continuing Education Units. 

Animal Identification, Handling and Behavior

Training will focus upon updates pertaining to animal identification, proper handling techniques, animal behavior, emergency or disaster response and handling, or specialized rescue techniques.


Animal Health and Welfare

Training will focus upon animal health and welfare, appropriate euthanasia techniques, remote chemical capture of animals, animal nutrition, animal body scoring and body composition, familiarization with veterinary needs, animal first aid, or zoonotic disease recognition and response.


Officer Safety and Wellness

Training will focus upon officer safety and wellness, self-defense, collapsible baton training, firearm training, stress management, compassion fatigue recognition, defensive driving, weight management, alcohol or drug dependence awareness,


Evidentiary Rules, Investigative Technique and Courtroom Skills

Training will focus upon report writing, courtroom testimony, specialized investigation techniques, animal hording response, blood sport investigation, mass impoundment, interviewing techniques, evidence collection, photography, or forensic investigations.


NACA Continuing Education Units

For general training opportunities that meet the core criteria above, NACA defines a Continuing Education Unit (CEU) as one (1) CEU per clock hour of instructional time. Breaks and meals do not count as instructional time.  Instructional time will be rounded down to the nearest quarter (¼) hour.


Additional Methods to Earn Continuing Education Units


College Course Work – College courses attended that fall into one of the core criteria categories, and are received from an accredited college or university, will qualify for two (2) hours of NACA Approved training credit for each one (1) semester hour, not to exceed six (6) hours annually (a total of eighteen (18) hours over the three (3) year certification period). Transcripts for college coursework must be provided.

Teaching – NACA Certified ACOs may earn one (1) hour of continuing education credit for each one (1) hour of instruction taught to other animal care and control personnel, law enforcement officers or others interested in the animal care and control profession. Teaching continuing education credits are not to exceed six (6) hours annually (a total of eighteen (18) hours over the three (3) year certification period). Registration brochures or some other form of verification must be provided, and the core criteria area of focus must be identified.


Proactive Industry Involvement – NACA Certified ACOs may earn continuing education credits by actively promoting the animal care and control profession via service on local, state or national, boards, councils, or committees that align the ACO Certification core learning criteria. Service on boards, councils and committees furthering the animal care and control profession will earn NACA continuing education units at the rate of two (2) CEUs per year of service.  NACA may verify directly.


NACA Recertification Fees

The fees to recertify are as set in the table below. In order to receive the member price, those recertifying must be a NACA Individual Member in good standing at the time the recertification documentation is submitted. The difference in the member and non-member pricing will not be refunded should the individual recertifying become a member after the recertification documentation is submitted.


Early-Bird Recertification

Recertification Documentation Submitted

Prior to December 31, 2019

Standard Recertification

Recertification Documentation Submitted

Prior to September 30, 2020

Last-Minute Recertification

Recertification Documentation Submitted

October 1 – December 31, 2020

NACA Member - $50.00

NACA Member - $75.00 USD

NACA Member - $150.00

Non-Member - $100.00

Non-Member - $150.00 USD

Non-Member - $300.00

Lapse in NACA ACO Certification

If the individual certified has failed to complete, and submit the required continuing education, and pay the recertification fee, by the certification expiration date, their NACA ACO Certification shall be revoked.


When certification has lapsed, NACA ACO Certification may be reinstated by completing ten (10) hours of additional continuing education beyond the thirty (30) hours required during the original certification period. After 12 months, reinstatement of lapsed NACA ACO Certification will only be possible by meeting the original NACA ACO Certification requirements (complete NACHO Module A and NACHO Module B within 36 months).
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