Continuing Education

On January 1, 2018, NACA launched a continuing education (CE) requirement for NACA Certified officers. As part of the new program launch, we’re waiving fees for instructors/organizers to get their curriculum reviewed for the rest of the 2018 calendar year. [Fees to process individual officers’ re-certifications still apply; see chart at the bottom of this page for rates.] Instructors and program organizers: submit your training and we’ll review it at no cost, and assign CE credits if applicable. You can then market your program as ‘NACA Approved’. We’ll also list it on our website through 2018. Fees for curriculum approval and website listings will be charged beginning in 2019, so get your submissions in now!
Requests for approval of individual classes should be submitted via the Curriculum Approval Form, found here. Seeking approval of large group of classes, as for a multi-day conference? Email Emily Colwell, NACA Training Program Coordinator, at and we’ll help you out.
Are/were you a student in a training that wasn’t ‘NACA Approved’ in advance, but you think it might qualify? Have other questions? Email Emily Colwell, NACA Training Program Coordinator, at and we’ll help you out.

Click here for a list of recent and upcoming NACA Approved training.

Maintaining NACA Certification

(Click here for this information in a downloadable .pdf of suitable for printing.)

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.
Justice Clearinghouse / NACA Webinars – Webinar Recordings that are NACA approved will be worth up to 1.0 CEUs. The CEU will be designed on the applicable webinar registration page along with the NACA category that applies:

  • Animal Identification, Handling and Behavior
  • Animal Health and Welfare
  • Officer Safety and Wellness
  • Evidentiary Rules, Investigative Technique and Courtroom Skills

Up to Five CEUs per year can be fulfilled through JCH/NACA Webinars and Complete Courses

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).