• “Certification Pet Parents Can Trust”


What does it mean to be a Certified Professional Animal Care Manager (CPACM)?

Becoming a CPACM shows your clients, staff, colleagues, and community that your professional qualifications and knowledge have met the highest pet care standards established by industry experts and certified by an independent testing body.

Who Should Become a Certified Professional Animal Care Manager?

A Manager is the person in charge of the daily operation of a professional pet care business. Managers bring a high level of knowledge and understanding about the importance of quality care for pets, pet parents, and/or the team of employees that they oversee. Managers understand customer service, animal health, animal behavior, safety for pets and staff, and human resources. Managers lead by example and promote positive business ethics. They strive to perform at a high level and gain more knowledge through education. Managers understand the importance of their role and how all of this influences the culture and success of the business and the pet care industry.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to sit for the CPACM exam, a pet care professional must meet the following requirements:

  • High school diploma or the equivalent
  • A minimum of two years or 4,000 hours working in animal care

Body of Knowledge Represented by CPACM Credentials

The in-depth, 150-question CPACM exam, conducted at an approved testing location for a total testing time of 2.5 hours, covers animal care topics including health issues such as administering medications, first aid and CPR, and cleaning and disinfecting. Additional tested health-related knowledge includes fights and bites; documentation; profile, play, behavior, and temperament; and animal management. Knowledge of operations is also tested including the safety of animals, people, and the facility (e.g., chemical usage, safety requirements). Additional tested operations knowledge includes escape (e.g., prevention, owner notification, recovery); death (owner directives, vet confirmation); extreme weather and disaster preparedness; staff management (e.g., human resources, staff training); business management (e.g., strategic planning); financial management (e.g., asset management, payroll, budgeting); and customer relations and marketing. A complete outline of examination content is available in the Handbook for Candidates.

Benefits of Certification

Becoming independently certified in animal care makes you a leader in the industry.

Your certification sets you apart from the competition and signals to pet parents, staff, and potential employers that you have successfully demonstrated your comprehensive pet care knowledge and how much you care about pet safety.

You are included in the PACCC Certified Directory available to the public on the PACCC website at paccert.org/certified.

You receive a physical certificate suitable for framing and displaying at your place of business.

You can use your certification credentials (CPACM) with your name to signify your certified status.

You receive a digital badge to use with your email signature file and website.

What is the Cost of the Exam?

The cost to take the CPACM exam is $485 USD. PACCC is a not-for-profit that offers independent certification therefore payment covers the cost for the the exam to be taken in-person or virtually at a testing center that is run by a company that is separate from PACCC.

Maintaining Your Certification

CPACM certification is good for three years. To maintain certified status, a CPACM must report 30 approved Continuing Education Units (CEU). If 30 approved CEUs are not documented by the end of 3 years, retesting is required to become certified again. For information on PACCC-approved CEUs and reporting, visit paccert.org/ceu.