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Q: What is a professional certification?
A: Professional certification is a designation given to an individual who has demonstrated the knowledge and/or skills needed to perform a specific job. Certification is generally a voluntary process created by representatives of a specific vocation to establish and promote high standards among its practitioners. An individual does not have to be employed within the profession to be eligible for professional certification. Individuals become certified through training and/or passing an exam.
Certifications may be valid for the life of the individual or may require periodic renewal; the latter is common in technically-oriented professions where standards and practices are constantly being updated. Often the renewal process requires evidence of continual learning, generally in the form of continuing education hours (CE’s) or continuing education units (CEU’s).
Certifications are offered and administered by a certification body. The certification body determines the policies of the certification program, administers any required exams, and maintains certification records.
Q: What is the purpose of a wildlife rehabilitation certification?
A: In much of the world, many vocations require a specific degree from an accredited educational institution that includes an established curriculum. These educational prerequisites are established in an attempt to insure that everyone involved has demonstrated a level of competency in related areas of study. In the care-giving vocations, these requirements are an attempt to ensure a minimum standard of care.
Because the field of wildlife rehabilitation is a fairly new vocation, the requirements for becoming a legal practitioner are in constant flux and they vary widely around the world. Depending on geographic area, a rehabilitator may be required to undergo a lengthy apprenticeship followed by a challenging qualifier exam prior to being allowed to practice, while in other areas the individual may not need to demonstrate any knowledge or skill at all. This challenges the credibility of our field and the work that we do.
Q: What are the requirements to become a CWR?
A: Certification Eligibility Requirements are completion of the application for the Certified Wildlife Rehabilitation exam, payment of required fees, and taking and passing the CWR examination.
Q: What are the benefits of becoming a CWR?
Becoming a CWR designates you with a mark of excellence you carry everywhere you go.
Candidates who pass the Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator™ examination will receive a certificate indicating their certification status and will be permitted to use the trademarked designation CWR™ after their names. A registry of Certified Wildlife Rehabilitators will be maintained by the CWR CRB and publically displayed on the CWR website.
The CWR website offers different benefits for CWR’s such as featured resources, a CWR community to exchange ideas with, job and internship postings, and a calendar of upcoming CE.
Q: Does the CWR provide a study guide or sample exam to help me prepare for the examination?
A: The CWR offers a sample exam and a list of resources to help prospective CWR’s prepare for the exam.
Q: What exam topics are covered on the CWR examination?
A: The list below provides an overview of the thirteen topics, and examples of specific concepts related to each topic. Each exam includes questions on each of the thirteen topics listed, however as each exam is unique, there will be variation in the concepts covered.
ID, Natural History & Behavior, Handling, Restraint & Human Safety, Basic Physiology, Intake, Triage & Stabilization, Euthanasia, Hydration & Fluid Therapy, Thermoregulation, Wound Management, Medications, Nutrition, Captive Housing, Release Criteria, and Calculations
Q: Do applications have to be filled out online or are paper copies available?
A: The CWR application may be filled out and submitted online through the CWR website or may be download and submitted, by email, fax, or mail.
Q: What are the fees associated with the certification program?
A: The following fees are associated with the CWR Program:
Application fee: $115 per application
Re-testing fee: $40 per attempt
Renewal fee: $40 per cycle
There will be no refund of any fees.
Q: What are the requirements for renewal?
A: Renewal candidates must either accrue and show proof of 16 hours of continuing education hours (CE’s) or two continuing education units (CEUs) during the two-year period to qualify for renewal or retake and pass the current Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator™ examination to retain certification. Renewal fees are must be paid in full at the time of each renewal.
Q: Where can I find Continuing Education (CE) to fulfill renewal requirements?
A: Check out the CWR website for the Approved CE List and calendar of upcoming continuing education.
Q: Can the exam be taken without internet access?
A: The CWR examination is available in two formats: online and hard-copy.
Online exams: The online exam is administered via the CWR website using a temporary password. While the exam is open, the testing software does not allow access to any other files or programs, including the Internet.
Hard-copy exams: A hard-copy testing packet is sent directly to a candidate-identified and staff-approved proctor (see Proctors section below). The packet includes a paper copy of the exam, instructions for administering the exam and a self-addressed, stamped enveloped with which to return the exam for grading. Proctors are not provided with an answer key.
Q: Who can serve as a proctor for my exam?
A: A proctor is a person who supervises the taking of an examination to assure that all rules are followed. CWR candidates who choose the proctored hard-copy format must submit the name and contact information of the individual they would like to serve as proctor for approval. Potential proctors must not be a supervisor, co-worker, related to the candidate, live at the same address as the candidate, or have a vested interest in the candidate’s results (e.g., a center rehabilitation manager). Acceptable proctors include, but are not limited to:
- Secondary level or higher public or private school teachers and/or administrators
- Private testing center personnel
- Notaries public
- Members of the clergy
Q: Are special needs accommodations available?
A: Special testing arrangements may be made for candidates with special needs. A Request for Special Accommodations Form, available on the CWR website and should be submitted with your application. The Request for Special Accommodations Form may also be submitted online through the CWR website or by mail. You will need to provide documentation to demonstrate candidate’s Specific Learning Disorder (SPL) or Emotional needs (ED) and that you require the accommodations you have requested. It should state the diagnosis and recommend reasonable accommodations.
Q: How will I be notified of my exam results?
A: Examinees who pass the exam will receive notification that they passed, but will not be presented with a numerical grade. Examinees who do not pass the exam will receive an email with a breakdown of the questions missed in each of the thirteen categories along with information on retesting. Information will not be provided on which questions were answered incorrectly.
Online exams are graded automatically upon submission and candidates receive immediate notification of their results. Hard-copy documentation is mailed to candidates who pass. Candidates who do not pass will receive information on re-testing opportunities via email.
Hard-copy exams: A hard-copy testing packet is sent directly to a candidate-identified and staff-approved proctor. The packet includes a self-addressed, stamped enveloped with which to return the exam for grading. Proctors are not provided with an answer key.
Once the exam has been graded, candidates will be notified of the results via email (or mail if an email address has not been provided). Hard-copy documentation is mailed to candidates who pass. Candidates who do not pass will receive information on re-testing opportunities via email (or mail if an email address has not been provided).
Q: What score must I get to pass the exam?
A: The CWR exam is graded on a Pass / Fail basis. In order to pass, candidates must correctly answer a minimum of 38 out of 50 questions.
Q: What happens if I do not pass the exam?
A: Regardless of the exam format chosen, candidates who do not pass the exam are allowed as many re-take opportunities as needed. A re-testing fee is required for each attempt (see Fees section above) and a minimum of two weeks between each attempt is mandatory. A new, randomly-generated exam is provided for each attempt.
Q: Is the exam available in different languages?
A: Not currently, but there will be. Coming in 2020, the CWR will offer examinations in multiple languages so that international wildlife rehabilitators have a fair opportunity to become CWR’s and share their mark of excellence with the community.
Q: Are there topic specific certifications?
A: Not currently, but there will be. Coming in 2020, the CWR will offer topic specific examinations so that CWR’s may specialize in their desired areas of expertise.
Q: How can I support the CWR?
Q: What are grounds for revocation of certification?
A: The CWR™ CRB reserves the right to revoke certification for any of the following reasons; falsification of any part of an application, misrepresentation of certification status, violation of the IWRC Code of Ethics.
Q: How do I appeal and decision or revocation?
A: Appeals may be submitted to the CWR™ Certification Director by email at firstname.lastname@example.org