Qualifications for Veterinary Client Service Representatives

IVRA’s Client Service Representative Certificate (CertCSR) is a qualification that trains CSRs in the skills, knowledge and mindsets required to contribute to the practice’s overall pursuit of optimal client, financial, colleague and clinical outcomes.

Bronze level of the CertCSR

The Bronze Level of the CertCSR is delivered as online webinars, followed by multiple choice questions, taking approximately 5 hours to complete.

The webinars are based around the key 'contact times’ within the client journey, as well as covering the essential knowledge and skills veterinary receptionists need to know about working in veterinary practice. 

Member Price: FREE | Non Member Price: $50.00

This course represents 5 hours of CPD. A certificate is available to download upon completion.


Silver level of the CertCSR

The Silver level of the CertCSR award is delivered online.  It can only be completed once the Bronze level of the CertCSR has been completed. 

Where the Bronze level explores the scope of customer service areas that every practice should consider and master, the Silver level helps CSRs and practice managers define their actual policies and protocols with respect to each area covered. 

Member Price: $250.00 | Non Member Price: $300.00

This course represents 25 hours of CPD. A certificate is available to download upon completion.

Gold level of the CertCSR

Gold is the final level of the CertCSR award. To pass this level CSRs will demonstrate that they can apply what they have learnt in the Bronze and Silver levels. 

This requires participants to complete 4 sections based on the following topics:

  1. Bereavement and Condolences.
  2. Information and Communication Technology.
  3. Mental Health and Wellbeing.
  4. Managing Challenging Situations.


Member Price: $300.00 | Non Member Price: $350.00

This course represents 25 hours of CPD. A certificate is available to download upon completion.

10 benefits of completing the CertCSR include:

  1. Improves client service
    CSRs are the first and last impression new and existing clients will have of your business.  Knowing how to make that all important first impression, as well as providing “prompt, polite and purposeful progress” with their queries, is all covered in the bronze level of the CertCSR programme.
  2. Improves confidence when recommending appointments  Veterinary businesses need to recruit new clients and new cases. This means converting “contact to consults”. Some CSRs are hesitant about proactively recommending appointments as they feel ‘clients will ask for one if they need one’. Not so.  Many clients expect the CSR to advise them whether they need for an appointment. The CertCSR programme gives CSRs the skill, the confidence and the ‘right’ to recommend appointments.
  3. Helps ensure follow-up appointments
    Approximately 40% of the appointments on a veterinary practice’s appointment schedule will be follow-up appointments initiated by the veterinarians after a primary consultation. Studies show that clients are much likely to book and attend a follow-up re-check appointment if they do not make that appointment before they leave the practice building after the primary consultation. The CertCSR programme helps practices recognise and deal with this issue – referred to as “The Bermuda Triangle” after consultations.
  4. Helps improve the quality of information and direction that clients receive
    Veterinary CSRs have to field queries relating to many clinical issues, ranging from ill and injured animals to preventative healthcare. CSRs are confident about their practice’s preferred recommendations lead clients in a more purposeful manner and come across as more credible. The Silver level of the CertCSR programme ensures CSRs are clear about their practice’s protocols during the pre-clinical, clinical and post-clinical stages of the clinical-client journey.
  5. Decreases client complaints
    Clients can complain about many aspects of practice services but many complaints centre around mis-managed expectations about costs and charges. The CertCSR programme helps practices manage expectations about costs via the $100 rule, which states that if the client’s bill is going to be more than $100, the client should be informed of their balance BEFORE they reach reception. The IVRA believes that CSRs should not be expected to resolve complaints over bills that they did not create. Instead practices need to work as a team in order to reduce unpaid bills and complaints associated with them.
  6. Develops communication between colleagues
    Teamwork and communication is essential to success. Deficits in communication lead to uncertainty, which is the key component of stress and anxiety.  The CertCSR programme helps practices identify commonly mis-managed moments of communication between colleagues working within veterinary practice.
  7. Develops consistency between colleagues and between sub-teams
    Clients feel more reassured that they are doing the ‘right thing ‘when they hear the same message consistently and from multiple sources.  The silver level of the CertCSR programme helps practices clarify – and create – internal polices and protocols,  in order to relay them consistently to their clients.
  8. Improves working relationship with other colleagues
    If you ask non-CSR colleagues “Do you have your CSRs’ backs?” they usually say “Yes! Of course!”.  However there’s a difference between ‘reactively’ supporting a CSR when a client complains and communicating ‘proactively’ by anticipating and avoiding avoidable issues. Being proactive and keeping CSR colleagues ‘in the loop’ isn’t just an act of professional respect, it’s good for morale and the long-term health of the business.
  9. Cutting edge CPD in an affordable and social manner
    CSRs often feel neglected when it comes to receiving meaningful and useful learning and development within practice.  Receptionists see veterinarians and techs attending CE events, and often wonder who supports them. The CertCSR programme is available online with no completion deadlines in order to accommodate busy modern lives.
  10. Better time management
    Uncertainty and urgency drive stress.  Poor time management unnecessarily magnifies the urgency inherent in veterinary medical practice. The CertCSR programme covers Principles of Appointment Schedule management that recognises and helps minimise the impact caused by moments of overwhelming urgency that are inevitable part of veterinary practice.

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