Why Become CAWA?

Distinguish your skills and up your game! Show your commitment to high standards and ethical practice in the field of animal welfare, become a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA). The Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) is designed to:

  • Distinguish the knowledge, skills and achievements of high-level managers working in animal welfare and protection; to support best practices within the profession
  • Broaden the understanding among those making hiring decisions and the general public of the specialized qualifications required to successfully lead non-profit organizations and governmental agencies dedicated to animal care. 

Complete details about the program can be found in the Applicant Guide.

Why Hire a CAWA?

Add “CAWA Preferred" or "CAWA Required” to your recruitment materials!

Hiring a CEO or Executive Director who has earned the Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) credential:

  • Ensures your organization and the Board of Directors that the individual has well rounded experience and unique animal welfare knowledge to support your agency’s mission and long term growth
  • Supports your fundraising goals; donors who meet with a CAWA understand the Board of Directors’ commitment to use their money wisely
  • Assures your staff that their leader has the highest skill level
  • Qualified individuals meet rigorous standards set by The Association's peer professionals

High minimum standards are set for those who sit for the exam:

  • Candidates meet strict eligibility requirements in leadership, management, and animal welfare experience.
  • The Association develops and manages the CAWA program in accordance with globally accepted accreditation standards and best practices for personnel certification programs. 
  • The exam is fair, practical, and reflects industry competency standards.
  • Current CAWAs are required to continue their education through leadership, professional involvement, and formal coursework.