VETERINARY ASSISTANT CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES PERMIT (VACSP) - Frequently Asked Questions

INITIAL PERMIT APPLICATION AND APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS QUESTIONS

1. I am a Veterinary Assistant. May I obtain or administer controlled substances?

No, you must apply for a Veterinary Assistant Controlled Substances Permit (VACSP) with the Board. Veterinary Assistants are not the same as "VACSP holders" or "permit holders".

VACSP holders or permit holders may perform the same tasks as "Veterinary Assistants"; in addition, VACSP holders or permit holders are also approved by the Board to obtain and administer controlled substances in an animal hospital setting (i.e. veterinary premises required to be registered with the Board) and under supervision of the Premises Licensee Manager.

2. If I have already undergone a background check, do I still need to be fingerprinted?

Yes, you must still submit a Request for Live Scan Service and apply for a VACSP even though you have already cleared a background check.

3. If I have already submitted a Live Scan Request form for a non-VACSP related purpose, do I need to submit another request?

Yes, you must still submit a Request for Live Scan Service and apply for a VACSP even though you have already been fingerprinted for another purpose..

4. I work as a veterinary assistant in an animal shelter/humane society. Do I need a VACSP?

It depends. If the animal shelter or humane society is in an animal hospital setting (i.e. veterinary premises required to be registered with the Board), and that person is not a licensed Veterinarian or RVT, and who obtains or administers controlled substances, then they are subject to the requirements to hold a VACSP. Provisions of the VACSP permit do allow a permit holder to obtain or administer controlled substances under the indirect supervision of a licensed Veterinarian.

5. I work at the front desk of a veterinary clinic/hospital and I hand controlled substance prescriptions to clients. Do I need a VACSP?

No, however, you do need a VASCP if you obtain (for example: fill a prescription, have access to the locked drug cabinet, etc.) controlled substances or are directed by a licensed veterinarian to administer controlled substances to animal patients.

6. I work in a boarding facility and administer controlled substances to client animals under the prescription of a veterinarian. Do I need a VACSP?

It depends. If the boarding facility is in an animal hospital setting (i.e. veterinary premises required to be registered with the Board), and that person is not a licensed Veterinarian or RVT, and who obtains or administers controlled substances, then they are subject to the requirements to hold a VACSP. Provisions of the VACSP permit do allow a permit holder to obtain or administer controlled substances under the indirect supervision of a licensed Veterinarian.

7. How do I apply for a VACSP?

Link to BreEZe (or link to www.vmb.ca.gov to file a paper application) to apply for a VACSP. Please note: If you submit your application online using BreEZe, the processing times are quicker because payments are able to be processed upon submittal of your application.

8. How long do fingerprint clearances usually take?

Fingerprint clearances are usually received within 24-48 hours. However, if there is a delay on the fingerprints, it can take up to 30 days for the Board to receive the report.

9. If I have a conviction, will that prevent me from getting a permit?

Each conviction is handled on a case-by-case basis. The Executive Officer determines if the applicant with a conviction will be allowed to continue with the application process.

Please note: Pursuant to BPC section 4836.2(d), the Board shall not issue a VACSP to any applicant with a state or federal felony controlled substances conviction.

10. If I have a conviction, how long will it take to process my application?

It depends on when the fingerprint report is received, when all related documents have been submitted to the Board, and when a response is received by the Enforcement Unit.

11. Do I need to have a supervisor to have a VACSP?

In order to obtain or administer controlled substances in an animal hospital setting (i.e. veterinary premises required to be registered with the Board), you must have a Premises Licensee Manager supervisory relationship filed with the Board. The Board must receive a signed Veterinary Assistant Controlled Substances Permit Holder / Licensee Manager Agreement and a Licensee Manager Acknowledgement before you can be granted access or administer controlled substances.

12. When will I hear about my submitted application?

It can take up to eight weeks to process an initial application, the Board will contact you if additional information is needed or when your application is approved.

13. Once the application is reviewed, how am I notified?

The applicant will be notified via a letter sent in the U.S. mail.

14. How will I know if I have gotten my permit?

You can check permit verification by linking to BreEZe License Verification.

15. How long after approval will I receive my paper permit?

Once approved and issued, the paper permit will be received within 5-10 business days.

16. If a VACSP is denied or revoked, what does that mean?

If a VACSP is denied or revoked, the applicant/permit holder may not obtain or administer controlled substances. However, depending on the reason for denial, the applicant may have a right to appeal the Board’s determination.

17. I am the Managing Licensee of a veterinary premises and I would like to pay the VACSP application and/or permit fee for the Veterinary Assistants under my employment/supervision. May I apply on their behalf?

No. The Veterinary Assistant must complete the VACSP application; however, payment may be accepted by another party. Simply enter the payment information on their behalf during this stage in the BreEZe online application process or submit alternate paper payment with your paper application.

18. I’m having trouble with the BreEZe system. What can I do?

You can contact Breeze technical support at (916) 557-1208.

PERMIT HOLDER QUESTIONS

1. I have a VACSP. Can I obtain or administer controlled substances now?

Not necessarily. Simply holding a VACSP does not automatically qualify a permit holder to access controlled substances. A supervisory relationship with a California Premises Licensee Manager must be filed with the Board and your supervising veterinarian must determine if you are qualified to perform those tasks.

2. Do I need to be under direct supervision while obtaining or administering controlled substances in an animal hospital setting (i.e. veterinary premises required to be registered with the Board)?

No. Pursuant to California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 2036.5 et. seq., permit holders in an animal hospital setting (i.e. veterinary premises required to be registered with the Board) may obtain or administer controlled substances under direct or indirect supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

3. What if my supervisor is not available to supervise?

In the absence of your regular supervisor, the Licensee Manager must designate a California licensed veterinarian in good standing to provide supervision of any VACSP-related tasks.

4. What happens if I no longer have a Premises Licensee Manager supervisor or the Premises Licensee Manager supervisor leaves the practice?

Your former Premises Licensee Manager supervisor must report the termination of a supervisory relationship to the Board within 10 days of the termination.

The Board must receive a signed Veterinary Assistant Controlled Substances Permit Holder / Licensee Manager Agreement and a Licensee Manager Acknowledgement from the new Premises Licensee Manager supervisor before you can obtain or administer controlled substances.

5. What about if I move to a different practice- do I need to update my registration?

Yes. You are required to have your current Address of Record, Work Location and Premises Licensee Manager supervisor on file with the Board. The Board must be notified within 30 days of any change to these or you may be subject to a fine.

6. How long does the permit last?

Initial permits will not be issued for less than 13 months and no more than 24 months. Following your initial permit period, your permit will renew biennially (every two (2) years).

For initial permits, the Board utilizes a birth month renewal system. The month in which you were born determines your initial permit period. For example, if you applied for your permit in January and were born in July, your initial permit period will expire two (2) birth months from application date, making the initial permit period 19 months.

7. Do I need to display my license?

Yes, subject to provisions in CCR section 2087.3 the VACSP should be either prominently displayed in the animal hospital setting or the permit holder shall wear a name tag identifying them as a VACSP holder.