Making the Case for CAWA

5 key talking points for getting buy-in (and yes, funding) from your supervisor

If you read this blog or receive The Association’s weekly newsletter, you know we love talking about the accomplishments of industry leaders who have completed the Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) program. Becoming a CAWA makes you a stand-out, as you hold the only leadership credential in the animal welfare profession.

We know that sometimes it’s not up to you to decide if you are able to participate. Aside from financial considerations, juggling exam prep with the rest of work and home life can seem difficult, especially if you’re on a lean team. That said, making time for personal growth can allow you to better support your organization’s mission.  

When proposing the program to your supervisor, consider hitting these 5 key talking-points

  • Emphasize the specific skills you’d like to strengthen or develop by studying for the CAWA exam. Connect the projects you’re working on and areas you’re trying to develop with specific CAWA exam topic areas.
  • Develop and share your plan for exam preparation and managing other priorities.
  • Find ways to reduce program costs, such as taking advantage of the discount given with membership in The Association, or by accessing the reference materials through libraries, online rentals, and colleagues.
  • Remind your supervisor that staff with professional credentials can be helpful to your organization when applying for grants. Your CAWA credentials demonstrate that your organization has well-rounded experience and unique animal welfare knowledge to support your agency’s mission and long-term growth.
  • Offer to prepare and deliver a short presentation post-exam for your colleagues about your key learnings from the exam reference materials. That way others in your organization will get the benefits of your participation—and may be inspired to join you.

You can also download and customize this sample letter to your supervisor. And please reach out to certification@theaawa.org if we can further assist. We look forward to supporting on your CAWA journey, from preparation and planning to sitting for the exam.

More on CAWA

Quiz: Am I Eligible for the CAWA Exam?
Quiz: Take a Mini CAWA Exam
Complete Program Details

Photo: The Jopwell Collection/Unsplash


The Association is the only international society of leaders actively leading and managing community animal shelters/animal control agencies.


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