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1. How do I become a CWR?

Wildlife rehabilitator certification is exam-based. The only requirement to become a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator (CWR) is to take and pass the CWR exam.

The Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator program is available to all that apply — there are no eligibility requirements.


2. If I become a CWR how much CE do I need to fulfill each year?

Certification expires two years from the date of issue listed on the CWR Certificate and must be renewed every two years to remain valid. Certification Renewal Candidates must accrue and show proof of two continuing education units (CEU) during this two-year certification period to qualify for renewal.


3. If I become a CWR what kind of wildlife can I rehabilitate?

The Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator™ program provides a reliable validation of knowledge that will accelerate professional development and enhance credibility in the field of wildlife rehabilitation.  It does not provide you with the rehabilitation skills to care for specific species of wildlife, or exempt you from existing governmental laws and/or permits required to rehabilitate wildlife.


4. What classes do I need to take to become a CWR?

No classes are required to be taken to become a CWR. Wildlife rehabilitator certification is exam-based. The only requirement to become a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator (CWR) is to take and pass the CWR exam.

The Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator program is available to all that apply–there are no eligibility requirements.


5. If I take an IWRC class including the Basic Class does that mean I’m certified?

No. After the completion and passing of an IWRC class, a certificate of completion will be provided to you but it does not mean that you are CWR certified or legally licensed. In order to be CWR certified, it requires that you take and pass the CWR exam. In order to be licensed you must comply with your country’s legal requirements.


6. If I take the Basic class what kind of license do I get?

No licensing is provided by taking the Basic class.  Some states and provinces require that you take the Basic class in order to be eligible for a wildlife rehabilitation permit. Please contact your local conservation officer or game warden for more information pertaining to permits or visit our page on How To Become A Wildlife Rehabilitator.


7. Can I take Basic class online?

IWRC offers some courses online such as oil spill volunteering, pain management and parasitology. Other courses, such as the Basic class, are offered only as an in-person course.  This offers students the unique opportunity to interact face-to-face with instructors, as well as gain hands-on experience during the Basic class’ interactive lab.


8. How do your online courses work?

Most of our online courses are on demand (if they are not they will say “live” and have dates listed on the registration page). On demand courses include video lectures, some additional readings or worksheets, and an online exam. The online on demand courses are designed to be flexible.  You can start and stop them, return later, and pause when you need to.

The videos are streamed over the Internet. Our online courses have been tested on Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari and currently work on all recent versions of these programs. Old versions are not supported. We suggest using Firefox or Chrome for best results.


9. I’ve taken all the online classes, now what?

Have you taken all of IWRC’s online classes and are looking for more continuing education opportunities? Consider attending IWRC’s symposium, attending one of our in-person classes or take the CWR.


10. What is the difference between licensing, permitting, and certification?

Certification is a professional designation of knowledge. Licensing and permitting are legal functions required by many countries and by all US states and Canadian provinces to take care of wildlife. Many places also allow for volunteers or sub-permittees working with already licensed rehabilitators, so each individual at a center does not need to be permitted.


11. What are some of IWRC’s membership benefits?

As a member of IWRC you have access to member-only benefits such as our unique webinars, online Kcal and Drug calculators, access to job postings and animal placements as well as a current membership directory. It also includes our peer-reviewed Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation, a copy of the Minimum Standards document, discounts on courses, literature orders and symposia as well as voting privileges in board elections. Organizational members will also be able to participate in the IWRC Practicum Accreditation beginning in 2015.


12. How can I renew my membership?

Your membership can be renewed online through IWRC’s online store or even easier, sign-up for an automatic renewal. Additionally you can call 866-871-1869 x0 to renew or send a check and this form to the office.


13. I would like to submit an article to the Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation. How do I do this?

All submissions should be accompanied by a cover letter stating the intent of the author(s) to submit the manuscript exclusively for publication in the JWR. Electronic submissions are required; hard-copy manuscripts are not accepted. The manuscript file should be attached to the submission letter (which can be the body of your email) and sent to jwr.editor@theiwrc.org


14. I found an injured animal. Can IWRC take it?

IWRC is available to help individuals connect with wildlife rehabilitators internationally. Visit our Emergency page to find out what you need to consider about finding wildlife in distress, and how you can find a rehabilitator closest to you.