Frequently Asked Questions

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Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation & Online Classes

Become a Rehabilitator & Membership


JWR & Licensing

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.

Can I take the Basic Wildlife Rehabiltation class online?

Yes! Basic Wildlife Rehabiliation is now offered online as well as in-person. This unique online experience allows students the opportunity to interact instructors, fellow classmates, as well as gain hands-on experience during the class’ interactive lab all via ZOOM.

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

No licensing is provided by taking the Basic class or any of our classes. 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.

I am ready to take the Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation class. Why is nothing available right now online or in person? 

Generally, classes are offered fall through spring. Registration for classes are usually available starting in late July for early fall classes and continues through spring, winding up by the end of April. So start looking at the course page starting mid to late July for fall registrations.

How much does the Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation class cost online or in-person? 

Click here to see a breakdown of costs for North American classes. Classes outside of North America may vary on the country they are held in.

Online Classes

How do your online courses work?

All online courses are on demand with the exception of Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation ONLINE which is a hybrid class. Hybrid and live classes 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.

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 one of our in-person classes or take the CWR exam.

How to become a rehabilitator

What do I need to know?

As a prospective wildlife rehabilitator, the list of required knowledge includes wildlife conservation and medical ethics, natural history, basic pathology, parasitology, zoonoses, anatomy, nutrition, and animal behavior. Read the full article here.


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, an online web only version of Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation, discounts on courses and selected books as well as voting privileges in board elections. Organizational members are also able designate team members and to eligible to apply for the IWRC Practicum Accreditation.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation

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

Licensing and Injured Animals

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.

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. To find a rehabilitator in the United States only, visit Animal Help Now.