PAVA Recognized Vocologist Instructions

Please read through this entire page and supporting documents thoroughly before submitting your application. It is recommended that you watch the June 2022 webinar on this page before beginning your application. The webinar contains a detailed discussion of this process, including showing examples of portfolio items. The instructions on this page are downloadable here. If you have questions about the PAVA-RV, please contact the PAVA-RV Committee at


Welcome to the PAVA-Recognized Vocologist Application process!

The Application is divided into three basic areas: 

1. Application and Fees

2. PAVA-RV Exam

3. Portfolio

This document will take you through the three steps. 

What is PAVA-RV?: 

PAVA-RV recognizes your established professional credentials and multidisciplinary understanding of, and experience in vocology. Obtaining PAVA Recognition indicates that one has demonstrated knowledge and experiences across vocology disciplines but does not constitute an evaluation or endorsement of the application of this knowledge. It will not train or certify you in voice habilitation, rehabilitation, or any other vocology discipline. Obtaining PAVA recognition shall not be considered in any way a form of license or credential to practice within any field of vocology. It is the organization’s recognition of knowledge, training, and experience.

PAVA-RV is granted to members of good standing and it is expected that they follow the PAVA Code of Ethics. Violations of the Code of Ethics will be addressed by the Ethics Committee according to the PAVA Grievance Policy.

Before you begin, this page will provide an overview of the PAVA-Recognized Vocologist process:


When you are ready to begin this process, you will click the link found at the end of this document to submit your payment and fill out the initial application form. When you have submitted a one-time payment of $100, you will receive the Study Guide in preparation for the test. This date of application begins an 18-month timeline. Please apply only when you are ready to begin this process in a timely fashion. 

You must be a Full Member of PAVA in good standing to apply.

How much time will I have to complete the process? 

You will have 18 months (one year and one-half) from the date of your application to complete the PAVA-RV Exam with a passing score and to receive approval of your portfolio. 

Should the 18 month timeline elapse, you will be charged $50 for an application renewal to extend the process an additional year. 

All successful PAVA-RV applicants who complete the process six (6) weeks before the Symposium will be recognized at the PAVA Symposium of that year. 

The PAVA-RV Exam:

The Exam contains 200 questions from a broad range of Vocology subject areas: 

Voice Physiology and Function: 

Basic Voice Anatomy

Biomechanics and muscle physiology

Breathing and Aerodynamics

Laryngeal changes through the lifespan 

Perception and Instrumentation:  

Basic Acoustics

Fundamental frequency, register, and vibrato

Instrumentation for voice analysis

Perception of vocalization/psychoacoustics


Voice Training & Habilitation:

Amplified singing in contemporary styles 


Choral and ensemble voice

Skill acquisition and perceptual motor learning

Unamplified singing in classical styles

Voice Habilitation and Hygiene

Voice for the actor 


Other Areas of Vocology: 

Primal and animal vocalization

Transgender voice

Voice disorders and rehabilitation 


All questions will be single answer multiple choice, true/false, or matching. 

You will receive a Study Guide when you apply for PAVA-RV. The study guide provides: 

  • Key concepts, definitions, and vocabulary in each of the subject areas 

  • Sample questions

  • Free web-accessible articles (current from the day of publication) from an array of sources. 

  • Additional articles that may be found through research websites

  • Additional resources for deeper learning. 

Once begun, you will have 3 hours to complete the test, which must be completed in one sitting. 

At the beginning and end of the exam, you will be required to agree to the following: 

I understand that I am taking an exam which contains content spanning numerous vocology disciplines. The content for this exam was initially curated and vetted by the Standards and Selections Committee and the Exam and Study Guide were created by the PAVA-RV Implementation Committee. The Exam and Study Guide were beta tested by a diverse group of PAVA members from varied levels of experience, backgrounds, and vocology disciplines. The passing score was determined based on the results of this beta testing process. 

The passing score for the PAVA-RV test is 75% or above. I acknowledge that I will receive a PASS or DID NOT PASS result, and I understand that in order to maintain test integrity, only percentages of correct answers per content area will be provided to me. I will not receive feedback on individual answers."

I understand that obtaining PAVA recognition should not be considered in any way a form of  license or credential to practice within any field of vocology. It is only a recognition of knowledge, training, and experience.

Important: You may only take the test 2 times within 18 months after the initial application date before an application renewal is required. You may take the test on your own schedule within that time and must allow 60 days (2 months) between attempts. 

To allow for a possible second attempt, your first testing session should take place no later than the 16-month mark. 

Currently, the test is only being offered in English. The PAVA-RV Implementation Committee is pursuing translation for our members whose primary language is not English. 


The portfolio contains two main sections: Established Professional Practice Portfolio and Multidisciplinary Experience Portfolio.

Established Professional Practice Portfolio allows applicants to show the work that they have done in their primary Vocology profession and what they have done to remain current in their field. In this portfolio, applicants will submit materials according to prescribed criteria demonstrating that they are currently engaged in one profession that aligns most with their day-to-day work.

The professional practice categories are: 

Acting and speaking voice habilitation

  • An acting or speaking voice habilitator or teacher focuses on the process of building, 

strengthening, and coordinating vocal production to meet specific acting or speaking demands. 

Choral conducting

  • A choral conductor leads a vocal ensemble or singing group (e.g., church, school, other 

performance venues).


  • Laryngologists are licensed medical doctors dealing with disorders, diseases, and 

injuries of the larynx.

Manual therapy and bodywork

  • A manual therapist provides active and passive hands-on treatment for therapeutic purposes, while a bodywork practitioner provides active habilitation of posture, alignment, and movement.  

Music education

  • An educator focuses on K-6 general or 6-12 vocal music education (public or private). 


  • A public speaker, actor, and/or singer presents recorded and/or live material to an audience for the purpose of entertainment.

Singing voice habilitation

  • A singing voice habilitator or teacher focuses on the process of building, strengthening, 

and coordinating vocal production to meet specific singing demands. 

Speech language pathology

  • Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are certified, licensed healthcare workers who work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.

Vocal coaching and music directing

  • A vocal coach and/or music director focuses on dramatic and musical interpretation of sung material.

Voice science and vocology research 

  • Researchers scientifically study and investigate vocology and vocology-related topics through non-experimental and/or experimental methodologies (e.g., quantitative, qualitative, historical, philosophical, descriptive). 

What goes into my Established Practice Portfolio? 

By using a point system, the applicant will provide supporting documentation demonstrating that they have been engaged in a specific, primary professional practice through proof of employment, practice, education, coursework, scholarship, and licensure. Due to the rigor of this portfolio, applicants must have at least five years of experience in this primary practice. 

Multidisciplinary Experience Portfolio (MDE) seeks to recognize vocologists who have sought out an understanding of the other vocology disciplines, as those other disciplines inform their primary practice. Each applicant will be required to demonstrate knowledge, experience, and expertise in three other Vocology fields using this profile. The Multidisciplinary Experience Portfolio does not give any applicant the authority to practice outside their own established professional practice. 

The Multidisciplinary Experience Portfolio utilizes all of the areas as the Established Professional Practice Portfolio with the addition of: 

Applied Vocology Publishing

  • Professionals from all vocology disciplines who write and publish articles and/or books in the application of vocology principles within their primary professions. 

What goes into my MDE portfolio? 

By using a point system, the applicant will add up education and experiences, demonstrating that they have been engaged in a range of vocology disciplines. These criteria are not as rigorous as the Established Professional Practice Portfolio. All disciplines in the Multidisciplinary Experience Portfolio will require 3 points to confirm completion. 

1 Point Experiences 

       Observations (10 hours)

       Receiving applied individual instruction (5 hours)

       Conference/workshop attendance (10 hours)

       Poster presentation

       Active work in the field 

2 Point Experiences


       Academic coursework (1 semester)

       Non-academic coursework 

       Methodology certification

       Talk/presentation at a conference 

3 Point Experiences


       Advanced application, such as research or publishing 

How do I organize my portfolio?

Each category has been given a checklist, which you may find below.

Using a unique checklist for each vocology area, the applicant will Using the checklist, collect supporting documents to add up to the points necessary to complete the requirements of the subject area. When you have completed this, create a single, shareable PDF for each category: 

1 PDF Established Professional Practice Portfolio

3 PDFs Multidisciplinary Experience Portfolio

You will submit all paperwork for these categories using the Google Form whose link you will receive when you apply. 

All file names should include your name: 

Doe, John Laryngology EPP

Doe, John Choral Conducting MDE 

Please submit your documentation in the same order as the checklist/cover sheet.

Who will be evaluating my portfolio?

Your portfolio will be evaluated by the PAVA-RV committee. The committee is comprised of members of PAVA who have successfully completed the PAVA-RV process. These committee members come from a wide array of vocology backgrounds.

What Constitutes Evidence?

Every applicant must supply a variety of clear, legible, and appropriate supporting documentation for each area of the portfolio. This documentation must be submitted so that the Portfolio Evaluation Committee may clearly see that the criteria have been met. 

The checklist allows for the applicant to explain or describe the documentation where necessary. Feel free to provide any details you feel will help clarify or enhance your application.

Choose from the following to supply your evidence. There is no need to provide documentation over and above that which is requested: 

 Letter of employment

 Letter of appointment

 Include dates, hours of employment (where applicable), and contact information

 Letter of observership

 Letter of mentorship

 Include objectives, hours, and contact information

 Official Transcript Highlight or mark relevant coursework

 Certification of Completion

 Certificate of Attendance

 A letter from an official administrator may be used when a certificate of attendance or receipt  is not attainable. 
 Conferences Receipt of registration


  • 8 hours/full day
  • 4 hours/half day

 Letter of acceptance


 Links to professional website University, Union, or other agencies for EPP
 Links to personal (professional)  website May be used for MDE only
 Links to organizational tools  Acuity 

 Music Teacher’s Helper

 (or similar program to show hours taught)



 Links to IMDB, IBDB or similar database

 Spotify, YouTube, or similar platform links

 Press Releases



 Publications Links to articles

 Links to publishing websites

 Links to book chapters

If you would like to submit another artifact that is not listed, feel free to do so. Please place all documents in the same order as the checklist.

The committee asks that you redact private or personal information where appropriate. 

What is the timeline to complete my portfolio?

All portfolio submissions should allow two months for committee review and feedback. To allow for possible revisions, you should submit the portfolio before the 16 month mark. 

Renewal: How long does my PAVA Recognition last? 

Once you receive PAVA Recognition, you will need to continue to be a member in good standing of PAVA in order to maintain that designation. 

In order to maintain your PAVA Recognition, you will need to satisfy a number of requirements every three years to demonstrate continued learning and active membership in the organization. 

During that three years, you will need to:

  • Attend one PAVA Symposium in person (3D) OR one PAVA Symposium online (2D)


Demonstrate ongoing annual participation in PAVA as evidenced by one of the following: 

  • Holding office at the local or Board level for PAVA
  • Active participation on a standing PAVA committee
  • Presentation at a PAVA event
  • Attendance/participation at a PAVA webinar
  • Attendance/participation at a local/chapter event for PAVA

It will be your responsibility to keep an updated account of these events for PAVA-RV maintenance.

A probationary period will be prescribed for people who need additional time to meet this minimum criteria. 

To begin the PAVA-RV process, please submit the application form below and submit payment. 

PAVA is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization136 S. Main St., Ste. 320, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software