This paper traces the development the Village Animal Health Worker (VAHW) training programme in Nepal developed by the United Mission to Nepal (UMN). After twenty years the VAHWs had no official recognition or legal registration. Discussion led to the following criteria to be established in order to gain certification, and the equivalent of a 'level one' post in the civil service: VAHWs to complete a two-week training course; a six-month post-training review by trainers; eligibility for the skills test examination after one year's experience.|Overall, government certification and recognition has been an important step in the development of VAHWs. It allows them to play a critical role in national animal health programmes, and extends the reach of veterinary services to those who would otherwise have no services. Yet this process has tended to devalue those who have not been able to achieve certification, such as those who lack formal education standards.