RCVS Recognised Specialist status is not easily achieved. To be included on the List of Recognised Specialists, an individual must have achieved a postgraduate qualification at least at Diploma level, and must additionally satisfy the RCVS that they make an active contribution to their specialty, have national and international acclaim and publish widely in their field.
A Recognised Specialist must also be available for referral by other veterinary colleagues.
Recognised Specialist status is time-bound, and the individual must reapply for recognition every five years (or earlier in certain cases) to maintain their name on the List.
Please use the links below to navigate this page, and also refer to the ‘Related documents’ box – top right, where further information is available for download.
The objectives of the RCVS Recognised Specialist List include the following:
to promote specialisation within the veterinary profession;
to identify, for the public and the profession, veterinarians who have specialised knowledge and skills; who are active practitioners within a recognised field of specialisation; who maintain specialised competence through continuing professional development;
to encourage veterinary surgeons to refer cases, as appropriate, to RCVS Recognised Specialists;
to recognise specialised competence in key areas, where there are suitable postgraduate qualifications.
Recognition as a Specialist by the RCVS is based upon the following criteria:
Possession of an RCVS, or RCVS-approved diploma, or other relevant postgraduate qualification;
being acknowledged by peers in the area of specialisation;
maintaining acceptable continuing professional development (CPD), e.g. through publication, teaching, reviewing, examining, attending and participating in national and international meetings within the specialised field;
being available for referral by other veterinary colleagues;
being a current active practitioner within the specialised field.
Applications for inclusion on the list of RCVS Recognised Specialists (or re-applications for those whose initial period of recognition has expired) are considered once a year.
Applications received in September are considered by a sub-committee which meets in January, and recommendations are passed to RCVS Council each February before being published in the next edition of the RCVS Registers and Directory.
If you are interested in applying for inclusion on the list of RCVS Recognised Specialists, you can either download the Recognised Specialist information pack from the 'Related documents' box - top right, or contact Janet Etheridge at the RCVS.
Those applicants who download the Referees form are requested to provide each of their Referees with an envelope addressed to the Education Department.