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Welcome to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Overseas qualified veterinary nurses

Application to assess an overseas veterinary nursing qualification

This assessment is to determine an applicant's eligibility to be included on the RCVS Register of Veterinary Nurses.

1.  In order to work as a registered veterinary nurse in the UK, an applicant who has trained outside the UK will be required to apply for consideration of their qualification and home registration status in comparison with the UK qualification and other registration criteria before registration as a UK veterinary nurse can take place.

Please note that a qualified veterinary surgeon who does not also hold an appropriate veterinary nursing qualification may not apply for registration as the training and competences are significantly different.

Applicants can download an application pack from the 'Related documents' box, or request one from the Veterinary Nursing Department.

Applicants will be required to submit the following information (in some cases using standard application forms contained in the pack):

  • A copy of their certificate for their professional qualification (we will need to witness the original certificate prior to their name being entered onto the Register of Veterinary Nurses)
  • A copy of their birth and, if applicable, marriage certificates.
  • A statement of their relevant employment experience, with dates, to include a description of the nature of work undertaken by the applicant in veterinary nursing practice. This is for reference purposes, except for those who are a citizen of and qualified in the European Union in which case experience can be taken into account when determining eligibility to register.
  • A statement of verification by their employer(s).
  • A copy of their  qualification syllabus (an official, detailed description of the course content and assessment methods) (if applicable).
  • A transcript of the education and training undertaken in order to gain their present qualifications.
  • Official confirmation from their regulatory body of their current status as a Veterinary Nurse
  • An application fee - see our fees page for details
  • Any of the above documents which are not written in English must be accompanied by an officially certified translation.

2.  Citizens of the European Union who are registered as veterinary nurses in their home country may be able to register directly without assessment; please contact the RCVS to discuss this prior to submitting an application.

3.  The evidence provided by the applicant will be compared with the competences laid down in the RCVS Day One Competences for Veterinary Nurses and the RCVS Day One Skills for Veterinary Nurses. The assessment of qualifications will take place in consultation with the Qualifications Review Officer.

4.  Where evidence demonstrates that an applicant is eligible to register as a veterinary nurse in the UK, he/she will be invited to apply to enter the Register of Veterinary Nurses. This will involve completion of a registration application and payment of the initial registration fee - see our fees page for the current fee. An annual retention fee is payable by all registered veterinary nurses.

5.  If our registration criteria are not met, the applicant will be required to undertake compensatory measures before being admitted to the list.

The applicant may be required to enrol as a veterinary nurse student. Following successful completion of any required additional training and/or assessment, the applicant will be able to apply to enter the Register of Veterinary Nurses.

Where the evidence indicates that the qualification obtained by the applicant does not equate in any way to the UK qualification, the applicant will be required to obtain employment as a veterinary nurse student in an approved Training and Assessment Practice, and to complete the full course of training and assessments in order to be eligible for registration as a veterinary nurse. 

Please note that, at a minimum, non-EU applicants should expect to be required to undertake our pre-registration OSCE (practical examination) prior to registration. There will be a further fee for this  please see our fees page for details.

6.  Information on the pre-registration practical examination is provided in the pre-registration examination guidance handbook which can be downloaded from the related documents section.

7.  Some applicants may be informed that they must undertake a Period of Supervised Adaptation (PSA) before applying to enter the Register.  Applicants who need to pass the RCVS pre-registration examination and are employed in a veterinary practicve will also need to enrol for the Period of Supervised Adaptation. Full details are given in the PSA Guidance handbook.

8.  The time taken to process an application from receipt of all the required documentation from the applicant is approximately 6-8 weeks.

9.  Applicants should note that registration as a veterinary nurse does not confer the automatic right to work in the UK, and applicants should ensure that they arrange whatever work permits are required.

Please contact the Veterinary Nursing Department with any queries.


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