Requirements for the registration of eligible AVMA/CVMA accredited veterinary surgeons
Are you eligible?
The AVMA Council on Education (COE) provides the RCVS with a listing of US and Canadian schools/colleges of veterinary medicine and their accreditation status, together with a copy of the relevant AVMA evaluation report. We can only accept applications for registration (licensure) if:
a. your school/college was accredited at the time of your graduation;
b. your degree includes all the skills and knowledge required to meet the European Union minimum training requirements (as set out in Article 38 and Annex 5.4.1 of Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament);
c. your scores for the NBE/CCT or NAVLE meet RCVS requirements:
i. for tests taken after 1992 you must have achieved a score of 425 or over;
ii. for tests taken before 1992, your score must be no more than 1 standard deviation below the mean.
Canadian applicants only who graduated before 1 March 2001 should apply for registration using the Commonwealth countries route, unless you graduated from the University of Montreal Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
Please note, if you have previously sat all or part of the RCVS statutory membership examination you are not unfortunately eligible for registration under this agreement and will be required to complete the RCVS statutory membership examination. Please contact a member of the Registration Department on 020 7202 0707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s involved in the registration process
The application process takes 15 working days from the moment we receive your application form, all your required documents in the correct format and your payment. However, we recommend you submit your application, including all documents and payment, at least eight weeks before you intend to start working in the UK. (We receive a high volume of applications and cannot guarantee that you will get your preferred registration appointment date if you submit your application later than this.)
You must submit all the documents listed below before your registration appointment. (We cannot process your application or confirm your appointment unless we have received all your documents.)
We will email you within three working days of submitting your application, to confirm successful receipt.
We will email you within 15 working days to confirm your registration appointment, or if we have a question about your application.
If you have any questions about the registration process, either before or during your application, please contact the Registration Department on 020 7202 0707 or email@example.com.
What you need to send to us
You will need to send us the following:
1. Completed Initial Enquiry Form for USA and Canadian Graduates (This can be downloaded from the 'Related documents' box);
2. A photocopy of the identifying page and front cover of your valid passport. (For security purposes we electronically screen all identity documents and any issues are automatically reported to the Home Office and police);
3. An A4 photocopy of your primary veterinary qualification certificate;
4. Payment in full of your initial registration fee;
5. A letter or certificate of good standing
- This must be supplied by your current registration/licensing authority. This will need to state that you are:
a. registered to practice as a veterinary surgeon by that authority;
b. of good professional standing and good character, and there is no charge of unprofessional conduct or a criminal offence outstanding against you, including, where relevant, details of any cautions or criminal convictions (including absolute and conditional discharges and spent convictions) and/or any adverse findings (including professional disciplinary proceedings) against you.
- The letter/ certificate will need to be addressed and sent directly to the RCVS. The letter/certificate is only valid for three months from the date of issue and must cover the period you intend to register.
6. Verification of the passing scores for the NAVLE examination(s);
7. Official transcript of your degree results showing subjects studies and credits obtained, or other comprehensive listing of the modules/subjects studied for the degree.
Supplying your information
You can supply all the information above yourself, and through your State Board, by either post, email or fax. Please see our contact details at the bottom of this page.
Alternatively, you can ask the American Association of Veterinary State Boards' Veterinary Information Verifying Agency (VIVA) to supply the following information:-
- An A4 photocopy of your primary veterinary qualification certificate
- Verification of the passing scores for the NAVLE examination(s);
Please note you will still need to supply us with a copy of your passport, a transcript of your degree and a letter of good standing yourself. This cannot be provided by VIVA.
Please visit VIVA's website at www.aavsb.org. for further information and associated charges.
Please note - We will send you a confirmation email within 3 working days of receiving your application to confirm it has been successfully received. If you are sending your documents by email, due to the large size of some of the attachments, please ensure you receive a confirmation email of receipt, as this guarantees your application has been successfully received. We recommend you send large attachments over several emails.
Your registration appointment
We will need to have received all your documentation and payment in full before we can confirm your registration appointment.
Registration appointments take place at 11am on most Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the year at the RCVS offices in Westminster, London. Please note dates can become fully booked very early, so please provide two preferred registration dates.
You will need to bring;
- the originals of all the documents you submitted (as listed above)
- your original passport to the registration appointment.
We cannot accept certified copies of documents. Failure to supply the correct documents will result in you not being able to complete your registration and you will need to attend a second registration appointment.
Your registration fee
The registration fee covers your membership (registration/licensure) up to 31 March following your date of your registration and the amount will vary depending on this date.
Please allow seven working days for payment to clear. Payment will need to have cleared before we can confirm your registration appointment.
How to pay
You can pay by:
Cheque - drawn on a UK bank made payable to the ‘Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ (please allow at least 14 days for clearance)
Card payment – we accept Visa and Mastercard
For your own security we cannot accept card payments by email. Card payments can only be accepted by completing and returning the separate 'Card payment authorisation form' (This can be downloaded from the 'Related Documents' box)
Banker's draft – payable to the ‘Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ (please write your name on the back of your payment)
UK postal order – available from UK Post Offices, payable to the ‘Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ (please write your name on the back of your payment)
- Bank transfer - You will be sent our bank details once your documentation has been processed.
Our contact details
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
62-64 Horseferry Road
T 020 7202 0707
F 020 7202 0740
Visa / immigration / work permit requirements
Membership of the RCVS licenses you to practise veterinary surgery in the UK. It does not exempt you from UK entry visa or immigration requirements. Applicants are advised to ascertain these before attempting entry into the UK. Information and assistance can be obtained from the British Embassies or Consulates in the USA and Canada or UK Visas and Immigration.
Applicants seeking long-term employment in the UK may need a work permit, which can only be obtained by an employer.