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I trained as a veterinary surgeon. Can I register as a veterinary nurse in the UK?

Veterinary surgeons who do not also hold an appropriate veterinary nursing qualification may not apply for registration as a veterinary nurse. Please contact our Registration Team who will assist you to register as a veterinary surgeon on  020 7202 0707 or

Related FAQs

  • Due to strict legislation in the UK it is not possible for you to complete your veterinary nurse education in the UK unless the qualification is accredited by the RCVS. In some circumstances you may be able to complete a short period of work experience in the UK while completing your studies. You are advised to contact us to discuss the training that you have undertaken so that we can advise you further.

  • If you completed your qualification via distance learning your qualification will be carefully scrutinised, especially if the qualification was completed while you lived outside of the country where the college is based. We may contact your course provider for further information. If we believe that your qualification was achieved without the necessary quality checks then your application may be rejected.

  • Applicants must provide evidence of their good standing.  There are two ways you can provide this. 

    If you are registered as a veterinary nurse elsewhere then you must ask the organisation you are registered with to provide a ‘Letter or Certificate of good standing’.  They will confirm that you:

    • are or have been registered with them as a veterinary nurse;
    • have not been the subject of any disciplinary enquiries and that there are no disciplinary findings against you.

    If you are unable to provide a ‘Letter or Certificate of good standing’, you will need to demonstrate evidence of your good standing by completing an affidavit or declaration. 

    The affidavit or declaration is made by you on oath, or in solemn form, before a competent judicial or administrative authority or notary public. The affidavit will confirm:

    • The school and date you obtained your qualification;
    • The specific reason you are not currently registered with a regulatory authority outside the UK eg there is no regulator authority equivalent to the RCVS in the country you trained in;
    • You have not been found guilty of serious professional misconduct or employment disciplinary proceedings in the UK or elsewhere;
    • You have not been convicted of any criminal offences in the UK or elsewhere.
  • The RCVS does not issue permits for entry to work in the UK and is unable to provide advice on such matters. Acceptance of your application by the RCVS does not mean that a permit to enter and work in the UK will be granted.

    Information and assistance can be obtained from the UK Government’s website on visas and immigration.

  • We strongly advise you to have a positive response to your application before coming to the UK. You can seek employment while waiting for your application to be processed, but you are advised to inform your employer that you are not yet registered.

  • We hold a list of people educated outside the UK who have permission to work in a practice under supervision.  You and your employer will need to complete a form detailing your place of work and who will supervise and mentor you. 

  • If you intend to work as a veterinary nurse in the UK, you must register with the RCVS.  In most cases, applicants complete assessment requirements within 6 to 12 months.