Frequently asked questions

Below you'll find answers to the most commonly asked questions about the CertAVP.

How can I enrol for a modular certificate?

You will need to enrol with the RCVS and also with the module provider. To enrol with the RCVS please download the enrolment form from the 'Related documents' box.  

Candidates will have the option to enrol for individual or multiple modules, or for the full certificate.

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Why do I have to enrol with the RCVS, as well as the university?

Enrolling with the RCVS means that we will keep a record of your credits, wherever you achieve them. It also enables us to keep in touch with you and let you know about any new developments, modules or courses. Please note that you cannot earn credits towards an RCVS qualification unless you are enrolled with us.

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How long is the enrolment period?

The maximum enrolment period is up to 10 years, subject to payment of an annual renewal fee.

This time limit begins from the date that you passed your first module.

You may take your synoptic exam outside this time limit.

Modules taken at the beginning of the programme may have to be re-assessed if the 10 year time limit is exceeded. 

If you wish to take more than one designation you do not need to repeat applicable modules already achieved unless they fall outside the 10 year time limit.

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How much will enrolment cost?

To enrol with the RCVS, you will pay an initial fee, which is renewable each year (if paid by Direct Debit). Please check our Fees page for the most up to date fees. Enrolment fees at universities will vary - please contact the university offering your module(s) for advice.

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Can I claim credit/equivalence for previously achieved qualifications

In some circumstances you may be able to claim equivalence for previously achieved qualifications. Please complete and return the CertAVP Equivalence Form available to download in the 'Related documents' box below. 

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I'm currently enrolled for an RCVS Certificate. Can I transfer to the new modular certificate system?

It is now too late to transfer from the 'old' certificate scheme, but you may enrol on the modular certificate system as a new candidate.

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What experience do I need?

You must hold a veterinary qualification which would entitle you to register as a member of the RCVS, and you must have at least one year's experience working as a practising veterinary surgeon before enrolling for any module and be able to provide evidence of CPD for that period. If you graduated in 2007 or later, you will be expected to have completed the RCVS Professional Development Phase (PDP) before enrolling for any modules. (PDP counts as CPD for graduates in their first year of practice).

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What modules are available?

View the list of modules.

This is periodically updated, as new modules become available. 

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Why are some modules compulsory?

The A-Foundations of Advanced Veterinary Practice.1 module is compulsory for all CertAVP candidates. These cover skills that the RCVS considers important for all competent veterinarians to be able to demonstrate, whatever their area of practice. The inclusion of modules covering essential key professional and clinical skills is designed to ensure that topics which are of importance to all areas of practice - including welfare and ethics, biosecurity, and evidence-based approaches to medicine - are covered by everyone achieving the qualification.

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What qualification will I get?

The qualification is the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (CertAVP).

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How many credits do I need to get the CertAVP?

You need to obtain 60 credits to obtain a CertAVP qualification. This will be made up of the A-Foundations of Advanced Veterinary Practice module (10 credits), at least one B-module (10 credits) and either four C-modules or a combination of B and C modules to a total of 40 credits.

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What is a 'designated certificate'?

A designated certificate is a specific modular route leading to a named qualification - for example CertAVP (Equine Stud Medicine) or CertAVP (Small Animal Practice). To obtain a designated certificate, you will need to choose your modules carefully from a limited list. Most designated certificates will also require a separate final assessment (synoptic assessment) once all the modules have been passed.

If you wish to take more than one designated certificate you must take the appropriate combination of modules for this next designation, although you do not have to repeat modules. If your original 60 credits already cover the combination of modules you must take at least one further module before taking the next synoptic exam.

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Are there any combinations of C-modules that are not permitted?

No, you can do any combination of C-modules, although certain combinations are required for designated certificates.

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What happens if I change my mind about which modules or certificate I want to do?

Just let us know. You can change your mind about which modules to do at any time, but you should let the RCVS know, so we can keep track of your achievements. Call the Education Department on 020 7202 0778 or email

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Do I need to go on a course to get a module?

No, universities and other CPD providers will offer courses covering the module content, but all modules will be available via an assessment-only route for candidates who wish to study in their own time.

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What is the relationship between the CertAVP and the BSAVA/NTU certificate qualification?

Please refer to the document: 'BSAVA/RCVS position statement' in the 'Related documents' box, at the bottom of this page.

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How do I get my Certificate and confirm my post nominals?

If you are taking a synoptic exam your provider will notify the RCVS when you have passed and you will automatically be sent a designated certificate and confirmation of your post nominals. If you do not wish to take a synoptic exam within the next six months and have passed six appropriate modules please complete and return the form in the related documents box by email and we will verify your records and issue you with a CertAVP certificate and confirm that you may use your CertAVP post nominal.

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How can I get information or advice about modular certificates?

You can contact the Education Department at the RCVS on 020 7202 0791 or email

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