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Advanced Practitioner status

The application window for 2024 will open on 4 March 2024. Applications can be made via My Account. The closing date for all applications is 31 October 2024.

For those due to re-apply in 2024, details of your re-application window will be emailed to you in due course. 

‘Advanced Practitioner’ is an official recognition of a veterinary surgeon’s particular knowledge and skills in a designated field of veterinary practice. 

The List of RCVS Advanced Practitioners provides a clear indication to the profession and the public of those veterinary surgeons who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in a particular area of veterinary practice beyond their initial primary veterinary degree.

Advanced Practitioners should demonstrate:

  • Advanced problem solving skills
  • Advanced and current knowledge and understanding in their area of expertise
  • Advanced professional skills and commitment to the continuing improvement of personal and professional practice
  • Awareness of their own limitation in their designated areas, referring to specialist where appropriate
  • Involvement with their subject/species community

You can view the List of RCVS Advanced Practitioners by subject area on our Find a Vet website.

Advanced Practitioner criteria

Initial accreditation as an Advanced Practitioner is based on the following criteria:

  1. possession of an RCVS or other relevant postgraduate qualification;
  2. maintaining and providing acceptable documented CPD;
  3. being a current active practitioner within the selected field of designation.

For more information and to view the eligibility criteria, please download the Applicant Guidance Notes for the full details.

Revised CPD requirement due to COVID-19 pandemic

On 30 March 2020, we announced that a decision had been taken to reduce the annual requirement of hours of continuing professional development (CPD) that veterinary professionals are expected to undertake in 2020 by 25% due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the UK Government’s measures to reduce its transmission. Our annual minimum requirement for veterinary surgeons will be reduced from 35 to 26 hours of CPD. 

Taking this into account, the CPD requirement for Advanced Practitioner status will also be reduced. Where CPD, from 2020, will need to be submitted as part of an application, i.e. for all years between 2021-26, the required amount will be 237 hours, rather than 250 hours. The designated CPD requirement will also be reduced from 125 hours to 119 hours.

The external focus CPD requirement will also be reduced to 7 hours for 2020 only. For all other years it will remain at 10 hours as normal. 

If you have any questions about this reduction, please contact us by email.


All applications can be made online through the My Account area.

In addition to holding one of the eligible postgraduate qualifications, to apply you will need:

  • A reference from a current practising member of RCVS who has been familiar with your work during the 5-year period prior to your application
  • CPD records from the previous 5 full years
  • Evidence of having completed professional skills (where this has not been explicitly included in your post graduate qualification) at the time of application
  • A completed clinical governance statement 

Once completed and submitted, application forms will be checked by staff at the RCVS offices, before being forwarded on to the relevant members of the panel of assessors.

Applications are considered by a panel of assessors consisting of Advanced Practitioners, as well as RCVS Certificate and Diploma holders, who cover and represent the breadth of veterinary disciplines and species areas.

More information on applying for Advanced Practitioner status can be viewed in the guidance notes.