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RCVS expands refugee support policy to cover veterinary nurse applicants

30 March 2022

We have recently expanded our policy of providing financial and educational support to veterinary professionals with refugee status to cover those with overseas veterinary nursing qualifications.

In order to join the Register, veterinary nurses educated outside the UK and holding qualifications that are not accredited by the Accreditation Committee for Veterinary Nurse Education (ACOVENE) need to provide proof that the syllabus of their course meets our Day One Skills and Competences for Veterinary Nurses, and also take and pass a Pre-registration Examination.

In November 2021, our Veterinary Nurses (VN) Council approved in principle a new policy that would see the costs of this application and examination process covered for those with refugee status, and this was formally approved by the RCVS Finance & Resources Committee at its February 2022 meeting.

The estimated costs for applying to join the Register of Veterinary Nurses with an unrecognised veterinary nursing qualification is £2,000. This cost is inclusive of not only the application and examination costs but also translation of documentation, travel and accommodation for the practical exams, as well as optional extras such as attending practical exam familiarisation and revision events. All of these are now covered by the new policy.

Victoria Hedges, Veterinary Nursing Examinations Manager, said: “Although we haven’t yet had any overseas qualified veterinary nurses with refugee status applying to join the Register, with ongoing conflicts and refugee crises in Ukraine, Afghanistan and other parts of the world, we felt it would be prudent to proactively put this policy in place so that if we do get such applicants, we will have everything in place to help them.

“As with the scheme for veterinary surgeons with refugee status, we are grateful to the Refugee Council for providing its input and insight into setting up this scheme and to RCVS Knowledge for also agreeing to provide its membership free of charge to veterinary nurse applicants with refugee status.”

More information about the registration process for overseas qualified veterinary nurses, including the pre-registration examination, can be found on its dedicated webpage

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