Skip to content

Overseas-qualified veterinary nurses

Applying to have your veterinary nursing qualification assessed


Are you eligible?

In order to work as a veterinary nurse in the UK you need to be registered with the RCVS. If you have trained outside the UK you will be required to apply for consideration of your qualification and training. This will be compared with the minimum training requirements for veterinary nurses qualified in the UK.

A qualified veterinary surgeon who does not also hold an appropriate veterinary nursing qualification may not apply for registration as a veterinary nurse as the training and competences are significantly different.

Please note: veterinary nurses wishing to practise in the UK must be able to communicate effectively with clients, including in written and spoken English. Where there are significant doubts about an applicant’s language ability, they will be given the opportunity to provide additional evidence of their English language ability and the option of passing IELTS level 7 (or an equivalent English language qualification at the same level or higher).


What's involved in the registration process?

To determine if you are eligible you will be required to apply to have your qualification assessed.  To do this you need to complete an application form and provide evidence that you hold a veterinary nursing qualification and that you have experience working in this role.


There are three steps to registration

Step 1  You will submit information about the qualification you completed and your practical experience.  The amount of information you need to provide depends on our knowledge of your qualification.  The application form provides guidance on the evidence you need to provide.

Step 2  If your education and experience is comparable to that delivered in the UK then your application is likely to be accepted.  In most cases, additional assessment in the form of an examination will be required.  Where this is necessary you may request permission to work in a veterinary practice to help you to prepare for the examination.

Step 3  If your qualification is accepted without additional assessment or if you have completed the additional assessment, you will then be eligible to apply to enter the register of veterinary nurses.  You will be invited to attend a presentation on the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses, make your professional declaration and be formally admitted as an associate member of the RCVS.

You can request an application form from the Veterinary Nursing Department 020 7202 0788 or




Our contact details

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
Belgravia House
62-64 Horseferry Road
T 020 7202 0788 
F 020 7202 0740