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Registration of Veterinary Nurses educated outside the UK

The veterinary nursing profession

Only veterinary nurses registered with the RCVS can be delegated to administer medical treatment and perform minor surgery in the UK.  This means that if you are seeking employment in the UK you must apply to register.  The process differs depending on where you achieved your qualification and which qualification you hold.  There are four key criteria that you will need to evidence.

  • You must hold a veterinary nursing qualification recognised by the ministry of education in the country where you achieved it.
  • Your qualification must be similar in content to veterinary nursing qualifications delivered in the UK.
  • You must have experience working in a veterinary practice and be competent to work with minimal supervision.  Experience could include time you spent working in a veterinary practice during your education.
  • You must be able to communicate effectively with clients, including in written and spoken English

Applying to have your veterinary nursing qualification assessed

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 A 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.  You will be required to pass the Pre-registration Examination (unless your qualification was accredited by ACOVENE).

Step 3  Once your application has been accepted and you have passed the Pre-registration Examination (if applicable) you will then be eligible to apply to enter the register of veterinary nurses.  You will be invited to the RCVS to attend a presentation on the Code of Professional Conduct, make your professional declaration and be formally admitted as an associate member of the RCVS. 

For details on how to register as a veterinary nurse, please click on the relevant links below.

Holders of ACOVENE accredited qualifications

If you hold a qualification accredited by ACOVENE, the European accreditation organisation for veterinary nursing programmes you need to complete application Form A and provide evidence of your qualification, experience, identity and your good standing.  A list of ACOVENE accredited qualifications along with accreditation dates are provided in Application Form A. 

All other applicants

You will need to complete Application Forms A and B (except if your qualification appears on the exemption list in Application Form A), provide evidence of your qualification, experience, identity and good standing.  Form B allows you the opportunity to provide evidence that your qualification is similar to that delivered in the UK.  You will do this by mapping your syllabus/curriculum to the RCVS Day One Skills for Veterinary Nurses and RCVS Day One Competences for Veterinary Nurses.   Your syllabus/ curriculum will need to be translated into English.

If you hold one of the qualifications listed below, then you do not need to complete form B or send a copy of your syllabus/curriculum. It is likely that your application will be accepted as long as you have recent experience (within the last 5 years) working in a veterinary practice.  

All applicants educated outside the EU will be required to pass the pre-registration examination before applying to enter the register.  You will have the option to work in a veterinary practice under supervision for a maximum of one year while you prepare for this examination. 

Submitting your application

The relevant application forms along with supporting evidence must be sent to us electronically along with the fee.  Letters of good standing or affidavits must be sent directly from the person who wrote it. 

Once we receive a completed application including details of good standing and payment of the application fee it will be processed. This can take up to eight weeks.

Fees associated with with your application to join the register of veterinary nurses

The fees associated with having your application assessed are detailed below.

Application type Amount
Holders of ACOVENE accredited qualifications  


The fees payable for assessments, examinations and assessments are below.

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



Our contact details

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
The Cursitor
38 Chancery Lane

T 020 7202 0788