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English language requirements

English language guidance for individuals applying for full registration with the RCVS

You must provide proof that you meet the minimum required standards in the English language. This can be demonstrated via either of the following assessments:


Once you have achieved the required standard in one of these assessments you must arrange for the results to be provided to us. This will be a Test Report Form if you took the IELTS or a Statement of Results if you took the OET.

You can send your test results to us by post or provide a good quality scanned copy by email (we can not accept photocopies). Alternatively, you can arrange for your test centre to post them directly to us.

Please note, we can only accept 6.5 (IELTS) or C+ (OET) in one of the listening, reading, writing and speaking components element no matter how high your average overall score is, and we can only accept English test scores from IELTS or OET.

If you pass some sub-tests of the OET but fall below the required standard in others then you may re-sit those failed sub-tests. IELTS do not allow candidates to re-sit individual components, therefore if you fall below the required standard in any component of the IELTS test you will need to retake it in its entirety. We will confirm that we have received the test report once we have verified your scores through the IELTS/OET verification service.

For OET users, please ensure that you add the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to the list of verifier institutions permitted to access your results. IELTS test results are normally available to collect from the test centre 13 days after taking the test, whilst the OET results are normally available 17 days after the test.

English language test exemption

All RCVS registrants must be able to communicate effectively in English at an appropriate level. This can be demonstrated by passing either the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Occupational English Test (OET) at the minimum required standard. However, if you can demonstrate that your veterinary degree was taught and assessed entirely in English, in order to be considered for an exemption, you must provide:

  • A letter sent directly to the RCVS from your university that formally confirms your whole veterinary degree was obtained at an English-speaking University where the whole course was taught and assessed solely in the medium of English. This letter must be written in English and be sent directly from the University to the RCVS at