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Temporary Registration

The Temporary Registration Guidelines have been reviewed and we will be following a new version of the guidelines from 1 January 2019. To view the updated version please see the 'Related documents' box below.

It is important to note that any previous responsibilities and restrictions remain unchanged. Temporary Registrants must observe the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons and are subject to the jurisdiction of the Disciplinary Committee of the College. Registrants may also be asked to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and cannot use the post nominal MRCVS - they cannot sign prescriptions or certificates, or other documents that require the signature of an MRCVS.

To qualify for temporary registration, under section 7 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 a person must either:

  • be entitled to be awarded a recognised UK degree; or
  • a veterinary surgeon not eligible for Full Registration under the Veterinary Surgeons Act (VSA S.2 – 6).

Don't leave it too late!
The application process for Temporary Registration takes up to 8 weeks once we have received your application and all supporting documents in the correct format.
To avoid any delay to when you can start work, we recommend that you apply to register, and send all required documentation, by email as soon as possible.

Important Note: Temporary Registration cannot be granted if you are looking to work as a veterinary surgeon in general practice. If the country or region where you received your veterinary degree is not eligible for full registration, and you want to work in general veterinary practice, then you will need to sit and pass the Statutory Membership Examination in order to be accepted onto the Register.

What does Temporary Registration mean? How is it different from Full Registration? 

The RCVS may specify the period, the place or places, and the circumstances in which the practice of veterinary surgery may be made in each specific case. Temporary Registration does not allow the practice of veterinary surgery other than subject to such restrictions as are imposed. Where a Temporary Registrant fails to comply with any restrictions they are subject to, their name may be removed from the Register.

Circumstances - Temporary Registrants are supervised by a named MRCVS or FRCVS (the “Supervising Veterinary Surgeon”), who must be a practising veterinary surgeon (with experience in the area in which the Temporary Registrant will be practising). The Supervising Veterinary Surgeon is responsible for ensuring that the Temporary Registrant does not contravene the terms and restrictions of Temporary Registration. As such, it is expected that the Supervising Veterinary Surgeon will be based at the same location as the Temporary Registrant, or will be able to demonstrate the arrangements put in place to ensure that supervision can be carried out effectively.

Period - The period granted for any Temporary Registration will be stated and will depend upon the particular circumstances of each application (and could vary from a number of days / weeks to a number of years). The maximum period granted to one individual for Temporary Registration status would, however, not ordinarily be expected to exceed 5 years on the Register (whether granted by one application for 5 years or a number of shorter applications altogether totalling 5 years). During such a 5-year period, the expectation is that the Temporary Registrant would undertake the RCVS Statutory Membership Examination and by that route gain eligibility for Full Registration.

Place - The address(es) where a Temporary Registrant will be employed and carry out their duties will require to be stated, and will form part of the restrictions of Temporary Registration status.

Temporary registration is granted at the discretion of the College and may be appropriate in a number of situations. The following sets out some of the common situations (but is not an exhaustive list and applications will be considered on a case by case basis):

a.  UK Graduands that are starting work before the degree is conferred

Where an individual has been declared successful in the examination for a recognised veterinary degree but wishes to start work in the few weeks before the degree is conferred. To apply for this type of restricted registration, applicants need to complete the UK Graduands Form;

b.  Postgraduate study

To undertake post-graduate study in the UK; e.g. Masters; PhD; Residency programme. To apply for this type of restricted registration, applicants need to complete the Postgraduate Study Form;

c.  To accompany animals during a visit to the UK

To accompany animals during a visit to the UK e.g. horses taking part in a sporting event. To apply for this type of restricted registration, applicants need to complete the Accompanying Animals Form;

d.  Employment

Where there is a particular reason for employing an individual e.g. to provide specialised skills; where vacancies for such roles cannot be filled. To apply for this type of restricted registration, applicants need to complete the Employed Form;

e.  To carry out specific procedures

To attend the UK to perform / teach a specific procedure or operation. To apply for this type of restricted registration, applicants need to complete the Employed Form. Please visit our Fees page to view the fee payable.

f. Official Veterinarian (Temporary Registered Novice OVs only)

Is for EAEVE (European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education) approved and accredited veterinary surgeons applying to the Temporary Register in order to carry out meat Official Controls.

Temporary Registration will only be granted where there is a severe shortage of OVs in abattoirs within England and Wales and there is significant risk of being unable to deliver the required meat Official Controls.

This work will be carried out under the supervision of a fully registered veterinary surgeon. Veterinary surgeons must have passed the relevant OV training courses, have an employment contract.  Veterinary Surgeons will also need to supply either a IELTS Academic English Language Test Report form with a score of at least 6.0 in each of the four components, or an OET (Occupational English Test) Veterinary version statement of results with a score of at least Grade C with a minimum score of 250 in each of the four components.

To apply for this type of restricted registration, applicants need to complete the Official Veterinarian Form.

For more information about restricted registrations, please contact a member of the Registration Department on 020 7202 0707 or [email protected].

To apply for restricted (temporary) registration please complete and submit the relevant application form, see the 'Related documents' box.