Statutory framework for the RCVS registration of veterinary surgeons

You can view the details for registering with a qualification from the countries below.

Applicants with an EU member state veterinary qualification

If you wish to register under the EU Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications and you have a recognised EU veterinary qualification you must also be a national of, or a community rights entitled person from an EU member state (including Switzerland). This requirement is set out in Annex 5.4 of the EU Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications.

If you are neither an EU national, nor do you have community rights entitlement, you will be required to take the RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership, even if you have a recognised EU veterinary qualification. The RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership takes place once a year; please visit the page to see the relevant dates.

Veterinary surgeons applying to register are asked to contact the RCVS as soon as possible, in any case at least 8 weeks before starting work in the UK, to allow enough time to complete the registration process.

 

Applicants with a USA veterinary qualification

Applicants with a USA veterinary qualification must have obtained it from an institution in the USA accredited by the AVMA Council on Education.

In addition:

  1. your school/college/university must have been accredited at the time of your graduation
  2. your degree must include all the skills and knowledge required to meet the European Union minimum training requirements (as set out in Article 38 and Annex 5.4.1 of the EU Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications)
  3. your scores for the NBE/CCT or NAVLE must meet RCVS requirements:

• for tests taken after 1992 you must have achieved a score of 425 or over
• for tests taken before 1992, your score must be no more than 1 standard deviation below the mean

If you do not meet all of the above requirements you will be required to take the RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership.

If you have previously failed all or part of the RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership, you will be required to sit the full examination again, even if you currently meet the above requirements. The RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership takes place once a year; please visit the page to see the relevant dates.

Veterinary surgeons applying to register are asked to contact the RCVS as soon as possible, in any case at least 8 weeks before starting work in the UK, to allow enough time to complete the registration process.


Visa / immigration / work permit requirements

Membership of the RCVS licenses you to practise veterinary surgery in the UK. If you have a qualification that meets the requirements above, you can apply regardless of your nationality.

However, it does not exempt you from UK entry visa or immigration requirements where applicable. Applicants are advised to ascertain these before attempting entry into the UK. Information and assistance can be obtained from the British Embassy or Consulates in the USA or the UK Border Agency.

Applicants seeking long-term employment in the UK may need a work permit, which can only be obtained by an employer.

 

Applicants with a Canadian veterinary qualification

1. Applicants with a veterinary qualification, obtained from the University of Montreal:

• your school/college/university must have been accredited by the AVMA Council on Education at the time of your graduation
• your degree must include all the skills and knowledge required to meet the European Union minimum training requirements (as set out in Article 38 and Annex 5.4.1 of the EU Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications)
• your scores for the NBE/CCT or NAVLE must meet RCVS requirements:

    1. for tests taken after 1992 you must have achieved a score of 425 or over
    2. for tests taken before 1992, your score must be no more than 1 standard deviation below the mean

If you do not meet all of the above requirements you will be required to take the RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership.

If you have previously failed all or part of the RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership, you will be required to sit the full examination again, even if you currently meet the above requirements. The RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership takes place once a year; please visit the page to see the relevant dates.


2. Applicants with a veterinary qualification, obtained from any of the Canadian RCVS recognised institutions before 1 March 2001 (if your qualification from the recognised institutions was obtained on or after 1 March 2001, the eligibility criteria are the same as for the University of Montreal graduates. Please look above):

Your qualification must be recognised by the RCVS Council, which is shown to meet the minimum EU training requirements for practice only within the United Kingdom.

If you have a qualification which is not recognised by the RCVS Council, you will be required to take the RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership which takes place once a year; please visit the page to see the relevant dates.

For all applicants with a Canadian veterinary qualification:

Veterinary surgeons applying to register are asked to contact the RCVS as soon as possible, in any case at least 8 weeks before starting work in the UK, to allow enough time to complete the registration process.


Visa / immigration / work permit requirements
Membership of the RCVS licenses you to practise veterinary surgery in the UK. If you have a qualification that meets the requirements above, you can apply regardless of your nationality.

However, it does not exempt you from UK entry visa or immigration requirements where applicable. Applicants are advised to ascertain these before attempting entry into the UK. Information and assistance can be obtained from the British Embassy or Consulates in Canada or the UK Border Agency.

Applicants seeking long-term employment in the UK may need a work permit, which can only be obtained by an employer.

 

Applicants with a veterinary qualification from Australia, New Zealand or South Africa

If you wish to register under the Commonwealth Registration provisions, you must have obtained an RCVS Council recognised qualification from Australia / New Zealand / South Africa, which is shown to meet the minimum EU training requirements for practice only within the United Kingdom.

If you have a qualification which is not recognised by the RCVS Council, you will be required to take the RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership which takes place once a year; please visit the page to see the relevant dates.

Veterinary surgeons applying to register are asked to contact the RCVS as soon as possible, in any case at least 8 weeks before starting work in the UK, to allow enough time to complete the registration process.


Visa / immigration / work permit requirements
Membership of the RCVS licenses you to practise veterinary surgery in the UK. If you have a qualification that meets the requirements above, you can apply regardless of your nationality.

However, it does not exempt you from UK entry visa or immigration requirements where applicable. Applicants are advised to ascertain these before attempting entry into the UK. Information and assistance can be obtained from the British Embassies or Consulates in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or the UK Border Agency.

Applicants seeking long-term employment in the UK may need a work permit, which can only be obtained by an employer.

 

Applicants with a veterinary qualification from any other country

Your qualification is not recognised within the statutory framework for the RCVS registration of veterinary surgeons. You will be required to take the RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership which takes place once a year; please visit the page to see the relevant dates.