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Seeing practice

The Veterinary Surgeons (Practice by Students) (Amendment) Regulations 1993 permit overseas veterinarians to 'see practice' for a reasonable period of time in preparation for sitting the examination provided they meet RCVS requirements throughout their examination preparation.

‘Seeing practice’ means that as an exam candidate you can undertake placements in veterinary practices here in the UK to gain experience and insight into what life as a UK vet is like. The RCVS strongly recommends that exam candidates spend time in practice as it helps to adjust their veterinary knowledge to UK practise, which will help them in preparing for the exam.

When you have arranged to spend time seeing practice here in the UK, you must notify the RCVS by completing the ‘Seeing Practice Form’ (see 'Related documents' box below) and emailing it to [email protected].

What can you do when seeing practice?

Although exam candidates cannot work as a veterinary surgeon or as a registered veterinary nurse they can participate in many areas of veterinary practice. Exam candidates fall under Section 19 of the Code of Professional Conduct and must be supported by an RCVS registered veterinary surgeon (an MRCVS).

Exam candidates may do the following provided the MRCVS supervising them has granted permission:

  1. Examine animals, carry out diagnostic tests under the direction of a registered veterinary surgeon. 'Direction' means that the veterinary surgeon instructs the candidate as to the tests or treatment to be administered but is not necessarily present.
  2. Administer treatment under the supervision of a registered veterinary surgeon. 'Supervision' means that the veterinary surgeon is present on the premises and able to respond to a request for assistance if needed.
  3. Perform surgical operations under the direct and continuous personal supervision of a registered veterinary surgeon. 'Direct and continuous personal supervision' means that the veterinary surgeon is present and giving the candidate his/her undivided personal attention.