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- Contact the Advice Team
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- I want to raise a concern about a veterinary surgeon
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- Veterinary professionals: how to raise a concern
Am I eligible?
- your school/college/university must have been accredited by the AVMA Council on Education at the time of your graduation
- Article 38 and Annex 5.4.1 of Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament)
- 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.
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 USA or UK Visas and Immigration.
Applicants seeking long-term employment in the UK may need a work permit, which can only be obtained by an employer.
Don't leave it too late!
The registration application process usually takes 15 days once we have received your application and all supporting documents in the correct format. However, in busy periods, it can take up to 6 weeks to wait for an available appointment.
To avoid any delay to when you can start work, we recommend that you apply to register and book your registration appointment as soon as possible.
We will acknowledge receipt of your application within 3 working days.
Is my qualification accepted?
All qualifications accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) will be considered in conjunction with the relevant AVMA visitation reports in accordance with an Agreement made in March 2000.
Visit the AVMA website for a full list of accredited institutions.
Which documents do I need?
All applicants must provide documents relating to identification, qualifications and a letter of good standing, as outlined below.
1. A copy of the identifying page and front cover of your valid passport
2. A recent passport photo
On the reverse of the photo write 1) your name in full 2) your date of birth 3) your signature. Both sides of the photo can be photocopied and sent electronically with your other documents.
1. An A4 copy of your primary veterinary degree diploma
2. Verification of the passing scores for the NBE/CCT/NAVLE examination(s)
3. A transcript of your degree results showing subjects studied and credits obtained, or other comprehensive listing of the modules / subjects studied for the degree
You can supply all of the above information yourself and through your State Board. Alternatively, you can ask the American Association of Veterinary State Boards' Veterinary Information Verifying Agency (VIVA) to supply the following information:-
1. An A4 photocopy of your primary veterinary qualification certificate
2. Verification of the passing scores for the NAVLE examination(s);
Please note you will still need to supply us with a copy of your passport, a transcript of your degree and a letter of good standing yourself. This cannot be provided by VIVA.
Please visit VIVA's website at www.aavsb.org for further information and associated charges.
Letter of good standing
You will also need to submit a letter of good standing. Its content and author will vary depending on which of the below categories you fall into:
a. Applicants registering within 3 months of the date of their graduation:
A letter of good standing from the Dean / Principal / Rector of your veterinary school / college.
This should be a formal letter on university headed paper, issued after the date you graduated, and should be sent directly to the RCVS by the University, as evidence of your good standing.
The letter should confirm:
- the exact date of graduation [DD/MM/YYYY]
- that you were a student of good standing, including where relevant details of any cautions or criminal convictions, as well as absolute and conditional discharges and spent convictions, or any adverse findings, including disciplinary proceedings against you
b. Applicants registering more than 3 months after the date of their graduation and who are registered with a registration / licensing authority:
A letter or certificate of good standing from your current registration / licensing authority.
This should be sent directly to the RCVS by the registration / licensing authority and state that:
- you are registered to practise as a veterinary surgeon by that authority
- you are of good professional standing and good character, and there is no charge of unprofessional conduct or a criminal offence outstanding against you, including where relevant details of any cautions or criminal convictions, as well as absolute and conditional discharges and spent convictions, or any adverse findings, including professional disciplinary proceedings against you
- you hold a veterinary degree
In the unlikely event that your letter or certificate of good standing is given directly to you by your current registration / licensing authority, please ensure the original letter is brought with you to your appointment.
c. Applicants who are not registered with a registration / licensing authority:
If you are not currently registered with an authority, please submit your application and the RCVS will contact you with further instructions upon receipt of your application.
Please note that letters of good standing are only valid for 3 months after the date of issue and must be valid on the day of the registration appointment.
If you are a new graduate, your letter of good standing will only be valid for 3 months after the date of graduation.