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Registration categories

An explanation of the different registration categories for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses.

Veterinary surgeons

UK Practising (formerly Home Practising)

Veterinary surgeons who are working in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man and undertaking:

  • acts of veterinary surgery, or
  • other veterinary-related activities.

Practising outside the UK (formerly Overseas Practising)

Veterinary surgeons who are working outside the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man and undertaking:

  • veterinary surgery, or
  • associated veterinary activities.

Overseas practising members are not permitted to practise in the UK. Their indemnity insurance may be invalid in the UK unless they change their membership category to UK Practising.

Non Practising

Veterinary surgeons who want to remain on the Register but who are not practising or engaging in veterinary-related activity, anywhere in the world.

For example, a vet who is:

  • on maternity leave,
  • travelling,
  • retired, or
  • unemployed.

Republic of Ireland

Veterinary surgeons resident in the Republic of Ireland who qualified before 1 June 1988 and registered as practising members with the Veterinary Council of Ireland. These members remain MsRCVS.

Vet. Practitioner - SVR

Members of the RCVS who were practising veterinary medicine before the 1948 Veterinary Surgeons Act came into force, but who did not hold relevant formal qualifications. These members were entered onto a Supplementary Veterinary Register in 1949.

Veterinary nurses


Registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) are permitted to carry out:

  • any medical treatment, and
  • minor surgery not involving entry into a body cavity.

These rules are laid out in Schedule 3 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966.

Registered veterinary nurses are required to comply with the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses. They must also fulfil compulsory continuing professional development (CPD) requirements.

Period of Supervised Practice (PSP)

Veterinary nurses who have been away from the Register for longer than five years must complete a Period of Supervised Practice (PSP).

The PSP involves spending a minimum of 17 full-time weeks in clinical practice, completed within a year. The purpose of the PSP is to refresh veterinary nurses’ skills before they rejoin the Register.

Veterinary nurses must register with the RCVS before starting the PSP. This ensures they’re able to undertake procedures in line with the Veterinary Surgeons Act.

Further information about the PSP can be found in the PSP Guidance Notes.

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