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Overseas-qualified veterinary nurses

Application to assess an overseas veterinary nursing qualification

Are you eligible?

In order to work as a veterinary nurse in the UK you need to be registered with the RCVS. An applicant who has trained outside the UK will be required to apply for consideration of their qualification and training. This will be compared with the minimum training requirements for nurses qualified in the UK.

A qualified veterinary surgeon who does not also hold an appropriate veterinary nursing qualification may not apply for registration as a veterinary nurse as the training and competences are significantly different.

Please note: veterinary nurses wishing to practise in the UK must be able to communicate effectively with clients, including in written and spoken English. Where there are significant doubts about an applicant’s language ability, s/he will be given the opportunity to provide additional evidence of their English language ability and the option of passing IELTS level 7 (or an equivalent English language qualification at the same level or higher).

What is involved in the registration process?

Applicants can download an application pack from the 'Related documents' box, or request one from the Veterinary Nursing Department (see contact details below). This will allow us to determine an applicant's eligibility to be included on the RCVS Register of Veterinary Nurses.

If you have any questions about the registration process, either before or during your application, please contact the Veterinary Nursing Department on 020 7202 0788 or 


What you need to send us
  1. Complete form A (this can be downloaded from the ‘Related documents' box)

  2. Complete form B and supply an original and translated copy of the syllabus (if applicable)

  3. A photocopy of the identifying page and outside front cover of your valid passport or your EU identity card (For security purposes we electronically screen all identity documents and any issues are automatically reported to the Home Office and police)

  4. Provide a copy of your qualification certificate

  5. Provide the relevant references and/or letter/certificate of good standing

  6. Payment in full for your qualification to be assessed. Please note an additional registration fee will be required if your application is successful. 

The assessment process

The time taken to process an application from receipt of all the required documentation from the applicant is approximately 4 - 6 weeks. 

Your application form and supporting evidence will be considered by an assessor. The assessor normally makes one of the following judgements:

  • The application is accepted for registration purposes
  • The applicant is required to undertake pre-registration examinations
  • The applicant is required to undertake work based assessment
  • The application is rejected on the grounds that the applicant has not completed a veterinary nursing qualification of an acceptable standard

Once an applicant demonstrates that he/she is eligible to register as a veterinary nurse in the UK, he/she will be invited to apply to enter the Register of Veterinary Nurses. This will involve completion of a registration application and payment of the initial registration fee - see our fees page for the current fee. An annual retention fee is payable by all registered veterinary nurses.

Visa/ Immigration/ Work permit requirements

Registration as a veterinary nurse does not exempt you from UK visa, immigration or working requirements. Information and assistance can be obtained from UK Visas and Immigration.

Please contact the Veterinary Nursing Department with any queries.

How to pay

You can pay by:    

  • Cheque  drawn on a UK bank made payable to the ‘Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ (please allow at least 14 days for clearance)
  • Card payment – we accept Visa and MasterCard. (For your own security we cannot accept card payments by email. Card payments can only be accepted by completing and returning the separate 'Card payment authorisation form', which will be provided with the application form).
  • Banker's draft – payable to the ‘Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ (please write your name on the back of your payment)
  • UK postal order – available from UK Post Offices, payable to the ‘Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ (please write your name on the back of your payment)
  • Bank transfer  you will be sent our bank details once your documentation has been processed.

When making a payment, please include a reference consisting of your initial, surname and ‘VNIQ Fees’ for example: Z Wood VNIQFees.

Our contact details

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
Belgravia House
62-64 Horseferry Road
T 020 7202 0788 
F 020 7202 0740