Registering with the RCVS


Registering with the RCVS means certain documents need to be filled and sent. to them.

Registering with the RCVS may be more simple or less simple. If you’re lucky, you’ll be asking for some papers to get sorted. If you are not so lucky, you need to sit an examination (not particularly easy or cheap…) in order to be able to register.

Who are the “lucky” ones? Many of the European countries and English-speaking countries (USA, Canada, Commonwealth countries). In this situation, you have it easy. For now (we need to see what Brexit brings…).

Overview of the steps you need to take to register


  • Pay the registration fee
  • Send the required documentation
  • Attend a registration appointment


If you need to sit the examination…

  • Send required documents
  • (Maybe see some practice)
  • Pay the examination fees
  • Pass the examination!


Registration fee


This value changes according to the time of the year you’re registering. It will cover you from April to April, or from whatever time of the year you are registering until the following April. This is how much you need to pay depending on the date you are registering:

  • Between 1 October-31 March – £165
  • Between 1 April – 30 September – £330


You can pay them by bank transfer (contact the RCVS for the details), credit card or cheque. If you’re in the UK you can also use direct debit, debit card, banker’s draft or postal order.

Required documents


If you don’t need to sit the examination, you will usually need certain documents. There are different requirements for different countries, but in general you will need:

  • A registration form (called Initial Enquiry Form)
  • Photocopy of the identifying pages and front cover of your passport
  • A letter or certificate of good standing
  • A photocopy of your veterinary qualification certificate

Any translations have to be certified by a qualified translator or company. In some places (like Portugal, for instance) this can be done by a lawyer or notary.



Registration appointment


You will need to attend an appointment at the RCVS “headquarters” in London to bring down your original documents, have them checked and make your membership official. Don’t worry, you won’t be the only one there!  You will book in this appointment when you fill your Initial Enquiry Form and you can find the dates on the RCVS website.


The oath


When you attend your appointment in London, you will declare the oath of the veterinary profession:


I PROMISE AND SOLEMNLY DECLARE that I will pursue the work of my profession with integrity and accept my responsibilities to the public, my clients, the profession and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and that, ABOVE ALL, my constant endeavour will be to ensure the health and welfare of animals committed to my care.

And that’s it. You are now a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons!

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to pass a skills test?
It depends on your country! The only candidates that need to pass a written and practical test, the  RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership, are the ones whose degrees are not recognised by the RCVS. You DO NOT need to sit the examination if you graduated from the UK, any European Union Member State (including Switzerland), Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, USA or Canada. For any other countries (including European countries like Turkey or Serbia) you need to sit the RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership.
Do I need to pass an official language test?
The short answer is no. The RCVS does not require you to have official English scores UNLESS you need to sit the Statutory Examination, in which case you need to provide the RCVS with proof of proficiency by having official IELTS scores (or equivalent, like TOEFL scores). In any other case the RCVS might ask for language scores if there are reasonable doubts about an applicant’s language skills.