The RCVS and its VN education subcommittee have agreed a framework for accrediting awarding organisations and higher education institutions delivering veterinary nursing qualifications wholly or partially outside of the UK.

RCVS head of veterinary nursing, Julie Dugmore

Julie Dugmore, head of veterinary nursing at the RCVS, said: “Although international VN training providers can now apply for accreditation, it would be dependent on them meeting the same stringent criteria as their UK counterparts.

“For example, they would be subject to many visitations to monitor the standards of teaching and the curriculum; their students would need to have a requisite amount of time gaining first-hand clinical experience in training practices; and we would need to be satisfied that their graduates meet the set of skills and competences we expect from all newly-qualified veterinary nurses.”

The subcommittee has also clarified and formalised registration rules for veterinary nurses who wish to join the UK register but who qualified outside both the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA).

Those trained outside the UK will continue to have their qualifications assessed against UK standards and all non-EU/EEA trained veterinary nurses – and some EU/EEA trained VNs – will have to pass pre-registration theory and practical examinations.

Additionally, non-UK trained VNs will be required to attend the RCVS to have documentation checked and have the main tenets of the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses explained to them. Registration will not be confirmed until staff members from the Veterinary Nursing Department are satisfied that the Code has been understood.

  • Details of these requirements, the application process and other information for international registrants will be included in a forthcoming handbook, which will be made available at
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