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Welcome to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons' website for animal owners

Registration categories

Below is an explanation of the different categories of membership for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses.


Veterinary surgeons

UK Practising (formerly Home Practising)

In order to practise as a veterinary surgeon or undertake associated veterinary activities in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man veterinary surgeons must be registered as UK Practising.


Practising outside the UK (formerly Overseas Practising)

Veterinary surgeons undertaking veterinary surgery or associated veterinary activities outside the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man.


Non Practising

Veterinary surgeons not currently practising, for example, on maternity leave, travelling, retired or unemployed, who wish to remain on the RCVS Register.


Non Practising 70+

As above but for those aged 70 or over.


Republic of Ireland

Veterinary surgeons qualifying before 1 June 1988, resident in the Republic of Ireland and registered as practising members with the Veterinary Council of Ireland may remain MsRCVS. 



Veterinary nurses


Registered veterinary nurses are permitted to carry out any medical treatment or minor surgery (not involving entry into a body cavity) to an animal in accordance with Schedule 3 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966.

Registered veterinary nurses are required to comply with the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses and fulfill the compulsory continuing professional development requirements.


Period of Supervised Practice (PSP)

Veterinary nurses who were formerly on the Register but have chosen to lapse their registration for a period of five years or more must undergo PSP before being able to return to the Register.

Veterinary nurses undergoing PSP must spend a minimum of 17 full-time weeks in clinical veterinary practice, completed within a year, in order to refresh their skills before rejoining the Register.

Veterinary nurses must register with the RCVS before commencing PSP in order to be able to undertake procedures in line with Schedule 3 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966.

Further information can be found in the PSP Guidance Notes.

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