The Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) is the Statutory Body for the Veterinary Profession in Ireland established under the Veterinary Practice Act 2005 (Ministry for Agriculture & Food. The principal function of the Council is to regulate and manage the practice of veterinary medicine and veterinary nursing in the State in the public interest.

The Council is made up of 19 members, 9 elected Veterinary Practitioners, 1 elected Veterinary Nurse and 9 appointed members.  The appointed members are nominees of the Minister of Agriculture & Food (4), the Minister for Education and Science (1), the National University of Ireland (2), the Director of Consumer Affairs (1) and the Food Safety Authority (1)

Veterinary Specialist Recognition 

The definition of a specialist according to the VCI is the following: A veterinary specialist is a veterinary practitioner registered with the VCI who has a higher degree of skill and/or knowledge above that of a veterinary practitioner in the same discipline. A “Veterinary Specialist” must have successfully completed advanced supervised training in the discipline and have successfully completed examinations from an approved institution. The area of specialisation must be a branch of veterinary practisse that has sufficient breadth and depth to allow the specialist to practise solely in that field. VCI recognises all EBVS Colleges. European Veterinary Specialist status is the norm when applying for clinical posts.

A specialist must provide confirmatory evidence of credentials. VCI has its own Specialist registry. One has to apply and if they have the credentials required they are accepted.

Advanced Veterinary Practitioners

A GradCert DHH is recognised by VCI and is recognised as Advanced Practitioner Status. The postgraduate certificate in Equine Sports Medicine by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, UK is also recognised as Advanced Practitioner Status.

Continuing education of veterinary general practitioners

Postgraduate certificates are awarded by University College Dublin (UCD) for their on-line CPD courses e.g. Graduate Certificate in Dairy Herd Health (GradCert DHH). This programme began in 2010/11. There are four on-line graduate certificate programmes offered by UCD.

Continuing Veterinary Education became mandatory for renewing a Licence to Practise on 1 January 2012.  All registrants renewing their licence to practice need to have achieved the required number of credits in. This obligation to achieve 20 credits for the renewal of the Licence to Practise will apply also to each year after 2012. This process is overseen by VCI.

Veterinary education 

The Veterinary School, founded in 1903, at University College Dublin provides a full veterinary curriculum and has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA, re-accredited in January 2014).

Veterinary practitioners in Ireland are not allowed to use doctor as a courtesy title.

Membership Organisations

The membership organisation is Veterinary Ireland, based in Dublin. Veterinary Ireland is the representative body for veterinary surgeons in Ireland. Its role is to represent veterinary surgeons in Ireland and to facilitate the veterinary profession in its commitment to improving the health and welfare of animals under its care, to protecting public health and to serving the changing needs of its clients and the community through effective and innovative leadership. Veterinary Ireland has no regulatory function.