Important update for EBVS specialists working in the UK - RCVS replies to FAQs

 Published: 07 Sep 2015 | Last Updated: 07 Sep 2015 14:47

I am a European Specialist and I am working in the UK. Why do I need to register as a Specialist with the RCVS?

Due to a recent change to the Code of Conduct, the RCVS now controls the terms ‘Specialist’ and ‘Advanced Practitioner’ in relation to veterinary practice.  Therefore, you will need to be formally recognised as such by the RCVS to refer or advertise yourself accordingly.

Why has the RCVS introduced this change?

Previously, any veterinary surgeon could refer to themselves as a specialist, without any form of qualification or verification that they were a ‘specialist’.  Now the RCVS has control of the term, it means that anyone calling themselves a ‘Specialist’ will have been accredited as such. The RCVS will now also be able to promote and market Specialists and the level at which they practice.  This will therefore send out a clearer message to the public and others in the profession. 

What happens if I don’t register to be listed as an RCVS Specialist?

If you continue to refer to yourself as a Specialist, you will be in breach of the Code of Conduct and could be reported to the Preliminary Investigation Committee.

I am a European Specialist and a Member of the RCVS but I don’t work in the UK. Do I need to be listed as a Specialist with the RCVS?

No, there is no obligation to be listed if you do not work in the UK.

Does my listing with RCVS affect my European Specialist listing in any way? Is the RCVS taking away my European Specialist title?

No, the RCVS has no affiliation with the European Colleges and cannot remove your European Specialist title.

Does my RCVS Specialist title need to be the same as my European Specialist title?

Ideally, but not necessarily if the titles carry a similar meaning, i.e. RCVS Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (Avian) and European Specialist in Zoological Medicine.  As long as you are registered with the RCVS with a Specialist title as best you can be, they can differ slightly.

How do I apply for listing as an RCVS Specialist?

You will need to submit a short application form and provide details of your European College Diploma (unless it is already listed in the Register) along with two references.  The application form can be downloaded from the RCVS website ( ) and returned electronically by email to .  The deadline for applications in 2015 is 30 September 2015.

Who can be my referee?

Referees would ideally be MRCVS and Specialists in your area of practice.  However, non-MRCVS referees are allowed, so long as they are European/American Specialists in your area.

How much does it cost? 

For 2015, the cost of application is £40. We can take payment by cheque (payable to ‘RCVS’) or by bank transfer (please contact for the details).

 Once listed, there will be an annual fee of £40 which can be paid by Direct Debit (details of which will be circulated following your successful application).