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Working across jurisdictions

National Recognition of Veterinary Registration (NRVR) in Australia

In conjunction with the Australian Veterinary Association and the Animal Health Committee, the AVBC helped develop a model for national recognition of veterinary registration (NRVR) across Australia. This was agreed to by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

NRVR allows:

  • Veterinarians to move and practise across state borders
  • Greater competition in veterinary services in line with National Competition Policy
  • Freedom of movement for veterinarians, including those responding to national crises or working for national animal enterprises

The following jurisdictions have adopted NRVR by including clauses in their veterinary practice laws to the effect that a person who holds an interstate right to practise is deemed to be registered under the relevant veterinary practice law: 

Automatic Mutual Recognition (AMR)

In August 2020, the Northern Territory put into effect the changes to mutual recognition following the introduction of a uniform scheme for automatic mutual recognition (AMR) of occupational registrations. As the Veterinary Board of the Northern Territory remains the only board which has not adopted NRVR, a person is deemed registered as a veterinarian under the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 if that person is registered as a veterinarian under an equivalent Act in another Australian state or territory. As of 1 July 2021, all secondary registrants and prospective secondary registrants are no longer required to register or renew in the Northern Territory to work as a veterinarian.

Notes on NRVR/AMR:

  • A veterinarian must have their primary registration in the jurisdiction where they have their principal place of residence. 
  • Registration fees are payable only in one jurisdiction participating in NRVR/AMR.
  •  As state laws do vary, the obligation is on the veterinarian to know the Acts and Regulations of the state they are visiting and, if in any doubt, they should contact the local Veterinary Board.

Moving Interstate as a veterinarian in Australia

Under NRVR and AMR, you must hold primary registration with the veterinary board in the jurisdiction of your principal place of residence.

If that place of residence changes, the veterinarian must transfer their registration within the timeframes set out in the relevant State or Territory’s veterinary practice law. 

In Queensland and Victoria, you must register prior to expiry of active registration. For ACT, NSW, WA or Tasmania, registration will be recognised for up to 3 months after a change of primary place of residence.

Automatic Mutual Recognition applies in the Northern Territory. You must register within a month of change of primary place of residence. 

The Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement (TTMRA)

Veterinarians with registration in an Australian State or Territory are eligible to apply for registration in New Zealand via the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement (TTMRA), and vice versa. Registration in both jurisdictions is required.

Case Scenario

A veterinarian registered in New South Wales has just accepted a locum position in a jurisdiction where NRVR does not apply. What must they do in regard to registration?

  • NT: secondary registration with the Veterinary Board of the NT would not be required for a locum position under AMR. Primary registration would be required if the vet was intending to reside in the jurisdiction.
  • NZ: The TTMRA allows Australian registered veterinarians to register with the Veterinary Council of New Zealand at a reduced cost. The veterinarian would not be required to produce evidence of their qualifications as registration is dependent on their registration in NSW.

If you have questions about veterinary registration in a specific jurisdiction, click here for contact details.