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

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.

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: 

Western Australia and Northern Territory have drafted NRVR legislation which is currently under development and/or consultation. Currently, all veterinarians must obtain addition/secondary registration before practicing in these jurisdictions.

Note: 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, 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 or Tasmania, registration will be recognised for up to 3 months after a change of primary place of residence.

Western Australia & the Northern Territory
NRVR does not apply in Western Australia or the Northern Territory and all veterinarians need to apply for registration prior to working in these jurisdictions. For WA registered veterinarians moving interstate, non-resident or temporary WA registration is not recognised under NRVR but full registration is recognised by other jurisdictions.

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?
  • WA: the veterinarian will have to apply for registration with the Veterinary Surgeons’ Board of WA. If they intend to work in WA for less than 3 months, they could apply for temporary or non-resident registration which would incur a lesser fee than full registration.
  • NT: secondary registration with the Veterinary Board of the NT would be required for a locum position. Primary registration would be required if the vet was intending to stay.
  • 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.