STEP 1: Hold General Registration
Before you can apply to have your specialist training and qualifications assessed by the Advisory Committee on the Registration of Veterinary Specialists (ACRVS), you must be registered with an AVBC member registration board in Australia or New Zealand. To apply for general registration, you need to contact the Board in the jurisdiction in which you wish to work directly. Contact details can be found here.
If you are seeking specialist registration with the Veterinary Surgeons Board of South Australia, please apply to the Board directly.
STEP 2: Meet the Eligibility Criteria
Before applying to the ACRVS, applicants must meet the following criteria:
If you are seeking recognition in a new specialty in Australia or New Zealand and have not completed a formal training program within a recognised specialty college, you may be eligible to apply as a Founding Member of a New Specialty.
You must provide supporting documents that meet specific standards with your application. Download our supporting evidence checklist to ensure you have everything ready to apply.
STEP 3: Complete the Specialist Assessment Application
Frequently Asked Questions
Under these circumstances you must provide a colour scan of the document which has been certified as a copy of the original and scanned at >300dpi.
A certified copy of an original is clearly authorised as a true copy of the original by an appropriate person.
A person on the list of authorised witnesses is generally acceptable to the AVBC to certify a document. Persons include Justices of the Peace (JP), Notaries public, legal practitioners, veterinarians and admissions officers of all Australian universities.
To have your copies certified you will need to present both the original and the copy of each document to the person certifying the copies.
Each copy of the document must be certified separately and must include the following:
- the words “certified true copy of the original”.
- the signature of the certifying officer.
- the name and address, and provider/registration number (where applicable) of the certifying officer legibly printed below the signature.
- the certifier’s email address and telephone number.
From the details provided, it must be possible for AVBC to contact the certifying officer if necessary.
If your supporting documents are written in a language other than English, you must provide:
- All supporting documents in the original language;
- Official English translated versions of all documents.
The translations must be included in the .pdf file for the documents to which they refer (extract translations will not be accepted).
All scanned documents (both in the original language and translated) must meet the supporting document requirements previously outlined.
Please note that AVBC reserves the right to request applicants to provide translations completed by a translator in Australia, accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).
The Assessment Process
We will acknowledge receipt of your application via email. After your application has been acknowledged, we will process the payment of your application fee. The assessment of your application will only begin after payment has cleared. If additional information is required as part of your application, the ACRVS Officer will contact you via email. Once your assessment is complete, you and your veterinary board will receive a letter of recommendation on your eligibility for specialist registration via email.
Following this recommendation, in order to proceed with your application for specialist registration, you will need to complete your respective board’s application form and submit it for their consideration along with any fees. The final decision on specialist endorsement and registration is made by the veterinary boards. This usually takes place at the next board meeting after receipt of the ACRVS’ recommendation letter. It may therefore take some time to receive your board’s decision after the ACRVS has completed its assessment.
For applications which involve a standard training program (see Section 5.5.3 of the Specialist Eligibility Assessment applicant guide for more information) it is expected assessments may take up to six weeks to process, provided no additional information is required.
For applications which involve a non-standard or alternative training program (see Section 5.5.3 of the Specialist Eligibility Assessment applicant guide for more information) assessments may take up to 12 months to complete. Non-standard training programs need to be assessed/evaluated by the ACRVS before the application is assessed. Applicants need to provide detailed information about the training program so that this assessment can be done.
I have a specialist qualification, but my primary veterinary qualification is not recognised by AVBC. Can I still apply to have my specialist eligibility assessed?
In order to apply to have your eligibility for specialist registration assessed, you must first be registered with an Australian or New Zealand veterinary board. Registration in Australia and New Zealand is generally based on the primary veterinary qualification a person has. If your qualification is not one of the ones listed in the AVBC’s qualifications generally recognised document, the normal route to registration would be for you to pass the Australasian Veterinary Exam (AVE). More information on the exam can be found on the AVE page of the AVBC website.
However, all decisions regarding registration are made by the state/territory veterinary registration boards of Australia and New Zealand. A few individual overseas qualified specialists may be working in Australia or New Zealand under a specific or limited registration because they do not hold a qualification that is recognised without further examination, but they are highly experienced in an area of veterinary science for which there is currently a shortage of highly experienced veterinarians in Australia or New Zealand. In order to obtain full registration, they would be required to sit the Australasian Veterinary Examination or another recognised examination.
If you feel this would apply in your situation, please contact the veterinary registration board where you would be interested in working for more information. You will find a list of contact details for each of the registration boards on the contacts page of the AVBC website.
I have a specialist qualification (e.g. a Diplomate or Fellowship) but my qualification and/or specialty is not listed in Annexe A of the Specialist Eligibility Assessment Applicant Guide. Can I still apply to have my eligibility for specialist registration assessed?
Yes. The AVBC requires that the ACRVS carefully examine each application and compare it to the requirements set out in the Minimum Standards Document (Section 5 of the AVBC publication Specialist Eligibility Assessment Applicant Guide). The process is therefore more involved than validating that appropriate qualifications have been obtained. Every application received is assessed against the most current version of the Minimum Standards Document as well as its own merits. Annexe A is a list of examples of qualifications whose full-time formal training programs generally meet the standards accepted for specialist recognition in Australia and New Zealand. The list is a guide only and is neither exhaustive nor exclusive.
If your application for assessment of eligibility for specialist registration features a specialist category/qualification combination not listed in Annexe A, then your training program will need to be assessed/evaluated by the ACRVS before your application can be assessed. This requires you to provide detailed information in your application about your training program and examinations and how they meet the criteria listed in the Minimum Standards Document. The ACRVS will use the additional information you provide to compare your training program directly to the Minimum Standards Document.
I am qualified in a new area of specialisation. I have not completed a formal training program within a recognised specialty College as there is no training program currently available in this area. Can I apply to have my eligibility for specialist registration assessed?
You may be able to apply for recognition as a Founding Member of a new specialty. Please see the Founding Members page or Section 6 of the Specialist Eligibility Assessment Applicant Guide for more information on the minimum standards Founding Member applicants need to satisfy. Please contact the ACRVS Officer at email@example.com for a copy of the Founding Members application form.