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New Skills Assessment Pathway for Registered Veterinary Specialists

15 February 2023

All veterinary specialists registered with an Australian veterinary board may now apply for Skills Assessment for the purpose of migration with AVBC even if they obtained their primary veterinary qualifications overseas. Last year, it was identified that an unreasonable barrier to migration may exist for registered veterinary specialists with a primary veterinary degree not listed in the AVBC Qualifications Generally Recognised document (AQGR). Based upon a risk analysis, a new pathway was approved by Council to provide for these specialists.

Skills Assessments are paper-based evaluations of a veterinarian’s qualifications to determine if they meet the standards of an Australian veterinary graduate and are eligible to work as a veterinarian in Australia. Specific visas issued by the Department of Home Affairs require a skills assessment. AVBC is the Australian Government-gazetted Assessing Authority for the occupation “Veterinarian”.

The Council and its member veterinary boards continually review processes and standards to ensure that unreasonable barriers are not in place for overseas veterinarians wishing to migrate to Australia. Several highly qualified veterinarians had been found not to be eligible to apply for a skills assessment for migration purposes, even if they had obtained specialist registration in an Australian jurisdiction based on approval by the Advisory Committee on Registration of Veterinary Specialists (ACRVS).

In mid-2022, AVBC Council approved an update to the skills assessment procedure. It was agreed that the aim of retaining highly skilled veterinary specialists who significantly contribute to the veterinary profession in Australia was achievable through a risk-management process. This update allows veterinary specialists trained at the level of an Australian-trained specialist (confirmed by ACRVS recommendation) with current registration, but without an AVBC-recognised primary degree, to obtain a skills assessment.

This update is now in effect. Dr Rui Sul, registered veterinary specialist in Small Animal Surgery, said “this is very good news for some European and American specialists who may wish to apply for permanent residency in Australia. I was impressed how AVBC considered my situation and acted in such an efficient manner.”


Notes for editors

The Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) ensures the quality of the Australian and New Zealand veterinary profession by providing a forum for discussion, advice and cooperation among veterinary boards in Australia and New Zealand, encouraging the standardisation and quality assurance of veterinary services to the community and assuring and promoting uniform educational standards.

The Advisory Committee on the Registration of Veterinary Specialists (ACRVS) is a committee of the AVBC. ACRVS provides an expert assessment of an applicant’s specialist qualifications, training and experience. This is done on behalf of AVBC’s member veterinary registration boards in Australia and New Zealand.