National Veterinary Examination

I plan to sit the National Veterinary Examination

Many qualifications enable you to apply for registration in Australia or New Zealand. If your qualifications do not enable you to apply for registration without further examination you may either enrol at an Australasian veterinary school as a full fee paying student and complete the veterinary science course or you may take the National Veterinary Examination (NVE). The NVE has been developed to assist veterinarians who qualified overseas to obtain registration in Australia or New Zealand, thus enabling them to practise their profession. Procedures have been established by which eligible overseas trained veterinarians may prove their competence to practise in Australasia. The steps in the NVE process are described below.

STEP 1: Eligibility criteria

You can take the National Veterinary Examination only if you have been formally assessed as meeting the eligibility criteria to sit the examination. You need to:

  • Hold a degree or diploma awarded after at least four years of study at a veterinary school listed in the World Veterinary Directory at a school which was part of a college or university listed in the World List of Universities or the AVMA-Listed Veterinary Colleges of the World; and
  • Be registered, licensed or eligible to be recognised as a veterinarian of good standing in the country in which you studied or worked.
  • Hold at least a current B or 350 pass in each section of the Occupational English Test, or a score of Band 7 or higher in each section of the academic module of the International English Language Testing System or achieved scores in the TOEFL-iBT of at least 24 in Listening, 24 in Reading, 27 in Writing and 23 in Speaking or obtained a score of at least 65 in each of the four communicative skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking) of the PTE academic. All of these results need to be obtained in the one sitting.

If you meet these criteria, you should send the completed application form, the documentation listed therein and fee by post to:

Australasian Veterinary Boards Councils Inc (AVBC Inc)
Level 8, 470 Collins Street Melbourne,

Payment options are: credit card, money order, direct deposit or bank cheque in Australian dollars.

If you wish to pay by direct deposit, our bank details can be obtained by contacting Tel: + 61 3 9620 7844 or email: nve”at” (please use the @ instead of “at”)

A Summary of the English Language Skills required by AVBC can be found here.

STEP 2: Preliminary Examination (Multiple Choice Questions)

The Preliminary Examination is held once a year, usually in April and can be sat at some non-Australian venues, including New Zealand.  Applications must be received by 8th February.

How do I keep my English current?

The validity of the English proficiency test is two years. You must undertake the Preliminary Examination during the validity period. Any subsequent attempts at the preliminary examination must also be taken within this two-year validity period. You can ensure this by re-sitting the English test (to current standards) or by re-validating a previous test (if this test satisfies current standards). To re-validate a previous test you must submit evidence that since passing the English test you have been working or studying in Australia, or one of the countries listed in paragraph 1 of section 2.2 of the Handbook.

Where can I sit the Preliminary Examination?

AVBC has moved to computer-based delivery of the exam in partnership with Excel Psychological and Educational Consultancy (EPEC). EPEC acts on behalf of AVBC to organise invigilators and examination venues. Each year the exam will be offered at a number of venues in Australian and overseas. Overseas venues include Auckland in New Zealand, London, New Dehli, Dubai and Singapore.

STEP 3: Final (Clinical) Examination

The Final Examination is usually held in November or December over four or five days. The examination is conducted at the University of Queensland. You will be examined at the same level as recent graduates from Australian universities. The format of the examination is fully described in the Veterinary Science Candidates Information Handbook.

If you have not been successful in two attempts at the Final Examination further attempts must be approved by the Board of Examiners. You would need to provide evidence that you have been, or plan to undertake appropriate activities to enhance your veterinary knowledge and experience.

You must endeavour to maintain proficiency in all areas covered by the Final Examination.

The Final Examination must be commenced within 27 months of passing the Preliminary Examination, and you must complete the Final Examination within five years of passing the Preliminary Examination, otherwise you will be required to re-start the NVE process.

In the event of oversubscription of the Final Examination the Board of Examiners will prioritise places according to certain criteria.

If you successfully complete the NVE process you will be issued with a Certificate. This entitles you to apply for registration with any Australasian State or Territory Board. The Certificate will be sent direct to you. You must present the Certificate to the registration board in the State or Territory in which you intend to practise.

Once you are registered in Australia or New Zealand you will have the same rights and responsibilities as those of all other registered veterinarians in Australia or New Zealand.

Preparing for the Final (Clinical) Examination

Once you have successfully completed the Preliminary Examination, you may apply for limited registration in some states/territories of Australia. You may also apply for a specific category of membership of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) and obtain information from the AVA regarding the availability of insurance for supervised clinical experience.

Skills Assessment for migration

Once you have passed the Final (Clinical) exam, and if you are seeking to migrate to Australia you will need to apply for a skills assessment . No further AVBC fees apply, if you apply with 12 months of passing the National Veterinary Examination, and have been granted full registration.

Help with Fees

A loan scheme, FEE-HELP, may be available for a subject or subjects of less than one year of full-time study in total that does not lead to an award, on the recommendation of the relevant assessing body. While currently there are no formal bridging programs in place for overseas trained veterinarians, if AVBC recommends subjects for individuals with overseas qualifications with a view to help support/meet AVBC’s recognition requirements and which fall into this category, then FEE-HELP may be applicable. More information on FEE-HELP can be obtained by contacting the student enquiry line on telephone: 1800 020 108, or by visiting the FEE-HELP site.

New Zealand applicants

If you are seeking registration in New Zealand by sitting and passing the National Veterinary Exam you must first apply to AVBC and follow the steps outlined above.


The AVBC Inc makes every attempt to ensure that all material contained herein is accurate and complete but recommends that users check with the AVBC for the most up to date information