Australasian Veterinary Examination

From the 14th April 2020, AVBC requests that all applications are sent digitally.

I plan to sit the Australasian 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 their primary veterinary science course or you may take the Australasian Veterinary Examination (AVE). The AVE 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 Australia and New Zealand. The steps in the AVE process are described below.

STEP 1: Eligibility criteria

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

If you are not a native speaker of English (ie if you were not born and primary and secondary-school educated in Australia, the UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, New Zealand or South Africa), you must provide evidence that you have achieved, in a single sitting:

  • a score of band 7 or higher in each section of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic test; or
  • at least a B pass or a score of 350 or higher in each section of the Occupational English Test (OET); or
  • scores in the TOEFL-iBT of at least 24 in Listening, 24 in Reading, 27 in Writing and 23 in Speaking; or
  • scores of at least 65 in each of the four communicative skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking) of the PTE academic.

A summary of the English language skills required by AVBC can be found here.

A current English language test result to the required standard must accompany an application for eligibility without exception.

The currency of an English language test result is two years.

Unless you were born and primary and secondary-schooled in one of the English-speaking countries named in the English language skills document, there are no exceptions.

If you meet the eligibility criteria, read the Application Form Guidelines carefully prior to applying for assessment.

Send the completed application form and supporting documentation to:

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 

STEP 2: Preliminary Examination (Multiple Choice Questions)

Once you have been found to be eligible to sit the AVE you will be sent an application for the Preliminary (MCQ) Examination and would not (normally) have to go through the eligibility application process again.

The Preliminary Examination is held once a year, usually in April. Applications and payment must be received by 8th February.

How do I keep my English current?

The validity of an English language test result is two years. Your English language test result must be valid at the time you sit an AVE Examination. If your English language test result expires you may need to re-sit a test.

In the case of a candidate continuously living and working OR living and studying in Australia or one of the AVBC approved English speaking countries, the requirement to re-sit the test may be waived. Please refer to the Information for AVE Candidates booklet.

Where can I sit the Preliminary Examination?

AVBC has moved to computer-based delivery of the examination 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 Delhi, Dubai and Singapore.

STEP 3: Final (Clinical) Examination

The Final Examination is usually held in November or December over 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 Information for AVE Candidates Booklet.

If you have not been successful in two attempts at the Final Examination further attempts must be approved by the AVE Committee. 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 (Clinical) Examination must be commenced within 3 years of passing the Preliminary (MCQ) 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 AVE process.

In the event of over subscription of the Final Examination the AVE Committee will prioritise places according to established selection criteria.

If you successfully complete the AVE process you will be issued with a Certificate. This entitles you to apply for registration with any registration board in Australia or New Zealand. The Certificate will be sent direct to you. You must present the Certificate to the registration board in the Australian State or Territory in which you intend to practise, or to the Veterinary Council of New Zealand.

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 passed the Preliminary Examination (MCQ), you may apply for a specific conditional or limited form of registration in some states/territories of Australia. This would allow you to work under direct supervision while you prepare for the clinical examination. 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

If, once you have passed the Final (Clinical) Examination, you require a skills assessment for the purposes of migration, you will need to apply to the AVBC for this. The fee will be waived if you apply for a skills assessment within 12 months of receiving your Australasian Veterinary Examination certificate.

New Zealand applicants

If you are seeking registration in New Zealand by sitting and passing the Australasian 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