Legislation to allow RCVS to recognise European veterinary degrees
The House of Lords has passed a Statutory Instrument (SI) that will allow the RCVS to continue to register veterinary surgeons from the European Economic Area (EEA) after Brexit.
The move follows a debate of the Veterinary Surgeons and Animal Welfare (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, introduced by the secretary for rural affairs and biodiversity, Lord Gardiner of Kimble.
It means that after Britain leaves the European Union, the RCVS will be allowed to introduce the Statutory Examination for Membership for EEA and Swiss nationals where they hold a degree that does not meet RCVS educational requirements and standards.
Under the existing Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive, EEA and Swiss nationals with a veterinary degree can automatically join the Register without further assessment. Currently, the Statutory Examination for Membership is only taken by prospective registrants from outside the EEA who hold a qualification that the RCVS does not recognise.
Explaining the amendment, Lord Gardiner said: “If the RCVS is satisfied that the degree the applicant holds meets this requirement and is equivalent to one from a UK veterinary school, there is no further assessment of their skill and knowledge. The Royal College estimates that a large majority of applicants from the EEA will meet this requirement.”
“If the applicant does not hold such a degree, they must undertake and pass a professional examination administered by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. This would help ensure consistency of approach to the regulation of veterinary standards in the future.”
He continued: “These changes do not affect those already registered to practise veterinary surgery in the United Kingdom. Transitional arrangements also ensure that those who are in the process of registering with the RCVS on exit day are entitled to have their application considered under the current rules.”