The RCVS Council has amended its English language requirements for overseas-qualified veterinary surgeons wishing to join the RCVS register.
In a vote, the council decided to introduce more flexibility into the requirements for English language testing of overseas-qualified veterinary surgeons, in order to boost the number of veterinary surgeons eligible to practice in the UK following shortages in the profession.
Previously, any overseas-qualified veterinary surgeons wishing to sit the RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership, or apply for a full registration to practise in the UK, would require a Level 7 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or a Level B in the Occupational English Test (OET) across all components (listening/reading/writing/speaking).
Now however, the RCVS Council, in agreement with the recommendations of the College's Registration and Education Committees, that veterinary surgeons would be able to achieve IELTS Level 6.5 or OET Level C+ in any one of the four test components, provided that the average score across all components remained at at least Level 7/B.
This degree of flexibility is hoped to facilitate access to the RCVS Register for a larger amount of veterinary surgeons, which the RCVS considers particularly important in light of the current workforce shortages brought about by the effects of Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic, and increased pet ownership.