Council's Role
The Veterinary Council's functions are set out in the Veterinarians Act.
Council is a fair and consistent regulator of veterinary standards. We protect the public interest by ensuring vets are competent and fit to practise.
We do this by:

  • setting minimum standards for veterinary practice
  • promoting high standards of veterinary education and conduct
  • reviewing concerns about veterinarians' performance, professional conduct or health and taking action where necessary
  • registering veterinarians
  • recognising as appropriate qualifications for registration by accrediting or approving the institutions which offer them
  • recertifying veterinarians through the issue of practising certificates
  • advising and making recommendations to the Minister and Massey University on relevant veterinary issues.

Council uses this checklist to help ensure its decisions are robust.
For further information see What does the Veterinary Council do?
Council structure
To see the Council Structure, please click here.
Click for more information on Council members, committees, and staff.

The Veterinarians Act
The Council's functions under Section 75 of the Veterinarians Act are:

  • to advise and make recommendations to the Minister on any matter relating to veterinarians and the practice of veterinarian science
  • advise the governing body of any New Zealand University in any matter relating to the education of veterinarians
  • to promote and encourage high standards of professional education and professional conduct among veterinarians
  • to consider reciprocal arrangements with registration bodies in other countries
  • to register people, issue practising certificates, assess whether people meet the requirement for continued registration or eligibility for a practising certificate, and perform the other functions relating to registration and practising requirements in accordance with Part 2, including -
    • determining the institutions and the degrees and diplomas offered by those institutions that are recognised for the purposes of section 6(1)(a); and
    • approving assessment programmes, post-graduate study, and post-graduate training for the purposes of section 6(1)(b)(ii) and (iii); and
    • designating branches of veterinary science as branches in which veterinarians may practise as specialists for the purposes of section 7(i); and
    • determining the form and content of applications for the purposes of sections 10(a) and (b) and 24(2)(a) and (b).
  • to keep and maintain the register and carry out the other functions relating to the register in accordance with Part 2
  • to receive, investigate, and hear complaints about, inquire into the conduct of, make assessments of, and discipline specified persons under Part 3
  • to investigate offences and bring prosecutions under the Act
  • to prescribe minimum standards for practising as a veterinarian, including standards relating to either or both of the following:
    • a person's fitness to practise as a veterinarian; and
    • the maintenance, examination, or improvement of the overall competence of a veterinarian to practise.
  • to prescribe -
    • examinations for the purposes of section 6(1)(b)(i); and
    • the form of the register and the information to be contained in the register under section 22.
  • to prescribe fees payable for the matters referred to in section 97 in accordance with section s98 to 100