Annual Practising Certificates


All practising veterinarians need to be registered and have a current practising certificate.

1. APC applications for the year ending 31 March 2020 

You’ll be able to apply online as from 5 February. We’ll email your registration number, password, and a link to the online application form to you on 5 February. Contact us if you don’t receive our email.

If you intend to practise between 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 you’ll need to be registered and have a current practising certificate.

If you were registered after 31 January 2019 you will need to contact us to apply for your 2019/20 APC by emailing 

If you’re not already registered with the Veterinary Council of New Zealand, click here.
You need to apply by 31 March 2019 to be able to practise legally on 1 April.

The fee for renewing your practising certificate for the 2019/20 year is $579, but we’ll discount this to $552 if we receive your application and payment by 28 February. 

The fee for a non-practising status on the Register is $18. 

For further information see 2019/20 Guidance notes on applying for a practising certificate

Online application process during February and March
The online application process is only available during the bulk APC renewal round which starts on 5 February. If you’re applying after 31 March you’ll need to contact us.
Before starting your online application make sure you have your credit card or bank account details handy, and that you’ve received our email with your registration number and password (see above).
Online APC application fees can only be paid by Credit Card or Bank Transfer (Direct Credit).
The website works best if your browser is at least IE 9 or Google Chrome. If you’re using an older browser you can still apply online, but the experience may not be as user-friendly.
If you changed your contact details with us after 31 January your updated details won’t be included in the prepopulated sections of your APC application. If this applies to you, you’ll need to update your details in the relevant sections/screens of your online application.

The online system will save the information you enter on each section/screen when you click on the 'Save and Continue' button. This means that you can exit at any time and return later. 

We won’t receive your application and any changes you make to your details, until you complete the online application including paying the fee. It may take 2 – 3 days before any changes to your contact details show on the online Register of Veterinarians. 


28 February 2019 deadline for discounted fee.
Your application and payment must be received by 28 February 2019 to qualify for the early discounted fee of $552. If you pay after that date you’ll need to pay the full fee of $579 by 31 March 2019.

2.   Annual Practising Certificate (APC) applications for the year ending 31 March 2019
The current practising year ends on 31 March 2019. If you wish to practise between now and 31 March and don’t already hold a practising certificate, you need to apply for one. To apply please download and complete the
2018/19 APC Application form and send it to us with the fee. 

NB only use this form if you’re applying for a practising certificate for the remainder of the current practising year ending on 31 March 2019.

We suggest that you also read the 2018/19 Guidance notes on applying for a practising certificate.

The practising certificate fee is $197.75 for the period 1 January 2019 – 31 March 2019.
If you’re not already registered with the Veterinary Council of New Zealand, click here.

Important points

  • It’s your professional responsibility to renew your practising certificate, ie not the responsibility of your employer or members of your staff
  • An application for an APC isn’t complete until we’ve received a complete application including the fee. See the Fees and Payment Section of the 2019/20 Guidance notes on applying for a practising certificate
  • We email tax receipts within 5 days of payment.
  • If you apply for an APC after your current certificate expires on 31 March 2019, you’ll need to wait until we’ve issued a practising certificate for the 2019/20 practising year before you can work as a veterinarian
  • Provided there aren’t any issues needing follow-up, we’ll email your Annual Practising Certificate within 5 days of receiving your complete application and fee.
  • If you don’t intend to practise in 2019/20 please choose 1 of the non-practising options on the renewal form and send us your application, with the fee if this is needed. 

Implications of Practising without an APC
As well as being illegal, practising without an APC can have very significant implications. For information about the possible consequences of practising illegally see
2019/20 Guidance notes on applying for a practising certificate

If you have any questions when completing your application please contact us at: or phone 04 473 9600.
Definition of Practising
'Practice' is described as any aspect of veterinary endeavour. The practice of veterinary science is described as:

  • signing any certificate
  • prescribing
  • treating
  • reporting or giving advice in a veterinary capacity using the knowledge, skills and competence initially attained for the BVSc degree. 'Practice' goes wider in this context than clinical veterinary science to include regulatory and compliance functions, teaching, consultancy, advice and health and welfare management 

A key question to ask yourself when thinking about whether you need a current practising certificate is: Does the position carry or convey the expectation that I am a veterinarian?
Definition of Non-Practising
A practitioner who’s registered as non-practising needs to meet the statutory and ethical obligations of the Veterinarians Act 2005, but can’t legally practise as a veterinarian. This means that they aren’t entitled to treat, prescribe restricted veterinary medicines or give advice in a veterinary capacity.

The non-practising category is intended to allow veterinarians who are retired, overseas, taking time out, or working in areas where registration isn’t needed, to keep their name on the register. Choosing the non-practising status and paying the annual register maintenance fee means that:

  • we keep your details on the public (non practising) Register of Veterinarians
  • we keep you current on Council and professional issues by sending regular Council publications and documents
  • we continue inviting you to apply for an APC or choose another practising status. 

Retired from Practice 

The retired category is for permanently retired veterinarians. This allows their details to remain on the public (non practising) Register at no cost. However, retired veterinarians who want us to send them Council communications need to pay the non practising fee of $18 (see above).

Recency of Practice
The Council must be satisfied that veterinarians meet the practising requirements of the Act which include recency of practice requirements.
Veterinarians need to ask for Council approval in circumstances where they:

  • wish to resume veterinary practice after a break of 3 or more years; or
  • wish to start practice in New Zealand and haven’t practised within 1 year of graduation, or within 1 year of passing an approved registration examination or assessment programme; or
  • they wish to start work in a field of veterinary activity they haven’t ever practised in, or haven’t practised in for 3 years or more
  If any of these apply to you please send full details of your practising intentions, work history and CPD activities in a CV format.
See our Policy on Recency of Practice for detailed information and feel free to contact us for advice.