To practise or use the title “veterinarian” in New Zealand you must be registered with us and have a current annual practising certificate (APC).

If you're already registered but need to renew your APC, you can read about APCs here.

On this page:
Basic information
General registration
Limited registration
Specialist registration
If you are already registered in Australia
Apply for registration
Other ways to get registered

Basic information

There are three types of registration:

  • General registration
  • Limited registration
  • Specialist registration.

All applicants must satisfy the Council that they:

  • Can communicate in and understand English to an appropriate standard for practising as a veterinarian in New Zealand. Applicants whose first language isn't English will be required to provide evidence of English competency by sitting and passing an approved English test to the required level. Please refer to the Council's Policy on English Competence for further information.
  • Meet the fitness and recency of practice requirements. The Council will require a letter of good standing from previous registration authority/authorities and will require you to make statements about your recency of practice and fitness to practise.

General Registration (no examination)

We accept the veterinary degrees and passes in the examinations and assessment programmes listed in this Gazette notice for registration without further examination.

If your degree is listed, or you have a pass in one of the listed examinations or assessment programmes, you will be eligible for registration without any further examination, provided you meet our minimum standards for practising and English language requirements.

Limited Registration

Limited registration is a pathway for those who are not eligible for general registration. It allows for people to be registered in a limited scope of practice. Currently, we accept applications under the following scopes of practice:

  • Biosecurity scope
  • Postgraduate Training Scope
  • Academic scope
  • Industry scope - Laboratory & diagnostic
  • Particular skills for a restricted period
  • Restricted Purpose Scope
  • Time limited scope for New Zealand based National Veterinary Examination candidates

For further information refer to:

To enquire further about limited registration, please contact us. 

Specialist Registration

Registered veterinary specialists are those with higher qualifications and skill levels in a particular branch of veterinary medicine who have undergone recognised advanced and supervised training and passed recognised specialist examinations.
To search the list of New Zealand Veterinary Specialists click here .
You can view the current Policy on Specialist Registration by clicking here .
For detailed information about the application process we suggest you read the guidance  on the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) website. This includes examples of qualifications whose formal full time training programmes generally meet the standards for specialist registration.

New veterinary specialties

There is a pathway for suitably qualified founding members of new veterinary specialties to gain specialist registration in Australia and New Zealand. The AVBC has set minimum standards which apply to founding members of new specialities; these form part of the requirements for registration as a veterinary specialist in the new speciality in Australia and New Zealand.
Founding member applicants need to contact the VCNZ Registrar direct for a Founding Members of New Specialities application form – see below.

Applying for Specialist Registration

Step 1
Applicants apply direct to the AVBC for an assessment of the suitability of their qualifications, training and experience for specialist registration. This assessment is carried out by the ACRVS on VCNZ's behalf.
To apply for an assessment of your eligibility for specialist registration either:

  1. if your training programme is listed in the AVBC guidance, visit the AVBC website and follow their specialist registration process; or
  2. if you wish to apply for registration as a specialist in a new specialty, contact the VCNZ Registrar for a Founding Members of New Specialities application form, then send it to the AVBC

Step 2
Once you've received the ACRVS assessment indicating that you're eligible for specialist registration, you need to send your Specialist Registration Application Form to VCNZ for consideration.
Important Note: Australian registered specialists will already have undergone the ACRVS assessment process. They should therefore apply directly to VCNZ for specialist registration under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition provisions using the TTMRA Specialist Registration application form.

Veterinarians already registered in Australia

If you're registered as a veterinarian or a veterinary specialist in any Australian jurisdiction you can apply under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement (TTMRA) provisions.

Apply for registration

If you are a NZ qualified Massey graduate, complete the General registration option. If you are already registered in any Australian state or territory, choose the TTMRA registration option. If you would like to apply for limited registration, choose the Limited Registration option. All other overseas applicants with a recognised qualification should choose General registration.

TTMRA registration48b5c22d-7c82-448c-a183-a56db624d78c2024
General registration5e18de1d-4e88-4efe-9ab3-ea211fb6864f2024
Limited registration8a8c7fb9-109c-4444-ad5a-00c705daf0e02024

Other ways to get registered

Registration by Examination

If you received your primary degree from a university that is not on the list of recognised institutions , you're not registered in Australia, and you don't hold a pass in a recognised examination or assessment programme, you may be entitled to apply for registration by sitting and passing the combined Australasian Veterinary Examination (AVE).
The AVE is a two part assessment comprising of a preliminary examination and a final examination, and is administered by the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC). For information about the NVE refer to the AVBC website at

Massey University supervised year of clinical training

 Tāwharau Ora, the Veterinary School at Massey University aims to offer a couple of places each year for the clinical training component under the following programmes:

  • American Association of Veterinary State Boards, Programme for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE)
  • American Veterinary Medical Association, Certificate of the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG)
  • Canadian National Examining Board Licensing Examination (CVMA NEB)

The availability of these places each year will depend on the predicted BVSc5 class size, but the ‘year’ of clinical training would commence in late November and should be completed within 12 months. Preference would be given to internationally qualified veterinarians that already have NZ residency or citizenship (i.e. would be domestic students) although international students would also be considered. Information about tuition fees and other costs can be found on the Massey website at this link.

To be considered, applicants must have met all the requirements of one of the above-named programmes; applicants who are originally from a country where English is not the first language must show evidence of English language competence that meets the requirements of the Veterinary Council of New Zealand as outlined in their Policy on English Competence

Tāwharau Ora cannot guarantee that there will be availability for places in clinical training each year. In years where there will be places available, there will be a selection process to ensure that applicants have appropriate communication and problem-solving skills to spend time in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The selection process includes one of the components that we include for selection of students into our Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) programme (the Multiple Mini Interview). This is conducted through the Kira talent platform and is available online so you don’t need to travel to Palmerston North for this assessment. There is a non-refundable fee for the selection process of approximately NZ$400.00 and this needs to be paid prior to sitting the MMI assessment – you will be advised of the current cost when you register an expression of interest. Not all places will be allocated if applicants don’t achieve a sufficient score in the MMI assessment. It is recommended that applicants have met the VCNZ Policy on English Competence before they sit the MMI but achieving this standard is not a guarantee of scoring well in the MMI as it assesses more than just communication skills.

 If you wish to be considered for an offer of clinical training for one of the above-named programmes (and you have already met all their requirements to progress to this stage) email [email protected] before 1st July to be considered for a start in late November of that year.