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.

To apply for Limited Registration click here.

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 2023 Massey graduate, choose the Massey 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 applicants should choose General registration. 

Massey registrationbea24694-d92d-445f-94ea-ad08487a5b492022
Limited registratione7f16d94-4947-492f-bc40-80ef415ed45d2022
General registration32f6fa92-0efc-4e1e-b609-771b253974352022
TTMRA registrationa7087b31-917a-4653-b2fc-7dd59bfc92382022

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 recognition of prior learning

Overseas qualified veterinarians who aren't able to practise in New Zealand, may be eligible to gain advanced entry into the Massey BVSc programme. To be eligible for advanced entry to the programme, you need to be a New Zealand resident/citizen and pass a Massey University challenge exam.
Massey University's Centre for Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) offers an exam preparation opportunity (PACE course), for overseas qualified veterinarians wishing to sit the year 2 BVSc challenge examinations run by the School of veterinary Science. This is offered when there is a reasonable likelihood that there is space in the BVSc programme to accept more students (i.e. it may not be offered every year and places are strictly limited).

*Please note that Massey University is not able to offer challenge examinations to overseas trained veterinarians in 2023 because the programme is at capacity.*
Successful candidates who've passed the examinations and are offered a place in the BVSc programme, are able to reduce the number of years of  study by entering at the beginning of Year 3.

What are the prerequisites?

Applications will be considered from people who:
(a) Have been granted New Zealand citizenship or permanent resident status, and have a permanent place of abode in New Zealand.
(b) Provide documented proof that they hold a degree in Veterinary Science obtained after a minimum of four years full-time University study in an overseas university.
(c) Be eligible for admission to Massey University with equivalent status (see admission Ad Eundem Statum Regulations, Massey University Calendar).
(d) Provide documented proof that they have an IELTS (Academic) score of 7.0 overall, with no band less than 7.0.

How will I learn?

You'll be provided with access to online course material to all Year 2 courses within the BVSc degree for you to study at home in your own time. These courses are as follows:
227.212 Animal Production for Veterinarians 1
227.215 Animal Production for Veterinarians 2
2227.221 Veterinary Structure and Function I
227.222 Professional Practice
227.224 Veterinary Structure and Function II
227.225 Veterinary Infectious Diseases

Course details

Contact Professional and Continuing Education: [email protected] Tel: 0800 MASSEY and ask for PACE or phone directly 06 951 7082 for information on:
  · Price
  · Registration for Challenge Examinations
  · Closing dates

Or you can complete this application form and send to Professional and Continuing Education: [email protected]

NOTE: Registration details for the programme will be provided to you once confirmation of your eligibility and evidence that you meet the prerequisites has been received.