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Prospects and procedures for Veterinary licensing examination abroad

Veterinary profession has immense research and career potential abroad. Compared to any other profession, Veterinarians in Canada, European Union and United States are getting jobs with attractive pay packages and practice. Employment opportunities for veterinarians are almost endless and include private or corporate clinical practice, teaching and research, regulatory medicine, public health and military service. For example New Zealand requires more number of Veterinarians to meet the immediate demand, since the country faces an acute shortage of veterinarians in rural areas. Indian vets can exploit this potential to get easy placement in New Zealand.

According to Massey University, more vacancies of veterinary doctors exist in New Zealand. University authorities say that it will take more than 5 years to fill the existing vacancies of vets in the country. Rural areas are facing acute shortage of vets. This affects farmers who are rearing more number of cattle in the rural areas. New Zealand is one of the leading players in the Dairy industry of the world. Scarcity of vets in the country affects the trade of livestock products especially exports of livestock products. As far as Animal Husbandry sector is concerned, pet animal / companion animal rearing is more centered in urban areas whereas dairying and other livestock farming activities are taking place in the rural areas. Moreover there is acute shortage of veterinarians in the field of equine practice. Changing trends in veterinary profession and livestock sector coupled with people’s attitude, expectations and regulations contribute to the shortage of veterinarians in rural areas. In New Zealand working hours for the veterinarians has been reduced recently so as to make the veterinary practice more flexible and attractive.

In order to get New Zealand immigration, veterinary graduates have to complete IELTS with a band of 6 - 6.5. After New Zealand immigration veterinary graduates from the country can do externship up to two years under a registered veterinary practitioner in New Zealand. After externship, they can appear for the licensing examination of ECFVG (Educational Commission of Foreign Veterinary Graduates) examination. This examination has four steps. It includes assessment of veterinary graduation and college credentials, English language ability, basic and veterinary clinical science knowledge and hands on clinical veterinary medical skills. A candidate who successfully completes ECFVG examination will get DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) degree to start independent practice.

Certification programmes:

Foreign Veterinary Graduates and the NAVLE Individual licensing boards are responsible for determining the eligibility of candidates to sit for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE). From 2007-2008 onwards NAVLE administrations insist that ECFVG and Programme for Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE) candidates must have completed the Step 3 examination requirement of the respective program before they can be approved by a licensing board to take the NAVLE. All licensure candidates, whether they are graduates of accredited or non-accredited schools, must pass the NAVLE in order to be licensed to practice veterinary medicine by any licensing board in North America.

There are two certification programs for graduates of non-accredited veterinary schools, the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) and the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE). ECFVG The Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) program is a certification program for graduates of non-accredited veterinary schools operated by the American Veterinary Medical Association. All licensing boards accept ECFVG certificates for candidates seeking licensure. The ECFVG program consists of four steps. The first step is application and credentials verification, which requires the applicant to demonstrate that they are a graduate of a recognized (but not AVMA-accredited) school of veterinary medicine. The second step requires demonstration of English proficiency. Third step is passing the ECFVG's new basic and clinical sciences examination, and the fourth step is passing a three and a half day hands-on clinical examination (the Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE)). North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) administration insist that ECFVG candidates must pass the ECFVG's new step 3 examinations before they can be approved by a licensing board to take the NAVLE. For more information on the ECFVG program, contact: Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates American Veterinary Medical Association 1931 N. Meacham Rd., Suite 100 Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360 E-mail: ecfvg@avma.org Web site: http://www.avma.org/education/ecfvg

The Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE) is a certification program for graduates of non-accredited veterinary schools operated by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). About 24 licensing boards presently accept PAVE certificates in addition to ECFVG certificates. PAVE, like ECFVG, has four steps. Step 1 is application and credentials review, and Step to pass 2 is demonstration of English proficiency. PAVE step 3 requires candidates the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (NBVME)’s Qualifying Examination, designed to assess knowledge in basic science areas taught in the first three years of an accredited veterinary school, but not covered directly on the NAVLE. PAVE step 4 requires candidates to demonstrate clinical proficiency by completing at least 12 months of evaluated clinical experience at an accredited veterinary school, or by passing the Veterinary Clinical Skills Assessment (VCSA), a hands-on clinical skills examination developed by the NBVME. NAVLE administration also insists that PAVE candidates must pass the Qualifying Examination (PAVE step 3) before they can be approved by a licensing board to take the NAVLE. For more information on the PAVE program, contact: American Association of Veterinary State Boards 4106 Central Kansas City, MO 64111 E-mail: info@aavsb.org Web site: http://www.aavsb.org

Canada has its own certification requirements for international veterinary graduates. Temporary registration is available for Veterinarians working towards a Certificate of Qualification. Candidates must have passed the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) and be accepted to take the Clinical Proficiency Exam (CPE) for the Certificate of Qualification. Temporary members are required to be supervised by an ABVMA regulated member in order to practice veterinary medicine. Upon completion of the Certificate of Qualification, the applicant would be eligible to apply for Active Membership. Temporary registration is granted in 3-month intervals available for a maximum of 24 months. (http://canadianveterinarians.net) The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) is the national body representing the interests of the veterinary profession in Canada. The National Examining Board (NEB) is a board of the CVMA established to administer the NEB Examination. Graduates of a non-accredited veterinary school are required to complete all three parts of the examination sequence in order to receive a Certificate of Qualification. The veterinary licensing examination process for graduates of non-accredited veterinary schools involves:

  • The Basic and Clinical Sciences Examination (BCSE)
  • The North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE); and
  • The Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE).

To become a candidate of the NEB, you must request an application package (for a fee) from the CVMA website. The package includes an application form, a list of the documents to be submitted and a booklet that explains the exam process in detail. Contact the National Examining Board for more information.

Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) website: www.avma.ab.ca Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) websites: www.canadianveterinarians.net and www.animalhealthcare.ca
It is preferable for the veterinary graduates to apply for higher studies in any Veterinary school abroad. During this period they can prepare for licensing examinations.

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