Work in the UK

There are many reasons for working in the UK and also several steps you need to take in order to make this a reality for you.


High Clinical Standards


Job Opportunities


Universal Language

Working Conditions

Veterinary practice in the UK offers a number of advantages over European practice

  • Clinical standards are very high
  • Veterinarians are highly respected and trusted
  • Facilities are generally excellent
  • High caseloads provide plentiful experience and exposure to rare and interesting conditions
  • Compulsory continuing professional development (cpd) ensures skills remain current and of a high standard
  • Clients are usually caring, involved and committed
  • Comparatively high levels of pet insurance mean that vets often have the opportunity to provide the best treatment regimes, with fewer limitations imposed by cost
  • Salaries and working conditions are good
  • Opportunities for professional development and progression are widely available

Preparation is Key

Over a quarter of RCVS registered specialists initially trained outside the UK, and an increasing number of non-UK vets now run their own practices, either independently or through joint venture partnerships. Enthusiastic, hard working professionals can succeed in this environment.

But adequate preparation is vital. Unless candidates can demonstrate that they understand their professional obligations in the UK, how to communicate with clients and be an effective member of the practice team, they may face difficulties in getting that first job or most importantly, not loosing it after just a few days.

What You Need to Work in the UK

VetAbroad® partners with UK VetMove to provide a complete relocation and recruitment solution, helping you from the moment you decide that the UK is the right option for you, through the process of finding a suitable job and moving abroad, and especially becoming a more effective employee from day one. 

With the UK leaving the EU, the requirements for any vet from abroad are similar:

  • You will need to register with the RCVS (you may be required to sit an exam and provide an English language certificate)
  • You will need to receive a job offer from an approved sponsor (unless you qualify for working in the UK without a visa)
  • You will need to apply for a visa

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn about common questions regarding eligibility to work in the UK.

Do I need to sit an exam with the RCVS?

If you graduate from certain universities, you don’t. If when you graduate your university is AVMA-accredited, EAEVE-accredited (and in the EU) or you graduate from Australia, New Zealand or South Africa, you don’t need to take an exam. Here’s a list of the approved universities by country.

Where can I see more information about RCVS registration?

All the details about the registration with the RCVS can be seen on the RCVS website.

How much does the RCVS exam cost?

The exam costs £2500 (at the time of writing), but please always confirm this with the RCVS.

Is there a preparation course for the exam?

There is no official preparation course, but VetSwot has created an online course with all the modules assessed on the RCVS exam. Joining their course with this link gives you a 10% discount.

How do I know if I need a visa?

You will need a visa to work in most situations where you don’t have an Irish passport, are part of the EU settlement scheme or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK. You can learn more about it by taking this quiz.

Do I need to take an English test to register with the RCVS?

You will need to provide IELTS or OET results to the RCVS if English is not your native language.

I need to take the exam, how often does it take place?

The exam has 3 parts and takes place once a year in the UK.

What are the 3 parts of the exam?

The first is a multiple choice questionnaire on all aspects of clinical practice and public health. The second is an exam on professionalism and the Code of Conduct. The third is a series of practical tests called OSCE.

Can I find a job before I register with the RCVS?

This is unlikely if you need a visa, as you cannot receive visa sponsorship without RCVS registration. Some exceptions apply for public health roles and this may change at short notice.

Ready to Work in the UK?

If you are serious about moving to the UK and can fill all the requirements, we can help you get started with your job application and search.

  • We will help you with your CV
  • We will help you with your cover letter
  • We will help you prepare for job interviews
  • We will refer you to UK employers
  • We will help you prepare for UK practice


How to receive help?

  1. Download our registration form
  2. Choose the complete package and your payment preferences
  3. Email your form to info@vetabroad.com
  4. Wait for us to contact you back


"The UK VetMove program, seemed to me like the light at the end of a tunnel, whenever I was feeling lost and wondering what my next step should be. I wanted to work abroad mainly just so I could get clinical experience for my future goals, but I wasn't sure how to go about it. Andreia gave me a heart warming welcome and explained exactly how things would roll! She made me feel supported, listened to my worries as a newly graduate vet, always spoke calmy and clearly and contributed a lot to making that scary feeling of starting to work as a professionally in the UK, slowly vanish. "

– Carolina Neves

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