To practise veterinary medicine in British Columbia, you must first be registered with the CVBC.
Requirements for registration are established in the bylaws (s. 2.7, 2.12-2.15) and identified in the application form. The general requirements are similar across all of the registration classes, except for the distinctions between the classes as noted below:
Private Practice – unrestricted license to practice veterinary medicine; requires a Certificate of Qualification from the CVMA-National Examining Board.
Provisional Supervised Active (PSA) Registration – in September 2021, the CVBC introduced Provisional Supervised registration as a subcategory of the Private Practice class. It is available to veterinarians who do not yet have a Certificate of Qualification. Eligible candidates must have already completed the BCSE and NAVLE exams. PSA registration enables these veterinarians to work under supervision of a CVBC veterinarian while they prepare for and complete the Pre-Surgical Assessment and Clinical Proficiency Exam. More information on PSA registration can be found below (after the general registration information).
Specialty Private Practice – only available to Diplomates of the American or European Boards of Veterinary Specialties; privilege to practice is restricted to the registrant’s documented area of board certification(s); no Certificate of Qualification is required.
Public Sector – only available to veterinarians employed by the federal or provincial governments, or similar; no Certificate of Qualification is required, but the applicant must provide a copy of their employment contract, must only practice within the scope of their duties within that role, and must cease to practice if/when their contract ends.
Temporary Registration for an External Licensed Veterinarian – a veterinarian who maintains a current equivalent license in another recognized jurisdiction may seek a temporary license to practice in BC (in the Private Practice or Specialty Private Practice area) for a maximum of 30 days (consecutive or non-consecutive within 1 calendar year. The applicant is not required to complete the bylaw exam or attend a bylaw seminar, but does not have full privileges of registration. This class is intended for veterinarians based in other jurisdictions who are coming to BC for a short-term contract, or infrequently (eg. locum or visiting specialist services).
To apply for registration, please create an online “Applicant Account”, after which you will be able to complete the CVBC’s Online Application for Registration.
Alternatively, you can print and manually complete the pdf-version of the Application Form.
With either format, a hard copy of the completed application must be signed in front of a notary public or commissioner of oaths, then the original document, with all supporting materials (see #2), must be mailed to the CVBC office to the attention of the Registration Coordinator.
The requirements of the application form are explained in the CVBC’s bylaws (Part 2 – Registration)
Unless provided to the office as original documents or received by the CVBC office directly from the issuing body, all supporting materials must be submitted as copies that have been “certified true” by a notary public in Canada.
Supporting documents (letters of standing/license verification from other jurisdictions; Dean’s letters of conduct for new graduates; reference letters if required) must not predate the application to the CVBC by more than 1 month.
Notarized copies of diplomas or transcripts will be accepted up to one year after the date of notarization, or the Registrar may accept a copy of a diploma or transcript that is forwarded to the CVBC directly from another regulatory body.
Any applicant who completed their veterinary education at an AVMA-accredited veterinary school, or from an acceptable veterinary school where instruction was provided in English is considered to have satisfied the CVBC’s requirement for English Language Proficiency.
An applicant who completed their veterinary education at an acceptable (recognized but not accredited by the AVMA) veterinary school where instruction was not provided in English must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by providing a verifiable and satisfactory test score from one of the following testing providers:
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – Academic version
Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Assessment
Required minimum scores for each of these tests are specified in section 2.12(2) of the CVBC Bylaws, Part 2 – Registration.
The National Examining Boards assessment examination(s) that result in the issuance of a Certificate of Qualification (CQ) are accepted as the initial assessment of skills and qualification of a veterinarian. Once a veterinarian has received a CQ, the CVBC’s bylaws set the expectation that skills and knowledge are maintained by a minimum of 12 months of practise in Canada within a 5-year period (bylaw s. 2.12(3)).
Therefore, once a veterinarian has held a CQ for 5 or more years, the CVBC must consider whether the applicant for Private Practice registration has met this minimum requirement. If an applicant has not practised veterinary medicine in Canada for a minimum of 12 months in the preceding 5 year period, the Registration Committee must make its own assessment of the applicant’s currency of skill and knowledge before making a registration decision.
This assessment is accomplished through a review of recent Continuing Education efforts, the applicant’s resumé and detailed professional history, and letters sought from recent colleagues who are able to attest to the nature and scope of the applicant’s recent veterinary practice experience, and serve as references for the applicant’s skill, knowledge and professional conduct.
An application file will be forwarded to the Registrar for decision only when it is complete and includes all of the required documentation and confirmation of payment of required fees. The Registrar must be satisfied that the applicant meets all requirements and is qualified to be registered.
The Registrar may grant registration, may make further inquiries regarding the applicant, or may refer the application to the Registration Committee. Following review of a referred application, the Registration Committee may direct the Registrar to either:
All registrants are required to keep the CVBC informed of their current personal contact information and their practice facility affiliations. At the time of registration, applicants are asked to complete and return the Contact and Practice Information Form:
This form serves several purposes:
*Note: the CVBC does not publish any personal contact information in the online registry; only practice facility information is published.
Provisional supervised active registration may be sought by veterinarians who wish to be registered with the CVBC in the Private Practice class but are not yet eligible because they do not yet have a Certificate of Qualification (CQ) granted by the National Examining Board (NEB). PSA registration in the Private Practice class is intended as a transitional form of registration that enables veterinarians to practice in BC, under controlled supervised circumstances, until they acquire a CQ and will be eligible for full unrestricted registration.
This form of registration is intended for:
To earn a CQ from the NEB, these candidates must successfully complete the Basic & Clinical Sciences Exam (BCSE), the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE), the Pre-Surgical Assessment (the “other” PSA) and the Clinical Proficiency Exam (CPE).
– Once a candidate has completed, at a minimum, the BCSE and the NAVLE, they are eligible to apply for Provisional Supervised registration with the CVBC, while waiting and preparing for the Pre-Surgical Assessment and the CPE.
These candidates are required by the NEB to also complete the Pre-Surgical Assessment and the CPE before they can receive a CQ.
– Once a candidate has completed the NAVLE, they are eligible to apply for Provisional Supervised registration with the CVBC, while waiting and preparing for the Pre-Surgical Assessment and the CPE.
A PSA registrant is permitted to engage in the practice of veterinary medicine in British Columbia but must at all times work under the direct supervision of a veterinarian who:
For information about the bylaw and policy requirements of a PSA registrant, and of the PSA registrant’s Primary and additional supervisors, please refer to:
CVBC Bylaws, Part 2 – Registration, section 2.8(A) and 2.12
Registration Committee Policy: Requirements of a Primary Supervisor to a PSA Registrant
Veterinarians interested in acting as the Primary Supervisor for a PSA registrant must complete and submit the Registrant Supervision Agreement form for approval by the Registrar:
A Primary Supervisor should not have a conflict of interest that will interfere with their ability to provide objective evaluation of the PSA registrant. If either the proposed Primary Supervisor or the PSA registrant is concerned that there may be a real or perceived conflict of interest, or if either party is unsure what might create a conflict of interest, please contact the CVBC (604-929-7090, firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss.
The CVBC is preparing a “Provisional Supervised Registration Handbook” that summarizes the information in the above resources and also provides additional information. Once complete, it will be available here as a downloadable resource.
Provisional Supervised Active registration is granted by the Registration Committee for a maximum of 2 years (with registration to be renewed, and registration fees paid, annually as with all CVBC registrants, by no later than December 31st of each year). A PSA registrant who does not successfully complete the NEB requirements and receive a CQ within the allotted 2 years may request an extension from the Registration Committee; any approved extension must not exceed 2 years.
Throughout the term of the PSA registration, the Registrar’s Office must receive Quarterly Reports from the PSA’s Primary Supervisor. The Registration Committee will receive updates from the Registrar about a PSA registrant’s progress, and of any discussions that the Registrar has with the PSA and/or the Primary Supervisor regarding the assessments included in the quarterly reports.
Once a PSA registrant has successfully completed the NEB’s examinations and has been issued a Certificate of Qualification, the Registrar may grant the registrant full registration in the Private Practice class following receipt of an official copy of the candidate’s CQ or notification directly from the NEB.
Individuals wishing to apply for PSA registration may use the general online Application for Registration form which can be accessed by first creating an online Applicant Account, and follow the instructions provided.
Once the office has received the application, your supporting documents and the necessary fees, you have completed the bylaw exam and your application is otherwise complete (except for a CQ), it will be presented to the Registration Committee for consideration for PSA registration.
The Registration Committee generally meets on a 4-5 week cycle. Please contact the Registration Coordinator, Christina Spring, at email@example.com for more information.
All applicants for Private Practice, Specialty Private Practice, and Public Sector registration are required to:
The examination is offered through a secure, online live-proctoring platform (Yardstick/ProctorU). The seminar is presented online via Zoom videoconference.
Applicants must pre-register with the Registration Coordinator to attend both the bylaw exam and seminar. This requires the initiation of an application for registration involving the submission to the office of a minimum of the following items at least 4 weeks before the scheduled exam, and at least 2 weeks before the scheduled seminar session:
The Bylaw examination is offered monthly, generally on the first Wednesday of each month. It is a 1-hour, ‘open book’ (electronic resources provided by the exam-hosting platform) exam, consisting of a combination of multiple choice & true/false questions.
The bylaw exam content is centered upon the Veterinarians Act and the CVBC’s Bylaws.
Applicants should be familiar with the documents below before taking the exam:
These references are available electronically to test-takers during the examination.
Additionally, all new registrants should be familiar with the CVBC’s Policies, Standards and Guidelines, as posted on our website here.
The Bylaw & Ethics Seminar is presented via live webinar. Seminars are held quarterly, in the afternoon of the first Wednesday of February, May, August & November.
The seminar dates for 2021 are:
The seminar begins at 1:00 p.m. and will take between 3 and 4 hours (dependent upon live Q&A).
Attendance at a bylaw seminar is a requirement of registration. However, as the seminar is only presented every 3 months, a new registrant who did not already attend the seminar (during the application process) must attend a seminar within the first year of registration with the CVBC.
|Class||Date Registration Granted|
|January 1 – March 31||April 1 – June 30||July 1 – September 30||October 1 – December 31|
|Private Practice (PP)||$1395 + GST = $1464.75||$1046.25 + GST = $1098.56||$697.50 + GST = $732.38||$348.75 + GST = $366.19|
|Provisional Supervised Active (PSA)||$1395 + GST = $1464.75||$1046.25 + GST = $1098.56||$697.50 + GST = $732.38||$348.75 + GST = $366.19|
|Specialty Private Practice||$1395 + GST = $1464.75||$1046.25 + GST = $1098.56||$697.50 + GST = $732.38||$348.75 + GST = $366.19|
|Public Sector||$1046.25 + GST = $1098.56||$784.69 + GST =$823.92||$523.13 + GST = $549.28||$261.56 + GST = $274.64|
|Temporary Registration for an External Licensed Veterinarian||$400 + GST (for 30 days of practice within 1 calendar year) = $420.00|