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UK regulator RCVS formally accredits UCD veterinary degree

Posted 30 June, 2021

The regulator for veterinary professionals in the UK has formally accredited the UCD veterinary degree, thereby allowing vets trained in Ireland to continue to practice in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the body responsible for veterinary standards and education in the UK, granted ''Full Accreditation' to UCD's Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine following a series of successful accreditation visits to the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine in 2020.

The accreditation means that, for the next seven years, graduates holding a UCD veterinary degree have an automatic right to joint the UK register.

“To receive RCVS accreditation is a great honour and the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine is delighted with the news, which has added historic significance,” said Dr Michael Doherty, Dean and Head of UCD School of Veterinary Medicine.

“It is a wonderful story, which has historical resonance for a school that was established as the Royal Veterinary College of Ireland in 1900.

“It brings further international recognition to the quality of veterinary education in University College Dublin, which is already reflected in its 23rd QS world ranking for UCD veterinary science - the highest QS subject ranking on the island of Ireland.”

Dr Linda Prescott-Clements, RCVS Director of Education, added: “Our visitation team found that the quality of the programme at Dublin, and how it prepares its graduates for life as practising vets, met the stringent standards we apply to all UK and international universities and we look forward to continuing to work with them over the coming years.”

The formal recognition of the UCD course follows a signed a mutual recognition agreement in 2019 between the RCVS and Veterinary Council of Ireland that sought to ensure veterinary graduates from Ireland could continue to work in surgeons in the UK, and vice versa for UK graduates regardless of the outcome of Brexit.

The agreement was, at the time, the first of its kind to be signed on a bilateral basis between the UK and another country in the European Economic Area.

Following the RCVS' decision, UCD’s programme in veterinary medicine is now accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Australasian Veterinary Board Council (AVBC), the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE), RCVS and the Veterinary Council of Ireland.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations