RCVS and VCI Sign Historic Mutual Recognition Agreement

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI), the UK and Ireland veterinary regulators, have agreed an historic mutual recognition agreement (MRA) to facilitate the recognitions of each others’ accredited veterinary degrees.

At its meeting on Thursday 3 October 2019 RCVS Council, the College’s governing body, approved the mutual recognition agreement; the agreement had previously been approved by the Council of the VCI on 25 September.

The agreement means that UCD's MVB degree can be recognised by the RCVS and the current eight UK veterinary degrees can be recognised by the VCI.  As it stands, EEA citizens who graduate from UCD have an automatic right to work in the UK via the European Union’s Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive. The MRA means that, whatever the outcome of the UK leaving the European Union, following successful accreditation visits University College Dublin graduates can join the Register of Veterinary Surgeons in the UK, and UK graduates can join the VCI’s equivalent register.

Professor Michael Doherty, Dean & Head of the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, described the MRA as 'excellent news for the students and graduates of the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine in the context of Brexit uncertainty.  It provides reassurance to our students that whatever the outcome of the UK leaving the EU, following successful visits of accreditation, our graduates can continue to join the RCVS register.'

The MRA states that, in order to maintain the agreement, the RCVS and VCI will have the opportunity to attend accreditation visitations to each other’s veterinary schools in order to ensure that they are meeting their respective accreditation criteria for veterinary education. It is expected that these visitations will be carried out in conjunction with, or as part of, those of any international accreditation bodies, such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

In the coming weeks, the VCI President Peadar Ó Scanaill and Registrar Niamh Muldoon will meet with RCVS President Niall Connell and RCVS Director of Education, Dr Linda Prescott-Clements to sign the agreement.