Veterinary surgeons have all sorts of letters after their names. But what do they mean? To help you translate and to reassure you that our referral team are highly qualified to do their job, we thought it would be useful to explain the relevance of the various clinical qualifications which practising veterinary surgeons might achieve:
Membership of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. This is the entry qualification without which no one is permitted to practise veterinary medicine in the United Kingdom. It is awarded after five years’ successful study at an approved university veterinary school.
Certificate Level — Cert CHP, CertVD, Cert SAS etc.
A certificate is an indication of a competent clinician and is obtained by examination not less than 2 years after qualification as a veterinary surgeon.
Advanced Practitioner status
‘Advanced Practitioner’ is an official recognition of a veterinary surgeon’s particular knowledge and skills in a designated field of veterinary practice. The list of Advanced Practitioners provides a clear indication to the profession and the public of those veterinary surgeons who we have accredited at postgraduate certificate level (Masters level 7), and who have not only demonstrated knowledge and experience in a particular area of veterinary practice beyond their initial primary veterinary degree, but who have also confirmed that they continue to be up to date in their field over and above the RCVS minimum requirements for continuing professional development (CPD).
Diploma Level: DBR, DDVA, DLAS etc.
A diploma is an indication of a high standard of academic and professional expertise gained by examination.
Recognition as a specialist by the RCVS is an indication of an expert who usually after obtaining a diploma, has satisfied a number of other stringent criteria. Uniquely specialist status is reviewed and re-assessed every five years. These clinicians are identified by the title ‘RCVS recognised specialist in’
Whilst the majority of referrals will be made to clinicians with a diploma or specialist recognition, there are occasions when other, less formally qualified, will accept referral cases. Your veterinary surgeon will be happy to answer any questions which you may have.