Competence specific Registration


Competence specific (Restricted) Registration Veterinarians

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No applications will be processed without proof of payment of the application fee. Applicants please read the policy guidelines and obtain support from your employer

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The main purpose of competence specific or restricted registration is to facilitate veterinarians with specific skills and competence - including veterinarians with physical disabilities, foreign applicants and veterinarians whose registration has lapsed – to register as veterinarians in South Africa

The veterinary profession has evolved into a complex group of specialized activities e.g. production animal practice, veterinary public and environmental health, wildlife, state veterinary practice, and companion animal practice, wherein veterinarians may limit their scope of practice and make outstanding contributions to the veterinary profession in these specific areas.

Consideration of competence specific registration is necessary due to the shortages of veterinarians in South Africa and the difficulties experienced to recruit veterinarians locally in some areas of specific expertise or competence.


Area of Competence:- The specific veterinary discipline, area of speciality or field of expertise in which a veterinarian is competent, or specialised.

Competence specific registration: - The registration by the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) of veterinarians with specific skills and competence, to work in their chosen area of competence, without having to complete all the aspects of the standard Council Examination.

Competence specific registration is applicable only to persons that have successfully completed a veterinary degree which is not recognised by the SAVC for registration purposes, and to South African veterinarians whose registration with the SAVC has lapsed for a period of time, making it necessary to reapply for registration. Specialist registration is included in this concept.

Applications will be considered from suitable candidates according to the conditions and guidelines described in this document.

Where needed provisions of the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Act, 1982 may need to be changed
Provisional categories

The SAVC has provisionally accepted competence specific registration for veterinarians within academia, research and laboratory diagnostic services, as well as for veterinarians with physical disabilities that make sitting the standard full SAVCl examination impractical.

Except for veterinarians with physical disabilities, all other competence specific registrations (in academia, research or laboratory diagnostic services) will be restricted to a specific employer. In the case of a foreign applicant, the employer must provide adequate motivation for the need and evidence that no suitably qualified veterinarian registered by SAVC could be recruited for the particular position.

There must be a well-defined and controlled scope of veterinary practice within the employing institution.

The applicant must provide evidence of sustained excellence in his/her chosen area of competence. Competence specific registration will not be considered under conditions where the good standing of the veterinary profession could be harmed.

The level of evaluation should be comprehensive in relation to the veterinarian’s area of competence.

Registration will be limited to the area of competence. Any veterinary procedure not covered in the scope of practice relevant to the competence specific registration may only be done by additional authorisation

Persons with competence specific registration will be required to conform to the compulsory CPD requirements of the SAVC.

The Registration and Authorisation Committee of the SAVC will consider each case on merit, and the applicant needs to provide sufficient evidence of competence for approval by the SAVC.

No specialist registration will be granted without input by the Specialist Committee of the SAVC

Application for Competence specific registration shall include:
An authentic certificate of the applicant’s veterinary qualification(s)
Letter of good standing from the previous registration authority
Well-defined description of the area of competence and scope of practice/ employment sought
Motivation by the employer that the specific qualifications and experience of the applicant are acceptable for the intended scope of practice/ employment and where appropriate a waiver for the need of an examination may be requested.

· Description of additional training to be undertaken to provide for local requirements, if required
Where applicable, an application to sit a SAVC Examination shall be made. This will need to cover extensively the area(s) of competence or expertise relevant to the intended scope of practice or specialist area applicable to the applicant. A request with appropriate motivation is required for all subjects and/ or material that should be excluded from the examination.

Examples for exclusion are:

· '’Species specialists’ may apply to be exempted from medicine and surgery of other species e.g. ‘Equine specialist’ may be excluded from small animals, production animals, wildlife and exotic species medicine and surgery

· a veterinarian with special competence in pathology, microbiology, pharmacology or veterinary public health, etc. may apply to be exempted from e.g. surgery.

No applicant will be exempted from Veterinary Jurisprudence: an examination that includes the legislation relevant to the veterinary and para-veterinary professions shall always be a requirement for competence specific registration

If there is sufficient motivation that both or either of the undergraduate or postgraduate qualifications is acceptable for the intended field of activity/scope of practice, general examination will be not required and competence specific registration as veterinarian and as specialist, if appropriate, will be granted, with only an evaluation of Veterinary Jurisprudence required for foreign applicants.

Competence specific registration so granted will be:

Permanent, subject to compliance with the conditions of the registration

Subject to payment of standard registration fee and annual maintenance fees to the SAVC

Recorded as being restricted to the indicated scope of practice.

Scripts and certificates may be issued in line with the scope of the competence specific registration.

When new employment is sought:

An application needs to be resubmitted as before

SAVC’s register will be adjusted accordingly if approved

Unless the need for an examination has been waived, all the following applicants will need to successfully complete a restricted SAVC examination in which certain subjects or procedures may be excluded - as approved by the SAVC - to qualify for competence specific registration:
Foreign veterinary graduates whose undergraduate qualifications do not currently entitle them to automatic registration as a veterinarian;

· Foreign veterinary graduates who, through holding postgraduate South African veterinary qualifications that would normally have lead to specialist registration (e.g. MMedVet), have undergraduate veterinary qualifications that do not currently entitle them to automatic registration as a veterinarian;
Foreign veterinary postgraduates whose qualifications do not currently entitle them to automatic registration as a veterinarian

Standard SAVC examination conditions and procedures will apply except for the waiver of certain subjects.

Standard examination fees will also apply, even if some subjects are omitted. Where only Veterinary jurisprudence is evaluated, the SAVC may consider a reduced examination fee.

The registration will be limited to teaching, clinical services and research within the veterinarian’s area of competence for a specific employer

It is important that the need to train veterinary specialists or veterinarians with specific areas of competence within the academic institution not be circumvented through the granting of competence specific registration.

Application for competence specific registration shall include description of:

· Academic speciality or discipline and modules to be taught

· Associated clinical work that would be expected from applicant

· Field of research that the applicant will be involved with, with specific reference to areas that require clinical veterinary practice/ procedures

Registration so granted will be:

Recorded as being restricted to:
Academic post
Specific scope of practice associated with the post, i.e. teaching, service rendering, and research
Specific employer
Research and Laboratory diagnostic Services

The registration will be restricted to research/laboratory diagnostic work in the veterinarian’s area of competence

The employer must subscribe to Good Laboratory Practice and subscribe to the relevant Codes

Application shall include as motivation:
Detailed job description
Description of associated clinical work that may be expected from the applicant

· Field of research that the applicant will be involved with, with specific reference to areas which fall within the scope of clinical veterinary practice/ procedures
A description by the employer of any additional restrictions that will apply

Registration so granted will be:

Recorded as being restricted to:

· research/ laboratory diagnostic work in area of competence

· Specific scope of practice

· Specific employer

Physical disabilities

This will apply to veterinarians whose registration has lapsed and who have become disabled, and to foreign veterinary candidates with disabilities who want to work in South Africa , and who may be physically unable to complete the full Council examination

Veterinarians with competence specific registration due to physical disabilities may practice as self-employed professionals in their specific designated area of competence

The candidate would need to provide evidence to the SAVC of a permanent medical disability, preventing practical examination of certain procedures and making the examination of certain subjects superfluous.

Candidate must provide evidence to the SAVC that an adequate monitoring system can be provided to ensure compliance with the provisions relevant to the imposed restrictions on registration and that the standard of care of patients will not be compromised

The applicant must provide evidence of sustained excellence in his chosen area of competence

The Registration will be restricted to the scope of practice applied for.
Application for competence specific shall registration include as motivation
Evidence of a permanent medical disability
Previous track record
Well-defined description of the intended scope of practice, specifically the range of work that the applicant will be able to do;
Conditions or circumstance that prevent the examination of certain subjects or practice
The commitment by a registered veterinarian(s) willing and able to take responsibility for monitoring the compliance of the provisions of the competence specific registration

Veterinarians and Veterinary Specialists previously registered with the SAVC who have become disabled, or foreign veterinary candidates with disabilities, from countries who qualify for registration with the SAVC, can apply for exemption of the SAVC examination for competence specific registration.

Where examination is needed, the standard conditions apply, only with the waiver of certain subjects and procedures as described above.

Registration so granted will be

Recorded as being restricted to a specified scope of practice due to the specified disability

Candidate will be afforded the right to practise in his registered field of activity

Links to African Council websites

Veterinary Statutory Bodies in Africa

Veterinary Council of Namibia

Veterinary Council of Zimbabwe (department of livestock and veterinary services)

Kenya Veterinary Board

Veterinary Council of Tanzania

Botswana Veterinary Association

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