Registration

The veterinary profession in South Africa is a learned and honourable profession. Veterinarians work passionately to diagnose, treat diseases and dysfunctions in animals as well as prevent diseases in animals. These individuals are expected to always act in such a manner as to maintain and promote the, honour, dignity and interests of the profession.  Veterinarians serve the public and the interests of the animals having regard to the latest scientific knowledge.

A veterinarian’s declaration upon qualification

When you become a veterinarian, you solemnly declare that you will:

  • practice the profession with honesty and integrity;
  • maintain and uphold high professional and scientific standards;
  • treat your patients to the best of your knowledge and ability and never intentionally cause them harm;
  • use your professional knowledge, skills and resources to protect and promote the health and welfare of animals and humans;
  • continue to improve your professional knowledge; and
  • strive to further the status and image of the veterinary profession.

No person may practise in the veterinary profession unless the person is registered with the SAVC or authorised by the SAVC to perform certain functions of a veterinarian.

Prescribed qualification to practice as a veterinarian

In order to qualify to practice as a veterinarian in South Africa, you must be in possession of the prescribed qualification as defined in the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Act (Act 19 of 1982)

The Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria (Onderstepoort campus) is currently the only institution in South Africa offering training for the qualification of veterinarian, the Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) degree.

However, Council also makes provision for holders of non-prescribed veterinary qualifications; this would be persons with international veterinary qualifications who wish to practice as veterinary professionals in South Africa, through the SAVC registration examination.
Refer to the Council Examination section for more details.

After obtaining the BVSc degree or passing the SAVC registration examination, you must register with Council for the first time as a CCS (Compulsory Community Service) veterinarian and complete the 12-months Compulsory Community (veterinary) Service (CCS) programme through the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD).

Register to practise Compulsory Community (veterinary) Service (CCS)

The CCS year is the end result of a wide consultation process in support of CCS as a means to bring veterinary services to all people of South Africa.
The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) implemented regulations relating to the performance of Compulsory Community (veterinary) Service (CCS). The CCS regulations include relevant information on:

  • persons who shall perform compulsory community service;
  • registration of persons performing compulsory community service;
  • conditions of service;
  • place where compulsory community service will be performed;
  • interruption of the period of compulsory community service; and
  • circumstances under which certain persons may be exempted from the performance of compulsory community service.

Requirements for registration as a CCS veterinarian:

  • Completed SAVC application form;
  • Letter of appointment from the DALRRD;
  • Certified copy of ID document or valid passport;
  • Certified copy of degree OR letter from the Dean; and
  • Proof of payment of the application fee.

Once registered with Council as a CCS veterinarian, a person will receive a confirmation of registration certificate with a CCS registration number in order to practice as a CCS veterinarian.

After successful completion of the BVSc degree and a one-year CCS programme, you can apply to become a registered veterinarian and work legally in the field as veterinarian and continue with your chosen field of veterinary services.

Refer to the frequently asked questions about the CCS year if you need more information.

Register to work as a veterinarian

After successful completion of the BVSc degree and a one-year CCS programme, you can apply to become a registered veterinarian and work legally in the field as veterinarian.

For an individual to be registered as a veterinarian, the applicant must either be a holder of:

  • BVSc degree from the University of Pretoria; or
  • BVMCh degree from Medunsa; or
  • an international veterinary qualification recognised by the SAVC for automatic registration; or
  • have sat, and passed, the SAVC registration examination.

All veterinarians who register with the SAVC for the first time must complete the one-year Compulsory Community Service (CCS) programme.

Refer to the CCS section if you need more information.

Requirements for registration as a veterinarian:

  • Completed SAVC application form;
  • Certificate of completion of CCS (from DALRRD);
  • Certified copy of ID document or valid passport;
  • Certified copy of degree; and
  • Proof of payment of the application fee, when applicable.

Once registered with Council as a veterinarian, a person will receive a SAVC registration certificate with a registration number to work legally in the field as veterinarian and continue in your chosen field of veterinary services.

Register to work as a veterinary specialist

For any veterinarian to become a specialist in a specific field in the veterinary profession, the applicant must either hold an MMedVet degree from the University of Pretoria or must undergo a peer review process.

Requirements for registration as a veterinary specialist for holders of MMedVet qualifications:

  • completed SAVC application form;
  • certified copy of the MMedVet degree;
  • a copy of the published article;
  • proof of a case study, and
  • proof of payment of the application fee.

Once registered with Council as a veterinary specialist, a person will receive a SAVC registration certificate with a new registration number as a veterinary specialist to work legally in the field of their specialisation.

Refer to the criteria for acceptance to enter the peer review process for veterinary specialists.

The applicant must:

  • be registered with the SAVC as a veterinarian;
  • provide a letter of good standing from the SAVC;
  • have a post-graduate qualification, at minimum a Masters’ degree or other higher post-graduate qualification that is acceptable to the Committee on Specialisation;
  • have a minimum of 7 years’ experience in the field of specialisation;
  • have spent at least 60% of their time during the above period in the field of specialisation;
  • have peer-reviewed publication(s) in the field of specialisation as primary or senior author;
  • have presented relevant original work at scientific meetings in the field of specialisation;
  • submit proof of acceptance by colleagues and peers as possessing knowledge, experience and skills at the level of a specialist, including letters of reference from registered specialists and/or other relevant recognised experts; and
  • give a detailed description of how the relevant expertise was achieved.

Once the application documents have been accepted for peer review by the SAVC Committee on Specialisation, the following process will apply:

  • The committee will nominate two (2) peer reviewers from the list of registered specialists in South Africa or from abroad if suitable candidates are not available locally (A third peer review may be requested should it be required);
  • The application form and all the supporting documents will be made available to the peer reviewers;
  • On completion of the peer review, the peer reviewers’ forms will be returned to the Committee on Specialisation;
  • The committee uses the recommendation made by the peer reviewers to make a decision regarding the application to be registered as a specialist by the South African Veterinary Council; and
  • The applicant will be informed of the outcome:
    • If successful, the applicant is supplied with the necessary documentation in order to register with the SAVC and the name of the individual is added to the list of specialists.
    • If unsuccessful, the applicant is informed of shortcomings and further guidance is given by the committee.

Complete the checklist to enter the peer-review process.

Once accepted, complete the application form for peer review (this document will download to your computer).

In the interest of transparency the review to be completed by the peer reviewers is included here.

Prescribed qualification to practice as a veterinarian

Prescribed qualification to practice as a veterinarian

In order to qualify to practice as a veterinarian in South Africa, you must be in possession of the prescribed qualification as defined in the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Act (Act 19 of 1982)

The Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria (Onderstepoort campus) is currently the only institution in South Africa offering training for the qualification of veterinarian, the Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) degree.

However, Council also makes provision for holders of non-prescribed veterinary qualifications; this would be persons with international veterinary qualifications who wish to practice as veterinary professionals in South Africa, through the SAVC registration examination.
Refer to the Council Examination section for more details.

After obtaining the BVSc degree or passing the SAVC registration examination, you must register with Council for the first time as a CCS (Compulsory Community Service) veterinarian and complete the 12-months Compulsory Community (veterinary) Service (CCS) programme through the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD).

Register to practise Compulsory Community (veterinary) Service (CCS)

Register to practise Compulsory Community (veterinary) Service (CCS)

The CCS year is the end result of a wide consultation process in support of CCS as a means to bring veterinary services to all people of South Africa.
The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) implemented regulations relating to the performance of Compulsory Community (veterinary) Service (CCS). The CCS regulations include relevant information on:

  • persons who shall perform compulsory community service;
  • registration of persons performing compulsory community service;
  • conditions of service;
  • place where compulsory community service will be performed;
  • interruption of the period of compulsory community service; and
  • circumstances under which certain persons may be exempted from the performance of compulsory community service.

Requirements for registration as a CCS veterinarian:

  • Completed SAVC application form;
  • Letter of appointment from the DALRRD;
  • Certified copy of ID document or valid passport;
  • Certified copy of degree OR letter from the Dean; and
  • Proof of payment of the application fee.

Once registered with Council as a CCS veterinarian, a person will receive a confirmation of registration certificate with a CCS registration number in order to practice as a CCS veterinarian.

After successful completion of the BVSc degree and a one-year CCS programme, you can apply to become a registered veterinarian and work legally in the field as veterinarian and continue with your chosen field of veterinary services.

Refer to the frequently asked questions about the CCS year if you need more information.

Register to work as a veterinarian

Register to work as a veterinarian

After successful completion of the BVSc degree and a one-year CCS programme, you can apply to become a registered veterinarian and work legally in the field as veterinarian.

For an individual to be registered as a veterinarian, the applicant must either be a holder of:

  • BVSc degree from the University of Pretoria; or
  • BVMCh degree from Medunsa; or
  • an international veterinary qualification recognised by the SAVC for automatic registration; or
  • have sat, and passed, the SAVC registration examination.

All veterinarians who register with the SAVC for the first time must complete the one-year Compulsory Community Service (CCS) programme.

Refer to the CCS section if you need more information.

Requirements for registration as a veterinarian:

  • Completed SAVC application form;
  • Certificate of completion of CCS (from DALRRD);
  • Certified copy of ID document or valid passport;
  • Certified copy of degree; and
  • Proof of payment of the application fee, when applicable.

Once registered with Council as a veterinarian, a person will receive a SAVC registration certificate with a registration number to work legally in the field as veterinarian and continue in your chosen field of veterinary services.

Register to work as a veterinary specialist

Register to work as a veterinary specialist

For any veterinarian to become a specialist in a specific field in the veterinary profession, the applicant must either hold an MMedVet degree from the University of Pretoria or must undergo a peer review process.

Requirements for registration as a veterinary specialist for holders of MMedVet qualifications:

  • completed SAVC application form;
  • certified copy of the MMedVet degree;
  • a copy of the published article;
  • proof of a case study, and
  • proof of payment of the application fee.

Once registered with Council as a veterinary specialist, a person will receive a SAVC registration certificate with a new registration number as a veterinary specialist to work legally in the field of their specialisation.

Refer to the criteria for acceptance to enter the peer review process for veterinary specialists.

The applicant must:

  • be registered with the SAVC as a veterinarian;
  • provide a letter of good standing from the SAVC;
  • have a post-graduate qualification, at minimum a Masters’ degree or other higher post-graduate qualification that is acceptable to the Committee on Specialisation;
  • have a minimum of 7 years’ experience in the field of specialisation;
  • have spent at least 60% of their time during the above period in the field of specialisation;
  • have peer-reviewed publication(s) in the field of specialisation as primary or senior author;
  • have presented relevant original work at scientific meetings in the field of specialisation;
  • submit proof of acceptance by colleagues and peers as possessing knowledge, experience and skills at the level of a specialist, including letters of reference from registered specialists and/or other relevant recognised experts; and
  • give a detailed description of how the relevant expertise was achieved.

Once the application documents have been accepted for peer review by the SAVC Committee on Specialisation, the following process will apply:

  • The committee will nominate two (2) peer reviewers from the list of registered specialists in South Africa or from abroad if suitable candidates are not available locally (A third peer review may be requested should it be required);
  • The application form and all the supporting documents will be made available to the peer reviewers;
  • On completion of the peer review, the peer reviewers’ forms will be returned to the Committee on Specialisation;
  • The committee uses the recommendation made by the peer reviewers to make a decision regarding the application to be registered as a specialist by the South African Veterinary Council; and
  • The applicant will be informed of the outcome:
    • If successful, the applicant is supplied with the necessary documentation in order to register with the SAVC and the name of the individual is added to the list of specialists.
    • If unsuccessful, the applicant is informed of shortcomings and further guidance is given by the committee.

Complete the checklist to enter the peer-review process.

Once accepted, complete the application form for peer review (this document will download to your computer).

In the interest of transparency the review to be completed by the peer reviewers is included here.