Application for Registration
To practise veterinary medicine in British Columbia, you must first be registered with the CVBC.
Classes of Registration
Requirements for registration are established in the bylaws (s. 2.7, 2.12-2.15) and identified in the application form. The general requirements are similar across all of the registration classes, except for the distinctions between the classes as noted below:
Private Practice – unrestricted license to practice veterinary medicine; requires a Certificate of Qualification from the CVMA-National Examining Board.
Specialty Private Practice – only available to Diplomates of the American or European Boards of Veterinary Specialties; privilege to practice is restricted to the registrant’s documented area of board certification(s); no Certificate of Qualification is required.
Public Sector – only available to veterinarians employed by the federal or provincial governments, or similar; no Certificate of Qualification is required, but the applicant must provide a copy of their employment contract, must only practice within the scope of their duties within that role, and must cease to practice if/when their contract ends.
Temporary Registration for an External Licensed Veterinarian – a veterinarian who maintains a current equivalent license in another recognized jurisdiction may seek a temporary license to practice in BC (in the Private Practice or Specialty Private Practice area) for a maximum of 30 days (consecutive or non-consecutive within 1 calendar year. The applicant is not required to complete the bylaw exam or attend a bylaw seminar, but does not have full privileges of registration. This class is intended for veterinarians based in other jurisdictions who are coming to BC for a short-term contract, or infrequently (eg. locum or visiting specialist services).
- Create an Applicant Account and complete the online Application for Registration
To apply for registration, please create an online “Applicant Account”, after which you will be able to complete the CVBC’s Online Application for Registration.
Alternatively, you can print and manually complete the pdf-version of the Application Form.
With either format, a hard copy of the completed application must be signed in front of a notary public or commissioner of oaths, then the original document, with all supporting materials (see #2), must be mailed to the CVBC office to the attention of the Registration Coordinator.
- Provide all additional required documents, as identified within the application form
The requirements of the application form are explained in the CVBC’s bylaws (Part 2 – Registration)
Unless provided to the office as original documents or received by the CVBC office directly from the issuing body, all supporting materials must be submitted as copies that have been “certified true” by a notary public in Canada.
Supporting documents (letters of standing/license verification from other jurisdictions; Dean’s letters of conduct for new graduates; reference letters if required) must not predate the application to the CVBC by more than 1 month.
Notarized copies of diplomas or transcripts will be accepted up to one year after the date of notarization, or the Registrar may accept a copy of a diploma or transcript that is forwarded to the CVBC directly from another regulatory body.
- Provide payment of Fees:
- Application for Registration Fee (see “Fees Summary” below)
- Bylaw Examination Fee (not required for TEMP registration)
- Successfully complete the bylaw exam (see below)
- Provide Payment of annual registration fee (prorated to the quarter of the registration year in which new registration is issued; see “Fees Summary” below).
English Language Proficiency
Any applicant who completed their veterinary education at an AVMA-accredited veterinary school, or from an acceptable veterinary school where instruction was provided in English is considered to have satisfied the CVBC’s requirement for English Language Proficiency.
An applicant who completed their veterinary education at an acceptable (recognized but not accredited by the AVMA) veterinary school where instruction was not provided in English must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by providing a verifiable and satisfactory test score from one of the following testing providers:
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – Academic version
Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Assessment
Required minimum scores for each of these tests are specified in section 2.12(2) of the CVBC Bylaws, Part 2 – Registration.
Assessment of Currency of Skills & Knowledge
The National Examining Boards assessment examination(s) that result in the issuance of a Certificate of Qualification (CQ) are accepted as the initial assessment of skills and qualification of a veterinarian. Once a veterinarian has received a CQ, the CVBC’s bylaws set the expectation that skills and knowledge are maintained by a minimum of 12 months of practise in Canada within a 5-year period (bylaw s. 2.12(3)).
Therefore, once a veterinarian has held a CQ for 5 or more years, the CVBC must consider whether the applicant for Private Practice registration has met this minimum requirement. If an applicant has not practised veterinary medicine in Canada for a minimum of 12 months in the preceding 5 year period, the Registration Committee must make its own assessment of the applicant’s currency of skill and knowledge before making a registration decision.
This assessment is accomplished through a review of recent Continuing Education efforts, the applicant’s resumé and detailed professional history, and letters sought from recent colleagues who are able to attest to the nature and scope of the applicant’s recent veterinary practice experience, and serve as references for the applicant’s skill, knowledge and professional conduct.
An application file will be forwarded to the Registrar for decision only when it is complete and includes all of the required documentation and confirmation of payment of required fees. The Registrar must be satisfied that the applicant meets all requirements and is qualified to be registered.
The Registrar may grant registration, may make further inquiries regarding the applicant, or may refer the application to the Registration Committee. Following review of a referred application, the Registration Committee may direct the Registrar to either:
- register the applicant,
- seek additional information, or
- hold a registration hearing.
Contact and Practice Facility Information
All registrants are required to keep the CVBC informed of their current personal contact information and their practice facility affiliations. At the time of registration, applicants are asked to complete and return the Contact and Practice Information Form:
This form serves several purposes:
- Opportunity to update/confirm personal contact information (in case it has changed since the initial application was submitted).
- Provide details about what practice facility(s) a new registrant will be practising at, along with a rough summary of areas of practice.
- Provide authorization for which practice facility information*the registrant wants the CVBC’s Online Registry to include:
- Practice facility name, phone number and address, vs.
- Practice facility name and phone number only, vs.
- No practice facility information
*Note: the CVBC does not publish any personal contact information in the online registry; only practice facility information is published.
Bylaw Seminar and Exam
All applicants for Private Practice, Specialty Private Practice, and Public Sector registration are required to:
- attend a Bylaw & Ethics seminar during the application process or within one year of being registered; and,
- pass a CVBC Bylaw examination as a pre-requirement for registration.
The examination is offered through a secure, online live-proctoring platform (Yardstick/ProctorU). The seminar is presented online via Zoom videoconference.
Applicants must pre-register with the Registration Coordinator to attend both the bylaw exam and seminar. This requires the initiation of an application for registration involving the submission to the office of a minimum of the following items at least 4 weeks before the scheduled exam, and at least 2 weeks before the scheduled seminar session:
- a completed and notarized ‘Application for Registration,’
- 2 official copies of valid, government-issued identification (at least one of which has a photo)
- full payment of the application fee, and
- full payment of the exam fee
The Bylaw examination is offered monthly, generally on the first Wednesday of each month. It is a 1-hour, ‘open book’ (electronic resources provided by the exam-hosting platform) exam, consisting of a combination of multiple choice & true/false questions.
The bylaw exam content is centered upon the Veterinarians Act and the CVBC’s Bylaws.
Applicants should be familiar with the documents below before taking the exam:
- Veterinarians Act
- Bylaws Part 1 – Governance
- Bylaws Part 2 – Registration
- Bylaws Part 3 – Accreditation and Naming
- Schedule D Accreditation Standards
- Bylaws Part 4 – Ethics and Standards
- Bylaws Part 5 – Complaints and Discipline
These references are available electronically to test-takers during the examination.
Additionally, all new registrants should be familiar with the CVBC’s Policies, Standards and Guidelines, as posted on our website here.
The Bylaw & Ethics Seminar is presented via live webinar. Seminars are held quarterly, in the afternoon of the first Wednesday of February, May, August & November.
The seminar dates for 2021 are:
- February 3, 2021
- May 5, 2021
- August 4, 2021
- November 3, 2021
The seminar begins at 1:00 p.m. and will take between 3 and 4 hours (dependent upon live Q&A).
Attendance at a bylaw seminar is a requirement of registration. However, as the seminar is only presented every 3 months, a new registrant who did not already attend the seminar (during the application process) must attend a seminar within the first year of registration with the CVBC.
All registration-related fees are established in the bylaws and are not subject to change without registrant vote. See Schedule C – Prescribed Fees & Assessments.
Application Fee: $500 + GST (=$525)
Bylaw Exam: $367.50 ($350 + GST) *This fee is not applied to applicants for TEMP registration
NOTE: late cancellation or failure to attend the scheduled bylaw exam session may result in an additional fee to the applicant.
The following fees are for a complete year of registration. Fees for new registrants are prorated on a quarterly basis, depending on Initial registration dates.
Date Registration Granted
January 1 – March 31
April 1 –
July 1 – September 30
October 1 – December 31
$1395 + GST
$1046.25 + GST
$697.50 + GST
$348.75 + GST
Specialty Private Practice
$1395 + GST
$1046.25 + GST
$697.50 + GST
$348.75 + GST
$1046.25 + GST
$784.69 + GST
$523.13 + GST
$261.56 + GST
Temporary Registration for an External Licensed Veterinarian
$400 + GST (for 30 days of practice within 1 calendar year)