In April this year BEVA issued guidelines to help members employ overseas veterinary graduates successfully on the basis that all vets should have the required level of linguistic and clinical skills to enable them to undertake their role safely and effectively.  

BEVA is now encouraging members to respond to a Defra consultation on changing the law to introduce English language testing for veterinary surgeons who have qualified from elsewhere in the European Union.

Under the proposals the test would apply before an individual joined the RCVS Register and only where the RCVS had ‘serious and concrete doubts’ about their English language abilities.

Every year, around half of all new veterinary surgeon registrants are from outside the UK, the majority from other EU or European Economic Area (EEA) countries. These individuals fall within the scope of the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRPQ) Directive, which applies to all EU nationals wishing to practise in a regulated profession in another member state.

BEVA will be responding as an Association and would welcome members thoughts on the proposal.  Those who wish to take part in the consultation individually can do so at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/animal-health-and-welfare/vet_language_controls . The deadline for responses is Wednesday 30 September 2015.