The regulators of veterinary degrees in Ireland and the UK have struck an agreement that will allow vets from both countries practise in the other, whatever the outcome of Brexit.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) have both approved a mutual recognition agreement (MRA).

Currently, EU citizens who graduate from University College Dublin (UCD) have an automatic right to work in the UK via the European Union’s mutual recognition of professional qualifications directive.

The MRA struck between RCVS and VCI means that, following successful accreditation visits, UCD graduates can join the UK’s veterinary register and UK graduates can join the Irish equivalent.


VCI president Peadar Ó Scanaill said he was delighted with the continued close alignment of vets across both countries.

“This close alignment transcends any borders and many decades of mutual co-operation and recognition.

“The veterinary profession in Great Britain and throughout the island of Ireland has moved step by step and shoulder to shoulder in unison over the years and recent political events will not sever that important bond,” Ó Scanaill said.

Northern Ireland

RCVS president Dr Niall Connell said the agreement was vital to ensure Dublin graduates were recognised as holding a registerable qualification whatever the UK’s future relationship with the EU might be.

“I hope, in particular, this provides some reassurance to the community in Northern Ireland, as many of its veterinary surgeons are trained in Dublin and so it is vital to ensure that, whatever happens with the UK’s exit from the EU, this will continue to be a viable source of veterinary talent for the region,” Connell said.

It is expected that Ó Scanaill, along with VCI CEO Niamh Muldoon, will meet with Connell in London to sign the agreement later this month.

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