Application Form - a completed application form must be submitted
An application form and supporting documentation are valid for ONE year once submitted.
Applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The College retains the right to seek resubmission of any outdated materials. There are no additional fees from the College if you are asked to resubmit part of an application.
Identification - proof of your identity must be provided to the College
A copy of one of the following Government-issued valid photo identification must be submitted:
- Ontario Driver’s Licence or Enhanced Driver’s Licence
- Canadian Permanent Resident Card
- Canadian Citizenship Card (must include photo)
- Ontario Photo Card
- Certificate of Indian Status Card (issued on or after December 15, 2009)
Proof of name change, if applicable
Proof of your name change must be provided if your current name is different from the name on your veterinary medicine degree.
Licensed members of the College must practise veterinary medicine with the same name that is listed on your veterinary medicine degree unless appropriate supporting documentation is submitted.
If your current name is different from the name on your veterinary medicine degree, you must provide one of the following:
- The original or certified true copy of your marriage certificate or decree of divorce; or
- The original or certified true copy of your legal name change document.
Authorization to work in Canada
Proof of authorization to work in Canada must be provided.
Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada OR have received appropriate authorization to engage in the practise of veterinary medicine in Canada as per the Immigration Act.
Submit a copy of one of the following pieces of acceptable documentation:
- Canadian passport
- Canadian birth certificate
- Canadian Citizenship Card (both sides)
- Canadian Citizenship Certificate
- Proof of Permanent Residency
If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, a copy of the authorization to practise veterinary medicine issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is needed.
Applying for a work permit
You can request a formal letter from the College to confirm that you have met all the other licence requirements, but will not be eligible for licensure until you provide formal proof of authorization to work in Canada.
Education in Veterinary Medicine
Proof of successful completion of a degree in veterinary medicine must be provided.
Applicants must provide proof of completing their degree from an accredited veterinary school or an acceptable unaccredited school. For more information about accredited and unaccredited schools, please visit the AVMA website.
To provide this proof of veterinary education you may:
- mail us your original diploma (or official transcripts);
- mail us a copy of your diploma that has been notarized by a person authorized to notarize documents in a Canadian jurisdiction (or official transcripts);
- mail us a copy of your diploma that has been certified by a person authorized to practice law in a Canadian jurisdiction (or official transcripts);
- request that your transcripts are sent directly from your school to the College; or
- bring your original document to our office
All applicants must demonstrate proficiency in either English or French to be eligible for licensure.
You have met the language proficiency requirement if your primary and secondary education was conducted in English or French, OR if your veterinary education was conducted in English or French.
You must successfully complete an English or French Language test acceptable to the College if your primary and secondary education and veterinary education was conducted in a language other than English or French.
You may submit proof of language proficiency in one of the following ways:
- mail us your original test results;
- request that the testing organization transfer results directly to the College; or
- submit other evidence that demonstrates that you can communicate in English or French at a sufficient level of proficiency required for the practise of veterinary medicine.
You must provide a language proficiency test score report demonstrating acceptable test results. The results cannot be more than two years old. For more information, please review CVO’s Licensure Policies on language proficiency.
Note: The CVMA-NEB and AVMA-ECFVG require candidates to successfully complete an English or French Language Proficiency Test to register for the National Board Exams.
Suitability to practise
The College must be satisfied that you will practise veterinary medicine in a safe, professional and ethical manner.
You are required to truthfully answer a series of questions within the application about your suitability to practise veterinary medicine. The questions pertain to:
- practise of veterinary medicine;
- practise of other professions;
- practising veterinary medicine in a safe, professional and ethical manner (including demonstration of honesty and integrity in all actions); and
- health concerns that impact your ability to practise safely.
If the Registrar has concerns about your ability to practise veterinary medicine safely and ethically, the application will be referred to the Registration Committee for a review. For assistance in understanding how suitability to practise is determined, please review the Determining Applicant Suitability to Practise Policy Statement.
You must notify the College immediately if any changes occur to your circumstances related to the answers provided.
Criminal Record Checks
For licences issued on or after January 1, 2022, a criminal record check must be submitted to the College. A criminal record check is an objective report of an applicant’s criminal history. The College accepts an Enhanced Police Information Check (E-PIC) online through Sterling Backcheck, and will accept a police background check obtained from a local police station. The College will not accept police background checks from other jurisdictions.
The criminal record check must have been completed within six months prior to the issuance of a licence. Extensions on the validity of criminal record checks will not be provided, instead a new criminal record check must be completed. Please review the FAQs about criminal record checks.
Letters of Professional Standing
If you have ever been licensed or registered as a veterinarian, you must request that a letter of professional standing be sent directly to the College from all regulatory body/bodies where you have been licensed or registered. Letters of professional standing provided to the College are only valid for six months from the date of issue. For licences issued on or after January 1, 2022, letters of professional standing must be submitted according to the CVO’s Licensure Policy on letters of professional standing.
Examination and Assessment Pathway Results
You may submit proof of examination and assessment completion by:
BCSE: College staff will review the NEB online candidate verification service or you must contact ECFVG to request score transfer to College.
NAVLE: College staff will review the NEB online candidate verification service or you must contact AAVSB to request score transfer to the College.
PSA: College staff will review the NEB online candidate verification service
CPE: College staff will review the NEB online candidate verification service or you must contact ECFVG to request score transfer to College.
Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE): you must contact AAVSB to request certificate information transfer to the College.
You may seek exemption from the North American Veterinary Board Exams by applying for a Restricted Licence. Please review CVO’s Licensure Policies for policies related to Restricted Licences.
CVO Jurisprudence Exam
The Jurisprudence exam requires candidates to demonstrate knowledge of the legislation that governs veterinary medicine in Ontario.
Applicants seeking a General, Restricted, Academic or Postgraduate and Resident Licence in Ontario are required to successfully complete the Jurisprudence Examination.
The exam requires applicants to demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to apply relevant Ontario legislation and regulations, as well as College standards and guidelines. This demonstration is necessary for providing safe, quality care and services.
Proof of employment, appointment or program enrollment
Applicants seeking a Short Term, Public Service, Academic, Postgraduate and Resident and Educational licence must submit proof of employment, appointment or program enrollment.
Short Term licence:
You must submit a letter to the College from the organization that is requesting the veterinary services and details of the appointment or invitation. The letter will include one of the following:
- The type of work to be performed and the reasons for this work; and
- The dates that you will be in Ontario.
You must submit the completed undertaking from the CVO licensed member who has agreed to supervise you and who has agreed to be responsible for continuing care once you have left Ontario.
The following Short Term licence request types will usually be granted:
- Locum veterinarians (both board certified and not); and
- Applicants preparing for the Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE). Please note: these applications also need to be reviewed by the Registration Committee to determine an appropriate level of supervision.
The Registrar will consider the request for the licence and supervising veterinarian. These must both be approved prior to the practise of veterinary medicine. If the Registrar does not approve the request, the applicant may apply for a General licence.
Applications that do not meet all requirements for Short Term licensure can ask for referral to the Registration Committee. The Registration Committee can consider requests for a longer period of licensure and/or to waive the requirement for supervision.
Note: If the Short Term licence request is denied the licence fee will not be charged, however, the application fee will not be refunded.
Public Service licence:
You must demonstrate that you are employed as a veterinarian by the Government of Canada.
The College must receive proof of your employment as a veterinarian with the Crown. A letter from the employer or an employee ID card can be provided as proof of employment.
You must demonstrate that you hold a full-time teaching or research appointment of professioral rank at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph.
The College must receive a letter from OVC confirming your appointment at the professioral level and if applicable, dates of this appointment.
Postgraduate and Resident licence:
You must demonstrate that you are enrolled as an intern, resident or Doctor of Veterinary Science student at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph.
The College must receive a letter from the Chair of the Department (or the Chair's delegate) which states the following:
- that you are participating in an internship, residency or DVSc;
- the dates of the program; and
- how you will be engaging in the practise of veterinary medicine as required by your program.
You must demonstrate that you are enrolled in a program of postgraduate veterinary education provided by the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph.
The College must receive a letter from the Chair of the Department (or the Chair's delegate) which states the following:
- That you are participating in a postgraduate veterinary education program;
- The dates of the program;
- How you will be engaging in the practise of veterinary medicine as required by your program; and
- The name of your supervisor (they must be a full-time employee of the University of Guelph holding a General or Academic Licence).
Payment of Licence Fee
Pay the appropriate licence fee after you have completed the CVO Jurisprudence Exam and received notification that you have met all licensing requirements.
The licence fee is payable on notification by the College that your application has been approved. Please review the Applicant Fees page for current licensing fees.