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Information for Applicants

I graduated from an unaccredited veterinary school

This section provides information on the licensure process if you are a graduate of an unaccredited veterinary school. A complete list of acceptable unaccredited veterinary colleges can be found at the AVMA website.

Career Map

For complete information on practising veterinary medicine in Ontario, you are encouraged to review the Career Map, developed in partnership between the College and the Government of Ontario. The career map provides an overview of the labour market, industry trends, examinations, language requirements, licensing fees and the registration process.

Global Experience Ontario

Global Experience Ontario can help internationally trained and educated individuals find out how to qualify for professional practice in Ontario. This one-stop centre offers a range of services for internationally educated individuals who intend to apply to a regulatory body to obtain licensure to work in their field. GEO Staff can explain the process for licensing and registration in Ontario. English and French services are available in person, by telephone and online. Staff at the GEO centre also respond to information requests from prospective newcomers.

Restricted Licences

The College provides internationally trained veterinarians or ITV’s (who graduated from undergraduate veterinary medicine programs that are not accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association-Council on Education) with the opportunity to acquire practical experience working under the supervision of a CVO licensed member, before they have passed the National Examination Boards’ Clinical Proficiency Exam. Eligible applicants may be granted Restricted licences under supervision by the College’s Registration Committee. For further information, please see the Licensure policies.

Veterinary Skills Training and Enhancement Program

The College's bridging program - the Veterinary Skills Training and Enhancement Program (VSTEP) has closed. The VSTEP program was challenged for many years to enroll a sufficient amount of Ontario applicants into the program and to self-sustain without additional government funding. The program was deemed not to be meeting the needs of enough internationally trained veterinarians in Ontario. The College will be conducting an assessment to determine what the current needs of applicants are related to bridging programs. Any questions about VSTEP or bridging programs can be directed to the College. 

Registration Steps for graduates of an unaccredited veterinary school

Step 1 – Apply to take the National Board Examinations

The CVMA-National Examining Board administers the National Board Examinations. The examination process includes the Basic and Clinical Sciences Examinations (BCSE); the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) and the Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE). The process for completing all of the licensing examinations can take 3-5 years for internationally trained candidates.

  • Apply to take the National Examinations (application fee is $565 for CVMA and $1,400 for ECFVG)
  • Evaluation of documents to determine eligibility (1-3 weeks following submission of application)

Step 2 – Successfully complete the Basic and Clinical Sciences Exam

The BCSE measures general knowledge in the areas of anatomy, pharmacology, toxicology, pathology, medicine, surgery, anesthesia, diagnostics and preventive medicine.

  • Pass the BCSE
  • BCSE is offered on a continuous basis and results are available within 2-4 weeks (fee is $508.50 for CVMA and $220 for ECFVG)

Step 3 – Successfully complete the NAVLE

The NAVLE measures general knowledge in the various scientific disciplines which are required in veterinary medicine.

  • Pass the NAVLE
    • NAVLE is offered twice per year and results are available within 6-8 weeks. (fee is $1130 for CVMA or $635 for ICVA)

Step 4

After passing the NAVLE, applicants have the option of obtaining additional clinical experience to prepare for the CPE by applying for a Restricted Licence under supervision. For further information, please see the licensure policies.

Step 5 – Successfully complete the CPE

The CPE is a practical “hands-on” examination to assess technical skills.

  • Pass the Clinical Proficiency Exam, if required (fee is $8,475 for CVMA and $7,200 for ECFVG. The exam is offered several times at various sites per year and results are available within 2-4 weeks)

Step 6 – Submit Application for Licensure to the College

All practising veterinarians in Ontario must be licensed by the College. An application form and supporting documentation is valid for one year once submitted.

  • Meet registration requirements, including a degree in veterinary medicine and passing the NAVLE
  • Submit an application form and supporting documentation to the College (fee is $113)
  • If one or more of the requirements have not been met, apply to the Registration Committee to request an exemption and/or condition on licence (may take 4-6 weeks following submission of the application)

Step 7 – Successfully complete the CVO Jurisprudence Examination

The CVO Jurisprudence Examination requires candidates to demonstrate their knowledge of the legislation, regulations, standards and guidelines that govern the veterinary profession.

  • Pass the CVO Jurisprudence Exam (fee is $197.75 and results are generally available on the same day the examination in completed)

Step 8 – Fulfill the College’s registration requirements

  • The College provides detailed information to assist applicants with moving through the application form and the necessary support documentation.

Step 9 – Pay fee for licensure

Licence issued (licence provided 1-2 days following payment of fees)
Candidates are able to register and take the BCSE and NAVLE outside of Canada. The Clinical Proficiency Exam can only be completed in Canada or the United States. All other steps can be completed or started outside of Canada.   
CVMA fees are in Canadian dollars and ECFVG and ICVA fees are in United States dollars.
Additional fees are applicable if attempting the NAVLE outside of Canada or the United States. 

Licensure Policies

Click here to download the PDF.