Who is the licensing body responsible for Veterinarians in Alberta?

In Alberta, you must be registered with the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) to practice as a Veterinarian. Only DVM or equivalent registered members may call themselves Veterinarians.

What are the licensure requirements for internationally educated Veterinarians?

Note: Licensing bodies compare international education and experience to Canadian standards.

Internationally educated Veterinarians must meet the following requirements:

1. Academic Requirement

A degree equivalent to a Canadian Veterinary Medicine Association (CVMA) accredited degree is required to become licensed as a Veterinarian. Non-accredited programs will be assessed by the ABMVA for equivalency.

National Examining Board (NEB) Examinations

The National Examining Board (NEB) administers all three exams required to achieve licensure as a veterinarian in Canada. These three exams measure entry-level competence in the theory and practice of veterinary medicine in a North American context.

You have up to five years to pass these exams from the time of starting the process.

Candidates who pass the NEB exams are granted a Certificate of Qualification, which is a prerequisite to apply for a general license to practice as a veterinarian

a. Basic and Clinical Sciences Examination (BCSE)

Internationally educated veterinarians must write and pass the BCSE exam before writing the other two NEB exams.

b. North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE)

The NAVLE assesses the candidates’ general knowledge base in the various scientific disciplines required in veterinary medicine.

c. Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE)

The CPE assesses the candidates’ ability to handle actual medical, surgical and diagnostic problems in a clinical or hospital setting.

3. Limited (Supervised) Licensure

Upon registering in the exam sequence, internationally educated veterinarians are eligible to apply for a Limited (supervised) Licence. A Limited (supervised) License allows you to work under the indirect supervision of a fully licensed veterinarian for up to two years.

4. Temporary Licensure

Upon passing the BCSE and NAVLE exams, internationally educated veterinarians are eligible to apply for a Temporary Licence. A Temporary License allows you to work under the direct supervision of a fully licensed veterinarian for up to two years.

5. Language Proficiency Requirement

In order to write the exams, you must meet the language proficiency requirement in either English or French. For more information, please review
The National Examining Board Candidate Information.

For complete information on the licensing process for Internationally Educated Veterinarians, visit the
Information for International Applicants page on the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association website.

What are the educational requirements for Veterinarians in Alberta?

Note: Licensing bodies compare international education and experience to Canadian standards.

Prospective veterinarians must complete at least two years of university studies followed by a four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program. Most applicants for DVM programs have completed more than two years of university work in a related faculty, such as science or agriculture. The entrance requirements for these programs vary from one institution and program to another.

In Canada, four-year DVM degree programs are offered at the

Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown, PEI 

University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta

University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario

University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Universite de Montreal in Montreal, Quebec (instruction in French)

The CVMA maintains a list of accredited universities. This information can be found in the
Information for Applicants' brochure.

What supports are available to support internationally educated professionals to integrate into the Canadian labour force?

Directions for Immigrants offers Clear Communications for Business to help you integrate into the Canadian work force. Topics include Active Listening, Assertiveness, Conflict Resolution, Problem Solving and Teamwork. Visit the Job Success Groups on the Study Groups page for more information on this service and eligibility criteria.

What information resources are available for Veterinarians in Alberta?

Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA)

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA)

Additional Occupational Information

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