The Certificate of Advanced Veterinary Practice (CertAVP) is a flexible way to achieve a veterinary post-graduate qualification. It is run as a distance learning assessment only programme, with you only needing to come to the RVC for C module written exams. 

  • We assess manageably-sized modules, with credits collected as you achieve them.
  • You design your own certificate by choosing a combination of modules that reflects your area of interest and is directly relevant to your work.
  • Alternatively, you can simply be assessed on individual modules as part of your ongoing CPD, and RCVS will keep a record of your achievements.
  • 60 credits is needed for a full certificate, with each module worth 10 credits.
  • The modular structure of the CertAVP is quite straightforward:
    • A module + B module + 4 x C modules OR
    • A module + 2 x B modules + 3 x C modules
  • The RCVS advise that approx 100 hours of work is required per module, which can be made up by research, reading journals, case studies/logs, attending conferences and relevant CPD courses. Please note that actual writing of the essays and case reports may take you over the 100 hours.
  • You may enrol with the RVC throughout the year and must also enrol with the RCVS.
  • You can 'mix and match' which universities assess you for the 6 modules.
  • For a designated CertAVP, you will need to sit a synoptic exam with the RCVS once you have passed the appropriate modules. 

What you should know to be an advanced practitioner - Veterinary Business Journal, issue 181, April 2018

For more information, please email or call 01707 666201


The CertAVP at the RVC encourages independent, adult-centred and self-directed learning, it is not a taught course.  The aim of the assessment process at the RVC is not only to support you to fully understand the quality of your current clinical practice but also to foster life-long learning skills and to advance and enhance your clinical knowledge, skills and understanding.  Reflective, critical practice is expected and encouraged.

The learning scaffold for CertAVP at the RVC is your clinical and professional experience - the learning you build by reading, formal CPD and other learning activities around the professional issues you have faced in your practice and the clinical cases you manage.  Setting your own learning goals to help you achieve the learning outcomes for the modules and seeking the learning opportunities that fulfil your learning needs are crucial activities for an adult learning experience.  So, although the CertAVP at the RVC is not a taught course (which can imply that everyone has the same learning needs), there are rich learning opportunities at every stage.  These include the detailed and personalised feedback you will receive on your work, a range of discounted RVC CPD courses that support learning outcomes for many CertAVP modules, a wide variety of online learning resources including access to the RVC library and where needed one-to-one learning support from our Learning Development team or module leaders. 

RVC assessors have specialist and higher educational qualifications that ensure the level of assessment is educationally sound, robust, fair and at the level expected of veterinarians aspiring to achieve Advanced Practitioner status.  Extensive feedback is provided on all submitted work.  Assessment of your work is as and for your learning, not just of your learning.  Our aim is to help you develop life-long commitment to improving your practice, and therefore skills such as self-analysis, clinical reasoning, and accessing, interpreting, and applying information, are of utmost importance to the RVC-based CertAVP.

Reflection is an important component of the CertAVP for a very good reason and will remain.  By learning to reflect on your practice, you learn how to analyse what you do and why you do it, become better placed to explain this to clients or colleagues, and identify areas for improvement.  Even more importantly, where you are competent at a skill in one context, reflection probes you to consider whether you could repeat that skill in a more demanding situation, or adapt it to fit a more challenging context.  By analysing situations where you feel some discomfort, reflection encourages you to consider why you feel less satisfied, and how you could develop your approach to be more satisfying in future. 

Reflection is a critical part of the self-evaluation process in learning.  It helps you think about what you know or have learned and helps you identify areas of confusion, so you can create new learning goals.  Evaluating what you have learned, what you still need to work on, and how you can get there all supports developing deeper understanding rather than superficial knowledge.   Self-reflection and self-critique are essential components of the adult learning experience, life-long learning and professional practice.  Were it not for reflection, the implication is that there is no room for improvement. 

What you should know to be an advanced practitioner - Veterinary Business Journal, issue 181, April 2018

For more information, please email or call 01707 666201


The CertAVP is standard set to Masters level 7, and therefore marked in relation to the generic criteria for this level laid down by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education within their 'Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland'.  The following level descriptors are adapted from the QAA definition of qualifications at this level, and should be used as an indicator of the level required:  

Candidates will need to demonstrate:

  • a thorough understanding of the knowledge base and a critical awareness of developments at the forefront of their area of professional practice;
  • a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own area of practice;
  • originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and clinical enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their professional area;
  • conceptual understanding that enables them to:
  • evaluate critically current literature and research in their professional area and
  • evaluate clinical methodologies and techniques, and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate to propose new approaches to professional practice.

Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:

  • deal with complex issues in an organised and creative manner, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to veterinary colleagues and to non-veterinary audiences, including clients;
  • demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks in their professional area of work;
  • continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level;

Candidates will have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for professional veterinary work requiring:

  • the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility;
  • decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations; and
  • the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

For more information, please email or call 01707 666201


We offer you an array of support during your CertAVP studies: 

  • Extensive feedback on your work - for passes and fails.  We believe in feedback for your learning, not just of your learning
  • 1-2-1 coaching with a module leader via Skype, phone or email
  • Access to Learn, an online platform where you can see:
    • sample work with feedback and grade
    • sample C module exam questions
    • relevant articles to read and reference
    • guidance on reflective writing and correct referencing and tips for module preparation
    • webinars by the module leaders about preparing the module assessment tasks
    • study buddy list
    • discussion forums - interactive for all modules and have module leaders and assessors engaging with you, regularly accessing the forums, answering queries and providing questions/topics to stimulate discussion and learning. 
  • Access to the RVC Library, online and at the Camden and Hawkshead campuses
  • Access to Athens
  • 20% discount on RVC CPD courses
  • If you find yourself in Hertfordshire, you are welcome to come onsite and chat with the CertAVP team
  • Contact with the RVC PG SU Rep and a current student acting as Student Rep

** Please note, for the six Primary Veterinary Care modules, assessed in partnership with Vet Learning, additional learning support is offered directly by Vet Learning.  Please contact for more information. **

For more information, please email or call 01707 666201


Here are links to the module outlines for each module the RVC assesses:


** Please note, for the six Primary Veterinary Care modules, assessed in collaboration with Vet Learning (, additional learning support is offered directly by Vet Learning.  Please contact for more information. ** 


For more information, please email or call 01707 666201


Assessment of your work is as and for your learning, not just of your learning.  Our aim is to help you develop life-long commitment to improving your practice, and therefore skills such as self-analysis, clinical reasoning, and accessing, interpreting, and applying information, are of utmost importance to the RVC-based CertAVP.

There are a variety of ways which we assess you:

  • For AFAVP you are required to pass 5 essays, one reflective essay and a short online quiz
  • For B modules you are required to pass 5 case reports plus one reflective essay
  • For C modules, the assessments include a mix of case diary with synopsis, case reports, written exams and reflective essays

A list of the 2019 assessment schedule is here:  2019 assessment timetable.

For more information, please email or call 01707 666201


We recognise that not everyone can attend the CertAVP Induction Day so here is an overview of the CertAVP and the C-SAM modules:


  • CertAVP Podcast - an interview with Professor Jill Maddison, CertAVP Course Director



  • Medicine C modules overview:

For more information, please email or call 01707 666201


  • You must hold a veterinary qualification which entitles you to register as a member of RCVS, and you must have at least one year's experience working as a practising veterinary surgeon before enrolling for any module.
  • You must also be able to provide evidence of CPD to the RCVS for that period.
  • If you graduated in 2007 or later you will be expected to have completed the RCVS Professional Development Phase (PDP) before enrolling for any module.  Contact the RCVS for more information on this.
  • A good working knowledge of scientific English is essential in order to follow the course. All of the RVC’s English Language requirements are on the website: PGT courses require IELTS 7.0 (the right column).

The dates we accept enrolments are: 

Module Enrolment open
A-FAVP Anytime - though recommend Spring and Autumn*
B modules Anytime - though recommend Spring and Autumn*
C-SAM Medicine Aug - Oct
C-SAS Surgery July - Sept
C-ECC Emergency & Critical Care Aug - Feb
C-VC Cardiology Sept - Dec
C-VA Anaesthesia April - Nov
C-VP.1 Pathology Nov - March
C-VP.2 Pathology Aug - Dec
C-VPH Public Health March - May or Sept - Nov
C-VDI.1 Diagnostic Imaging April - Nov
C-VDI Small or Large Animal Oct - June (suspended till 2020)
C-P Pigs June or Dec
C-POU Poultry June or Dec
C-Equine Sept - Feb
C-Veterinary Primary Care Anytime
C-VWT Teaching Anytime





















* Although you can enrol for the A-FAVP module at any time, if you enrol in the Spring you can make plans to join the online Induction Day in July.  If you enrol in the Autumn, you can make plans to participate in the Webinar Plus: Navigating the A module in November.

When you are ready to be assessed by the RVC for your CertAVP, please click on the How to Apply box on the left.

(For vets already enrolled with RVC who wish to enrol on more modules, please use the shopping cart function on the module pages, or ring 01707 666 668 to pay over the phone.)


  • How can I enrol for the CertAVP and how long is the enrolment period?

You need to enrol with both the RCVS and RVC. The maximum module enrolment period is 10 years, subject to payment of an annual renewal fee with RCVS.

  • How quickly do I have to finish the modules?

There is a 2 year time limit to complete a module.  To complete any outstanding assessment, re-enrolment on a module is permitted without penalty provided notice is given to the RVC CertAVP office before the 2 year enrolment expires.  An option to extend the time limit to a third year in order to complete assessments is subject to the approval of the RVC CertAVP Examinations Board and will apply to special cases only.

  • So how many modules should I enrol on then?

As a guide, most candidates have enrolled on A-FAVP.1 and a B module first.  Enrolling on more than three modules is not advised, however feel free to call for more advice: +44 (0)1707 666201.  It is advised that you complete at least part or all of the 10 credit B Module before starting on any C Modules.

  • How much will it cost?

Please see the Fees page for costs and there are additional fees to be paid to the RCVS (annual enrolment fee and a fee to sit the final synoptic exam if you require a designated certificate). 

  • When can I enrol?

You can enrol at any time, however, when enrolling on C Modules, be aware that there is an annual assessment cycle, so enrol before the assessment cycle starts, and not mid way through.  The assessment timetable is on the website.  

  • Do I have to start with the A Module?

You can enrol at any time for the A and B modules, however before enrolling on C modules be aware that there is an annual assessment timetable, so enrol on C modules before the assessment cycle begins.  

  • If you are wishing to start with a broader view and consideration of professional skills, then start with AFAVP which has a set timetable for submissions (quarterly).  
  • If you would prefer to focus on more clinically based reports with no specific submission deadlines (you can submit your work at anytime), then we would recommend you start with Module B.  
  • We do highly recommend that you do both these modules before you attempt any C modules.  Gaining practice and experience of writing essays and reports for the A and B modules will definitely work in your favour when attempting the C modules as the expected standard is very high for the C modules.

  • When will I be assessed by the RVC?

Assessment dates vary per module so please look at the assessment timetable.

  • Do I need to go on a course?

No, not necessarily.  In order to obtain the CertAVP you do not have to attend courses.  Each module will require about 100 hours of work in preparation for assessment, including completion of assessment tasks. Suitable learning resources may include journals and textbooks, conferences, online discussion forums and CPD courses offered by the RVC and other CPD providers.  The RVC is offering all CertAVP candidates a 20% discount on all RVC CPD courses (except discounted CPD courses, recorded webinars, recorded webinar plus courses and live webinars).  Please see the CPD section for information on courses - RVC CPD

  • Can I do the CertAVP if I am living outside of the UK or cannot easily get to the RVC campus?

Yes, the CertAVP is perfect for distance learning as the majority of work is submitted by email. Only a few of the C Modules require you to sit an exam at the RVC.  In exceptional circumstances, we can arrange for exams to be sat overseas.

  • When can I start collecting cases for my C Module case reports?

You can start collecting cases from 12 months prior to your CertAVP enrolment date with the RVC or the RCVS.

For more information, please email or call 01707 666201


The online induction day is for any veterinarian interested in the CertAVP, perfect for newly enrolled students or those who are about to start their B or C modules.

The day will start with an introduction to the CertAVP followed by a detailed look at the A-FAVP.1 and B modules. There will be a presentation on effective reflective writing and live discussion groups for B and C modules, run by the relevant module leader. You will also hear from CertAVP candidates who have passed the CertAVP, speaking about their experiences. 

Key Areas

  • Preparation for the Foundation of Advanced Veterinary Practice A-FAVP.1 module
  • Detailed advice on B Clinical Practice modules and Q&A sessions for C modules
  • Hear first-hand experiences from past candidates
  • Reflective writing guidance

As this is an online event, you will be able to select which presentations you listen to and participate in throughout the day. 

Only those modules that the RVC is accredited to assess are discussed. 

For more information, please email or call 01707 666201


Professor Jill Maddison - course director

Mrs Liz Chan - deputy course director and AFAVP module leader

Mrs Alison Moores - CSAS1 module leader

Dr Bradley Viner - CVCG1 and CVGP1 module leader

Mr Chris Whipp - CVCM1 module leader

Professor David Lane - CVGP3 module leader

Dr Henny Martineau - CVP1 module leader

Ms Karen Humm - CECC and CVA3 module leader

Mr Kieran Borgeat - CVC module leader

Dr Laureen Peters - CVP2 module leader

Mrs Lizza Baines - CVDI1 module leader

Ms Lynda Rutherford - CSAS3 module leader

Dr Marianna Biggi - CVDI large animal module leader

Mrs Nicola Kulendra - CSAS2 module leader

Dr Nicola Menzies-Gow - BEP3 and CE module leader

Dr Paul Manning - CVGP2 and CVML1 module leader

Dr Pilar Lafuente - CSAS6 and CSAS7 module leader

Dr Richard Booth - BPAP2 cattle, sheep and camelids module leader

Dr Rosanne Jepson - CSAM module leader

Dr Troy Gibson - CVPH1 module leader

For more information, please email or call 01707 666201


£620 per module

+ £50 RVC registration fee (one off payment when you first enrol)

= £3,770 for complete CertAVP

Additional fees may be required if your 2 year module enrolment period needs extending and there is an optional £50 AFAVP essay plan review fee if that would be of benefit to you. 

These fees are valid until 31st July 2019.

You should also budget for registering on CPD courses that support CertAVP module learning outcomes.  You will be eligible for a 20% discount on RVC CPD courses, many of which do support a variety of CertAVP module learning outcomes.

Please note there are also RCVS fees to be paid.

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