The European Board for Veterinary Specialisation

- By Professor Keith Thoday -

If one says ‘European Board of Veterinary Specialisation (EBVS) to most Residents or newly admitted Diplomats of our college, you are likely to be met with blank stares or glazed expressions.  Thus, the Board of ECVD have asked me to write a few lines to explain what EBVS is, what it does and how it is trying to drive the recognition of veterinary specialisation in Europe. 

Move towards formal European-wide veterinary specialisation was initially to be made by the Advisory Committee for Veterinary Training (ACVT) of the European Community in 1991 but this was abandoned in view of the subsidiarity principle of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.  Instead, the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation (EBVS) was formed.

The main objectives and duties of the EBVS are:

  • to recognise new speciality Colleges

  • to set up and maintain a register of European veterinary specialists

  • to assure the quality of these specialists by monitoring the Colleges at regular intervals.

  • to encourage and promote the enhanced utilisation and availability of speciality services to the public and the veterinary profession

There are currently 23 fully recognised colleges:


European College of Animal Reproduction


European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine 


European College of Bovine Health Management


European College of Equine Internal Medicine


European College of European College of Laboratory Animal Medicine 


European College of Porcine Health MAnagement


European College of Poultry Veterinary Science


European College of Small Ruminant Health Management


European College of Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia


European College of Veterinary Comparative Nutrition


European College of Veterinary Clinical Pathology


European College of Veterinary Dermatology


European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging


European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine - Companion Animals 


European College of Veterinary Neurology


European College of Veterinary Ophtalmology


European College of Veterinary Pathology


European College of Veterinary Public Health


European College of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology


European College of Veterinary Surgery


European College of Zoological Medicine


European Veterinary Dentistry College


European Veterinary Parasitology College

Some of these Colleges have subdivisions.

 In some countries of the EU (such as the UK) the specialist title is recognised, accepted and protected by the governing veterinary body and one may legally call oneself ‘European Veterinary Specialist in ……………’.  However, this is not the case in many (most?) countries in Europe.  The EBVS Executive Committee is working hard to achieve legal protection of the European Veterinary Specialist title for all Diplomats in all disciplines and in all EU countries.

The progress and workings of each College is reviewed every 5 years after permanent recognition of that College.  (The ECVD was reviewed in 2012: it passed with flying colours!  This has certainly not been the case for some other Colleges).

This year, for the first year, the EBVS has organized specialist examiner training.  In 2012 it was voluntary but it will become obligatory for all Colleges in the future. 

This training has been organised to:

  • assure homogeneity of the examinations between the Colleges
  • guarantee quality of the examinations for all Colleges 
  • protect the Colleges in case of appeals against examination procedures or results

Pierre-Antoine Germain, 2012 Chair of the ECVD Examinations Committee, attended for the ECVD. 

For those interested in finding out more about it, EBVS has a website (www.ebvs.org) and much of its content is accessible without passwords.  EBVS produces a quarterly newsletter.  In future, this will be sent, via our respective Listservs, to ECVD’s Diplomats and Residents and colleagues are urged to keep up-to-date with EBVS matters in general, and progress on national recognition of Diplomats in particular, through this publication.

ECVD representative to EBVS: Professor Keith Thoday

Alternate: Dr Emmanuel Bensignor

EBVS Contact Person on ECVD Board: Dr Monika Linek    


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