- By Professor Keith Thoday - (updated by M. Linek in 2020)

If one says European Board of Veterinary Specialisation (EBVS®) to most Residents or newly admitted Diplomates 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 specialization in Europe. 

Move towards formal European-wide veterinary specialization 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. EBVS® as such focuses on veterinary specialization in the Member states of the European Union and its neighbours, particularly Switzerland and Norway. EBVS® specialists are also found in other countries such as the USA and Australia. 

The main objectives and duties of EBVS® are:

  • Define guidelines for the recognition and registration of specialists in areas of veterinary medicine in Europe;
  • Recognize and monitor veterinary speciality Colleges in Europe;
  • Award the title of 'European Veterinary Specialist in (name of specialty)' for 5 years to veterinary specialists who meet their veterinary specialist College’s criteria, including re-evaluation every 5 years;
  • Set up and maintain a register of European Veterinary Specialists;
  • Assure the quality of these specialists by monitoring all of its Colleges;
  • Provide information on specialization in veterinary medicine in Europe to authorities, private organizations, veterinarians and owners of animals;
  • Encourage and promote the enhanced utilization and availability of speciality services to the public and the veterinary profession.

There are currently 27 EBVS®-recognized veterinary specialist colleges. Each of the Colleges has a similar Constitution and By-laws (known as the Policies and Procedures) to those of EBVS®. This includes objectives, types of membership, organization and officers and appeals against adverse decisions.


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.

The EBVS® Executive Committee has achieved legal protection of the European Veterinary Specialist title for all Diplomates in all disciplines: European Veterinary SpecialistTM in (name of specialty)' for 5 years to veterinary specialists who meet their veterinary specialist College’s criteria, including re-evaluation every 5 years.

In some countries of the EU (such as the UK and France) the specialist title is recognized, accepted and protected by the governing veterinary body.  However, this is not the case in all countries in Europe.

The progress and work of each College is reviewed every 5 years after permanent recognition of that College (The ECVD was reviewed in 2021: it passed with flying colours!).

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. 

ECVD representative to EBVS®: Dominique Heripret

Alternate: Jacques Fontaine

EBVS® Contact Person on ECVD Board: Silvia Colombo (ECVD Secretary)


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