This post will be dedicated to the description of the procedure I had to go through to get my Slovene veterinary qualifications recognized in the United Kingdom. I must stress that this is the procedure that was applicable to me and may vary for other individuals that have different circumstances.
I first tried to get my diploma nostrified 6 years ago but because Slovenia was not yet part of the European Union I would have to go through professional exams in the area of small animal practice and horses. I also had a problem getting a letter for good professional standing from the Slovene Veterinary Chamber (Veterinarska zbornica) as they told me that they do not issue such documents. The actual first time I asked them (before they were reorganized) I didn’t get a reply at all.
I was also talking to the Slovene Justice ministry (Ministrstvo za pravosodje) where they told me I would have to go through a quite a bit of red tape to get an official copy of my diploma: get a notarised copy, then get the dean’s signature verified and so on. This is completely unnecessary as all you need in cases, where the RCVS asks for a notarised translation/copy is an official translation (in English) that can be made by any court interpreter for the English language. So in fact what you need is a photocopy of a document it and have that officially translated. This means the translator will make two puncture holes (like for putting in a binder) and bind the copy and the translated copy together with a special tri-coloured string.
The translation must have a court interpreter’s declaration (for example: I, the undersigned [name of court interpreter comes here], permanent court interpreter for the English Language, Appointed by the Decree No. [a number comes here], issued by the Ministry of Justice of Republic of Slovenia, hereby certify that this is a true translation of the corresponding Slovenian Document.“. The string I mentioned above is them joined at the other side and affixed with a sticker which is then stamped. In any case, this will all be done by the court interpreter (translator).
Here are the documents I needed to send to the Membership department at the RCVS:
- Diploma awarding the professional title of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (dr. vet. med.)
- A Certificate from the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food (Ministrstvo za kmetijstvo, gozdarstvo in prehrano) stating, that my school curriculum is in line with the EU standards. This certificate based on compliance of my veterinary qualifications with Article 1 of the Council Directive No. 78/1027/EEC (Official Gazette 362/78) and is gained by applying to the above Ministry and also enclosing a copy of the following documents:
- Certificate of a successfully completed state examination (Strokovni izpit / državni izpit) and
- Veterinary Diploma
- A letter of good professional standing: this letter is now issued by the Veterinary Chamber (Veterinarska zbornica) without any problem. They also do it in English so you needn’t have to worry about translation. The letter must also state, that you are a member of the chamber. So in case you are not, you have to join them, at least temporarily. I suggest you cancel your membership only AFTER you have gained the RCVS certificate.
- Certificate of having passed the state examination in the field of veterinary medicine (Strokovni izpit / državni izpit).
- The decree/decision stating you have been given the Licence to perform Veterinary activities in Slovenia. This document now issued by the Veterinary chamber, but was also issued by the Veterinary Administration of the Republic of Slovenia – VURS.
- Passport (the page where you photo is). This is to show your true nationality.
As I said, you will have to send them the official translations of the document and not the document themselves. Once you have satisfied the RCVS that all criteria has been met, then you will be invited to make an appointment (only certain dates are available and not just every day) where you will have to do the following:
- fill-in a form
- fill-in another form – just one line is filled per each applicant
- show the original documents including the quite strangely sized Veterinary diploma (transportation can be a bit tricky, if you don’t want it to get damaged)
- pay the full registration fee or its proportional part, depending how close to April 1st. The registration fee must be paid in cash. More on that can be found here.
- read the following oath:
“Inasmuch as the privilege of membership of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is about to be conferred upon me, I PROMISE AND SOLEMNLY DECLARE that I will abide in all due loyalty to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and will do all in my power to maintain and promote its interests.
I PROMISE ABOVE ALL that I will pursue the work of my profession with uprightness of conduct and that my constant endeavour will be to ensure the welfare of animals committed to my care”
After the oath is read and if all other matters (documents, fee payment) are OK, you are considered a member of the RCVS, effective immediately. You receive a certificate with you membership number on the lower left and some reading material with additional forms (like for CPD (continuing professional development)). You should aslo be visible on the membership list of the RCVS’s website. For example, my entry can be found here.
Websites for additional information:
Članek v slovenščini: Nostrifikacija slovenske veterinarske diplome za delo v Veliki Britaniji