National Examining Board

The National Examining Board (NEB) is a body established by the CVMA to administer the NEB veterinary medicine examination process. The NEB also participates with the Council on Education (COE) of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in a program of accreditation of colleges of veterinary medicine. This accreditation program consists of annual evaluations and regular on-site inspection of the colleges to ensure that they meet the standards established by the COE.

In addition, on behalf of some of the provincial licensing bodies, the NEB reviews and evaluates credentials of graduates of non-Canadian colleges of veterinary medicine who wish to obtain a license to practice veterinary medicine in Canada. Like the CVMA, however, the NEB does not have power to license or discipline veterinarians.

Graduates of or final year students at one of the five Canadian veterinary schools:

To become a candidate of the NEB please register using the NEB Candidate Portal.

Foreign trained veterinarians that graduated from or final year students of a COE/CVMA accredited school:

To become a candidate of the NEB please register using the NEB Candidate Portal.

In addition to your online NEB application, you must send us the following supporting documents (add link).

Foreign trained veterinarians that graduated from or final year students at a veterinary school listed by the AVMA:

To become a candidate of the NEB please register using the NEB Candidate Portal.

In addition to your online NEB application, you must send us the following supporting documents (add link).

Graduates of or final year students at one of the five Canadian veterinary schools:

Any graduate of one of the five Canadian veterinary schools needs to register as a candidate of the NEB to be able to register to the North American veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE).

The NAVLE needs to be passed within two attempts to be granted a Certificate of Qualification (CQ). The CQ makes you eligible to apply for licensure in any Canadian province.

Graduates of an accredited college who do not achieve a passing mark on the NAVLE within two attempts must also complete the Preliminary Surgical Assessment (PSA) and the Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE) to receive a CQ.

Foreign trained veterinarians that graduated from or final year students of a COE/CVMA accredited school:

All veterinary schools in Canada and the USA are currently accredited, as are those listed on the AVMA website. Candidates who are uncertain of the accreditation status of their college may obtain the necessary information from the NEB office.

To be able to register to the North American veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) or to obtain a CQ by transferring a NAVLE result obtained through a US State Board, graduates or final year students at an accredited veterinary school need to become a NEB candidate. Candidates who have already completed the NAVLE must transfer them to the NEB through AAVSB’s Viva service.

The NAVLE needs to be passed within two attempts to be granted a Certificate of Qualification (CQ). The CQ makes you eligible to apply for licensure in any Canadian province.

Graduates of an accredited college who do not achieve a passing mark on the NAVLE within two attempts must also complete the Preliminary Surgical Assessment (PSA) and the Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE) to receive a CQ.

Foreign trained veterinarians that graduated from or final year students at a veterinary school listed by the AVMA:

The NEB examination process comprises four exams measuring entry-level competence in the theory and practice of veterinary medicine in a North American context:

  1. the Basic and Clinical Sciences Examination (BCSE);
  2. the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE);
  3. the Preliminary Surgical Assessment for the CPE (PSA);
  4. the Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE).

A candidate who is a graduate of a non-accredited veterinary school (see https://www.avma.org/education/ecfvg/directory-avma-listed-veterinary-colleges-world ) must successfully complete the BCSE, the NAVLE, the PSA and the CPE to be able to be granted a Certificate of Qualification (CQ). The CQ makes you eligible to apply for licensure in any Canadian province.

All NEB requirements must be completed within a 7 year period starting when the candidate registers to the examination sequence. A candidate who does not complete the examination sequence within the 7-year period will be required to resubmit scores from English language proficiency exams and from BCSE prior to becoming eligible for the NAVLE, the PSA and the CPE again.

After having completed the NEB requirements and obtained a Certificate of Qualification, you can apply for a general practice license in any Canadian province.

In Canada, legislative authority to regulate the practice of professions and trades is a provincial responsibility. In each province, a licensing body is established by statute. Licensing for veterinary medicine is the responsibility of the provincial veterinary association or a separate licensing body empowered by provincial legislation. While the general requirements to obtain a licence to practice veterinary medicine are similar, specific requirements, including examination requirements, differ from province to province. Individuals intending to apply for a license must correspond directly with the registrar of the licensing body of the province in which they wish to practice determine the relevant requirements.

The addresses of the licensing bodies in each of the ten provinces can be found here.

Candidates who successfully complete the NEB Examination are granted a Certificate of Qualification (CQ). Successful completion of the NEB Examination or receipt of a Certificate of Qualification is a prerequisite to apply for a general license to practice from any of the provincial veterinary licensing bodies of Canada.

Moreover, the licensing authority in any province may require further examinations in addition to or in lieu of those required to obtain a CQ. Applicants are reminded to consult with the licensing body in the province in which they wish to seek a license regarding applicable requirements. Applicants should also note that proof of graduation must be received by the NEB before a CQ will be issued.

Graduates of or final year students at one of the five Canadian veterinary schools:

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Foreign trained veterinarians that graduated from or final year students of a COE/CVMA accredited school:

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Foreign trained veterinarians that graduated from or final year students at a veterinary school listed by the AVMA:

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For a veterinary school to be recognised by the CVMA and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), we require an official statement from the Ministry of Education, or other responsible government agency of the school's country, stating that the school is recognized by the national government as granting professional degrees in veterinary medicine, and that its graduates are eligible to practice veterinary medicine in that country.  It should also provide the full address of the veterinary college, and the professional title and degree acronym that is conferred at the end of the professional veterinary degree program.

Upon receipt of such a statement in English, the CVMA and AVMA will consider adding the school to the List of Veterinary Colleges of the World employed by both Associations. The statement should be sent to the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates, c/o American Veterinary Medical Association, 1931 North Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, Illinois 60173-4360. 

BCSE: The BCSE is offered on a continuous basis and candidates are permitted to take the BCSE three times within a 12-month period. The exam is administered at Prometric Inc.TM test centres throughout Canada, the USA and many testing centres overseas. Please visit Prometric’s Web site at www.prometric.com to view the list of test centres available to you for the BCSE.

NAVLE: The NAVLE is offered during testing windows in April and November/December of each year and is administered at Prometric Test Centres (PTC) in Canada, the United States and U.S. Territories, and at selected PTCs in 13 testing regions overseas. NAVLE test sites are also listed on the Prometric website, www.prometric.com.

PSA & CPE: The PSA and the CPE are currently available several times per year at selected Canadian colleges of veterinary medicine. The CPE is available in French only at the Faculté de médecine vétérinaire (St-Hyacinthe, Québec) usually two or three times a year. Candidates eligible to take the CPE can register for a CPE seat in the NEB Candidate Portal. CPE and PSA registrations are open continuously. Upon registering for the PSA or CPE, candidates will be placed on a waiting list and will be contacted with the next available exam dates and locations. A limited number of candidates may be tested during each session of the CPE. In providing exam slots to candidates, the NEB gives priority to those who wish to obtain a Certificate of Qualification (CQ), as well as those who intend to apply for a license in a Canadian province.

Specific dates and locations of the next examination(s) may be obtained from NEB staff. The NEB reserves the right to change the date and/or location at which any examination is offered. Every effort will be made to ensure candidates are given adequate advance notice of any change.

Graduates of or final year students at one of the five Canadian veterinary schools:

For students or recent graduates of the Canadian Veterinary schools the NEB application is free.

For information about the exam fees to register for the NAVLE see (add link to current fee table)

Foreign trained veterinarians that graduated from or final year students of a COE/CVMA accredited school:

Add list

Foreign trained veterinarians that graduated from or final year students at a veterinary school listed by the AVMA:

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The NEB assesses entry-level veterinary skills that correspond to the skills of final year students at accredited veterinary schools in North America. Before registering for the NEB you should complete the “Self Assessment Tool for the Clinical Proficiency Exam” available here (insert link).

Reasonable accommodation will be made for a candidate with a documented disability, if the candidate identifies the disability, makes a request (including by selecting the need for special accommodation on the exam registration) and provides supporting documentation for such accommodation prior to or at the time of registration. The candidate will be required to present documentation in support of the request.

The Board will consider the recommendation of health care providers in conjunction with all other circumstances, which might include the availability of the recommended accommodation. A copy of the form needed to request testing accommodations can be downloaded from the link below (add link). The completed form as well as supporting documentation from your healthcare provider needs to reach us before the application deadline for the exam you are planning to take.