In Canada, to obtain a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degree, a minimum of six years of university education is required: two years of pre-veterinary study at a regular university followed by four years of courses in veterinary medicine at one of the five Canadian veterinary colleges (five years in the province of Quebec).

Canada is welcoming hundreds of new foreign-trained veterinarians from all continents every year. To find out more about a career in veterinary medicine in Canada see:

“In my opinion and experience, there is not a jurisdiction in Canada that could not use more veterinary professionals. Alberta is full of practices looking to hire veterinarians and technologists, particularly in rural centres.” - Dr. Darrell Dalton, Registrar, ABVMA

Do you have what it takes?

Veterinary standards vary a lot throughout the world and the exams of the CVMA's National Examining Board ensure that foreign-trained veterinarians are as qualified as graduates of accredited veterinary medical schools.

The AVMA Council on Education (COE) accredits DVM or equivalent educational programs. The AVMA COE assures that minimum standards in veterinary medical education are met by all CVMA/AVMA-accredited colleges of veterinary medicine, and that students enrolled in those colleges receive an education which will prepare them for entry-level positions in the profession. All Canadian veterinary schools are CVMA/AVMA-COE accredited.

Before you decide to register as a candidate of the NEB we encourage you to complete the Self Assessment Tool for the Clinical Proficiency Exam. While not exhaustive, this tool will help you to determine if you are ready to perform the various tasks and skills that are being assessed during the practical exams of the NEB. 

Steps towards licensure in Canada

In Canada, licensing for veterinary medicine is the responsibility of the provincial veterinary association or a separate licensing body empowered by provincial legislation. The role and authority of the provincial licensing body is to protect and serve the public interest through the regulation of the practice of veterinary medicine. While the general requirements to practise veterinary medicine are similar, specific requirements differ from province to province.

Obtaining a Certificate of Qualification by completing the NEB exams and requirements will allow you to apply for a general practice license in any Canadian province.

Coordinates of Provincial Veterinary Licensing Bodies 

Did you know?

  • Going through the full NEB process takes as little as twelve months if all exams are passed on the first attempt.
  • NEB candidates qualify for a special CVMA membership that gives access to many of the CVMA's valuable member benefits at a discounted rate of only $10 per year.

Individuals who are granted registration as candidates for the National Examining Board examination, and who maintain registration in the NEB program, may join the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) as an NEB Associate Member. NEB Associate Members have access to a vast array of services and privileges to help achieve professional, personal and financial success. Click here to learn about the benefits of membership. For more information, visit .

Please contact for information on how to become a member.

As of January 1, 2016, the initial NEB application fee is $500. The initial registration fee covers NEB registration for the first two years. After the initial two year period NEB candidates will have to pay an annual fee of $250 until completion of all NEB exams. If a candidate lets their file expire after two years and does not pay the annual renewal fee of $250 at that point and decides to continue with the exams at a later date, the annual fees that were not paid will be collected retroactively before a candidate is able to resume taking NEB exams. For more information on NEB fees see Schedule of Fees.

Candidates enrolled in the NEB on or after January 1, 2016, will be required to complete all NEB examinations and requirements within seven years of enrolling in the NEB, in order to successfully complete certification requirements. Those candidates who do not complete all NEB examinations and requirements within seven years will be required to start over again while maintaining registration in the program. That is, candidates who do not complete certification requirements within the stipulated seven-year period will be required to:
- Submit new language test scores
- Successfully complete the BCSE anew prior to becoming eligible for the NAVLE, the PSA and the CPE again  

This seven-year time limit to complete the NEB program will affect all NEB candidates. However, candidates that registered to the NEB at any time before January 1st, 2016 will get the total of seven years to complete their certification requirements regardless of when they first applied to the NEB.  

All candidates working towards completion of certification requirements will be required to maintain registration in the program by paying the required annual fees towards re-registration.

If a candidate doesn't want to continue with the NEB process and want to permanently close their file in order to avoid having to pay renewal fees please use the NEB File Closure Request form.