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Defra seeks views on testing the language skills of EU migrant vets

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THE RCVS is encouraging all members of the veterinary team to respond to a consultation launched by Defra last week, which is seeking views on whether English language testing should be introduced for veterinary surgeons who have qualified elsewhere in the European Union.

Outlining its proposals on July 22, Defra explained that, under the European Professional Qualifications Directive (PQD), which aims to facilitate the free movement of professionals within the EU, the RCVS has the right to ensure that any EU vet seeking to work in the UK has the necessary knowledge of English as a condition of registration. However, the Veterinary Surgeons Act, as it currently stands, does not allow the RCVS Registrar to ask for such evidence during the registration process. This, Defra says, means that the RCVS must register any EU vet who holds recognised qualifications and provides the required evidence of good character, even if there are concerns about their ability to practise because of language difficulties.

In contrast, applicants from outside the EU/European Economic Area (EEA) are subject to language checks and have to sit the International English Testing System examination to …

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