How to Become a Veterinary Locum

How you become a veterinary Locum Vet depends a great deal on your objectives, and what you expect to achieve by becoming a locum either as a veterinary surgeon or a veterinary nurse. If you are referring to how to physically go about finding veterinary locum work, you have two options: either do it yourself by answering adverts or register with one of the veterinary recruitment agencies that offers locum work.

If you are new to the UK, then according to UK law you first have to be registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) if you wish to practice veterinary surgery in any capacity within the UK. If you have qualified as a vet in the EU, then your qualifications will normally enable you to register automatically, and if not then you may still qualify for automatic registration if you qualified in a recognized country such as the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. You are advised to check with the RCVS, and if your qualification does not enable this, then all you need do is pass the RCVS examination.

You must also have at least two years experience in veterinary surgery to become a locum vet, though individual practices can set their own experience levels. No practice is obliged to offer any qualified veterinary surgeon or nurse a position as a locum, although if your target practice is a specialist one, such as small animals or horses, then experience in these areas will help.

In order to become a veterinary locum in the UK you will have to be prepared to travel, although accommodation will probably be provided for you. It is best if you have your own car and have your own personal indemnity insurance and are insured to transport animals.

With these, and registering as self-employed, you will have a better chance of being accepted for veterinary locum work than if the practice had to provide you with a car, insure you through the practice and pay your tax and National Insurance. It is easier for the practice if you deal with these aspects of locum work yourself. However, it is not essential, and some practices will gladly see to all of that for you.

Having registered with the RCVS, and with the appropriate experience, you can apply for any veterinary locum work available. Although you can seek adverts yourself, you are better off registering with a specialist veterinary employment agency. Such agencies will have a number of locum positions available at any time, and you should not find it difficult to find work through them, particularly if you are prepared to travel.

Naturally, London and the South-East of England will likely have a surplus of veterinary surgeons and nurses over available work, but the further north you are prepared to travel the more temporary work should be available.

Becoming a veterinary locum pays well if you have the qualifications, experience and willingness to travel, and can also be very popular, and by registering with a veterinary agency you can make it much easier for yourself to find a position that suits your needs.

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