General Practitioner Certificates

The ISVPS GPCert is a postgraduate qualification 

The ISVPS General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert) is a recognised higher education qualification demonstrating that you have achieved the required standard within a designated subject. It shows that you have achieved a deeper and more thorough understanding in your area of interest which can be applied to general practice.
Who is the GPCert for?
The GPCert is suitable for qualified veterinary surgeons looking to further their knowledge and expertise in a specific discipline, enabling them to manage more complicated cases within their practice and share expertise with colleagues.
Relevant to vets in small animal practice, the ISVPS GPCert qualifications are validated by Harper Adams University (HAU).
How will you benefit?

Gaining a deeper understanding and knowledge in your area of interest:

Increasing the ability to:

  • critically evaluate evidence and make clinical decisions on the strength of the best evidence available
  • utilise more advanced techniques and recognise which cases would benefit from referral
  • use self-reflection to inform and improve clinical practice

Building your confidence and knowledge to share with others in practice.


  • Increasing peer and employer recognition of skills and expertise
  • Achieving continuing professional development (CPD) requirements
How will your practice benefit?
  •  Potential increase in practice earnings, for example through more comprehensive investigation and treatment
  • Individuals will be more confident in clinical decisions and sharing knowledge
  • Retaining talent and expertise through supporting career development
  • Increased customer satisfaction and retention through skilled, confident vets
  • Ability to illustrate high standards of patient care by having staff with ISVPS globally recognised qualifications
How will your patients and their owners’ benefit?

The ISVPS purpose is focused on delivering compassionate animal care. The GPCert is a globally recognised qualification that supports:

  • Improved patient care from committed veterinary professionals
  • Increased satisfaction as a result of best practice approaches, informed by the highest ethical standards
Pre-requisites for taking the GPCert assessments

In order to take the assessments for the GPCert, you must:

  • Hold a veterinary qualification
  • If you are UK-based, applicants must be on the RCVS Home Practising Register, whilst applicants based outside the UK must hold a qualification that would entitle you to register as a member of the RCVS
  • To move on to the PgC after the GPCert, you must have spent one year in practice prior to beginning the training programme
  • Attend all the relevant modules with our accredited training provider Improve International. UK-based veterinary surgeons who qualified from 2007 onwards must have completed the RCVS Professional Development Phase (PDP) before they can enrol on the training course
What learning options are available?

Vets can choose their preferred way of studying to achieve the qualification, either face-to-face, online or blended – all providing world-class learning with support from expert programme tutors and speakers. Visit the Improve International website for more information.

Get started now

To get started on your GPCert, simply enrol on the relevant course with our accredited training provider, Improve Veterinary Education. Once you are enrolled on a course, you will be able to register with us for your assessments.

Log into your candidate area

Find up-to-date information on assessments and other useful documents in your Candidates Area.

General Practitioner Certificates

How to achieve an ISVPS GPCert

  • 1. Complete the course
    The first step to achieving the GPCert is to complete the modular training programme with our accredited training provider, Improve Veterinary Education.

    During the course we recommend you:
    • Complete the pre and post module questions (whilst not compulsory they are an important part of your exam preparation)
    • Undertake further reading around the course syllabus
  • 2. Pass the assessments
    Please note, from 1st January 2023 our assessments have changed to further focus on assessing clinical experience of vets working in general practice.
    For the GPCert the assessments are:
    1. Presentation of 20 cases to assess breadth of clinical experience
    2. Completion of 90-minute online applied knowledge examination (OAKE) to assesses application of clinical knowledge.
Full details of the assessment requirements (including the previous assessment structure) and deadlines for each qualification are available for registered candidates in the Candidates Area or get in touch with the team.

  • 3. Celebrate your success!
    On successful completion of your assessments, you will be awarded the GPCert with a personalised certificate and your name will be included in the ISVPS register of General Practitioner Certificate holders.<

  • Looking to progress to the PgC?
    Please contact us for more information on the assessments for the PgC
  • General Practitioner Certificates

    Progress your career after the GPCert

    PgC and RCVS Advanced Practitioner Status
    Complete additional assessments and/or modules with Harper Adams University to gain a university-recognised Postgraduate Certificate and 60 transferable academic credits. Once you have gained the PgC, you can apply directly to RCVS for Advanced Practitioner Status. Contact us for further information on the PgC.

    Build on the knowledge gained in the GPCert to develop an enhanced awareness of relevant techniques and the ability to use them in the management of cases. Find out more about the ISVPS GPAdvCert here.

    Or you can work towards a further GPCert in a different discipline.

    Get started on your ISVPS General Practitioner qualification now

    To get started your ISVPS GPCert qualification, simply enrol on the relevant postgraduate certificate course with our accredited training provider, Improve Veterinary Education.

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