About Us

ISVPS was set up in 2003 by a group of like-minded veterinarians with the principal objective to provide attainable, balanced qualifications for veterinary practitioners working in full-time practice. The General Practitioner Certificates and Nurses Certificates were designed to meet the needs of busy veterinary practitioners and nurses wanting to gain a postgraduate qualification without having to take excessive time out of their busy working lives.

Who are ISVPS?

The ISVPS team comprises a board of directors, an experienced Head of Exams and Qualifications, a dedicated Academic Manager, a team of Exam Delivery Specialists and dedicated advisors for each country, an academic board and a team of Specialist examiners.Our Exam Delivery and Advisors teams provide support and advice throughout your assessment and examination process. The academic board consists of 10 veterinary specialists from different clinical disciplines from around the world.

This ISVPS team approach ensures that our assessment and examination methods are continually reviewed and scrutinised to achieve the highest standards and to ensure they remain highly, clinically relevant. We also want to ensure that they are relatable to busy clinical practice and the challenges that brings. All of our training providers’ courses are accredited by us to ensure that you receive the highest standards of CPD provision at all times. As part of the accreditation process we ensure our training providers use our ISVPS approved pool of Speakers to maintain the highest level of interactive and inspiring CPD.

The Academic Board

The ISVPS academic board comprises 10 international veterinary specialists who are each highly recognised in their specialist area of interest. This includes specialists from different disciplines from all over the world. The academic board also provides invaluable insight into the continuing education and assessment requirements in different demographics, thus allowing ISVPS to develop new, cutting-edge assessment methods. ISVPS strives constantly to ensure that all of our General Practitioner Certificates are standardised internationally but we also recognise there are some geographical differences that must also be accounted for to ensure fair assessment of knowledge and skills of our candidates around the world.

Academic Board Members

Tim Charlesworth (Academic Chairman)
John Houlton (Small Animal Surgery, UK)
Emma O’Neil (Small Animal Medicine, UK)
Lorenzo Crosta (Exotic Animal Practice, Spain and Italy)
Mary Fraser (Nurses Certificates, UK)
Laura Jones (RVN, UK)
Gualtiero Gandini (Neurology, Italy)
Nicki Grint (Anaesthesia and Analgesia, UK)
Jodi Westropp (Internal Medicine, US)



ISVPS Senior Team

Sheila Wills BSc BVetMed CertSAM DipECVIM-CA MRCVS | ISVPS Academic Director and Group Academic Strategy Lead

RCVS Recognised Specialist in Feline Medicine
European Veterinary Specialist in Internal Medicine

After graduating from the University of Reading in 1994 with a BSc in Animal Science, Sheila studied veterinary medicine at the University of London, graduating in 1998. Sheila then spent five years in small animal practice before undertaking an Feline advisory Bureau Residency in Feline Medicine at the University of Bristol. Since completing her residency, Sheila has spent 10 years in small animal medicine referral practice as well as a working for two commercial veterinary laboratories. She acquired the ECVIM Diploma in Internal Medicine in September 2010 and is a European Veterinary Specialist in Internal Medicine and an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Feline Medicine. Sheila has lectured nationally and internationally on all aspects of Feline Medicine.

Her passion has always revolved around education and providing the highest level of continuing professional development for vets and vet nurses in practice. Her role as director of ISVPS allows her to fulfill a lifelong dream of being at the forefront of veterinary education and provision of high quality postgraduate qualifications globally. Certification allows recognition of both veterinary surgeons and vet nurses for their dedication and hard work to further enhance their knowledge in their respective areas of interest.

Ana Rocha | Head of Operations and Legal Consultant

Ana is Operations Manager and Legal Consultant for ISVPS. She has joined the organization with great enthusiasm aiming to further develop the high standards set up from start.

She graduated at law in Coimbra, Portugal and previously worked in several major companies improving her skills in client management, quality control and supervising client management teams. She has also worked on a legal office as a consultant. She joined the Improve International company in 2007 as business manager overseeing the delivery of the portfolio of courses in the different managed courses from Oporto that include Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Japan, Mexico, Chile and Peru. She also works as the HR coordinator in the offices as well as a legal consultant.

Her range of expertise allows her to provide support on different areas with upper management on new projects and coordinating the existing ones.

Charlotte French MA VetMB MRCVS Bsc (ARCS) PGCVetEd FHEA | Academic Manager

Dr Charlotte French MA VetMB BSc (ARCS) PGCVetEd FHEA MRCVS studied veterinary medicine at Cambridge, following a first degree in Zoology.  She has since spent more than 25 years working in both mixed and small animal practice and in shelter medicine. She has worked extensively in veterinary education, training veterinary nurses and developing curricula at diploma and degree levels. She has also worked with awarding bodies. In 2017 she completed a postgraduate certificate in Veterinary Education from the RVC and was awarded Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.  She joined Improve Veterinary Education in 2020 and is ISVPS Academic Manager, overseeing the development and quality of all assessments.

Tim Charlesworth MA VetMB CertSAS DSAS(ST) MRCVS | Academic Chairman

Tim graduated from Cambridge in 2001 and after a brief period in mixed practice moved to Eastcott in Swindon. Tim went on to gain the RCVS Certificate in small animal surgery in 2006 followed by the RCVS diploma in Small Animal Surgery (Soft Tissue) in 2012. Tim is currently an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Small Animal Surgery (Soft Tissue) and is Head of Surgery at Eastcott Referrals where he enjoys a large and diverse caseload having particular interests in minimally invasive surgery, surgical oncology and emergency surgical conditions.

Tim has examined for the RCVS both at certificate and diploma levels and is currently a committee member of the Association of Veterinary Soft Tissue Surgery (AVSTS). Tim has lectured both nationally and internationally on a wide range of topics and has a passion for developing and improving systems for post-graduate education.

Georgia Stone BCI BVMedSci(Hons) PACES | Academic and Partnership Manager

Georgia uses experience gained since joining ISVPS as an Examination Coordinator in 2017 to oversee international academic standards and to manage partnerships with both training providers and validation partners.

Georgia has an undergraduate degree in Creative Industries (from the Queensland University of Technology, in Australia), and an undergraduate degree in Veterinary Medical Sciences (from the University of Nottingham). In 2022 she completed a Postgraduate Advanced Certificate in Educational Studies: Educational Assessment from the University of Cambridge in association with Cambridge Assessment.

Georgia hopes to use both her experience in assessment and her veterinary background to support and strengthen the ISVPS team.

Hannah Burton RVN | Operations Team Manager

As a Registered Veterinary Nurse Hannah has worked in practices and welfare organisations around the world, including managing a hospital team for a veterinary charity and in a wildlife rescue centre in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. With a certificate in assessing candidates, Hannah also has experience in coaching and training student nurses and vets.

Hannah joined ISVPS in 2021 as Lead Coordinator and supports our coordinators around the world, helping them deliver the best possible support to our candidates.

As well as spending time with her cat Kev (who has been with her since her days as a student vet nurse), she also loves to travel and competes with her horse, Brook.

ISVPS Country Representatives

Maria José Agüero | Lead Coordinator (European Based)

Maria José Agüero, born in San Juan, Argentina, graduated in Social Work and has lived in the city of Porto, Portugal since 2014.

She began her academic career at the Universidad Nacional de San Juan, Argentina (2008/2012), having also studied at the Instituto Politécnico de México, Mexico City (2012) and at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City (2013). Maria completed her studies at the Instituto de Serviço Social do Porto, Portugal (2014/2016) and has participated in different projects in the social and healthcare area in Argentina, Mexico, and Portugal.

Deborah Gross | Germany, Austria, Switzerland Examination Coordinator

Deborah Groß was born in Germany and now lives in Austria. She graduated in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna and her focus is on avian medicine and dog nutrition.

She enjoys exploring nature with her dog and spending time with her parrots and chickens. Deborah also likes to make parrot toys, dog leashes and loves cooking and baking. She is really happy and proud to join the ISVPS team!

Hannah Haynes RVN FdSc Cert VN ECC | Examination Coordinator (English Assessments)

Hannah is an experienced Registered Veterinary Nurse, having qualified in 2011 from Harper Adams University. Hannah has worked in a variety of practices, including a mixed hospital in Devon, with her main passions being in diagnostic imaging and emergency and critical care. Hannah joined ISVPS as an examination coordinator for the nurses certificates in January 2022.

Outside of work, Hannah enjoys exploring the Cotswold countryside with her partner and Cockapoo, learning campanology, and baking a new recipe.


Helder Silva | Spanish and Portuguese Examination Coordinator

Hélder is originally from Vila Nova de Gaia and concluded his Business Administration studies in 2013 when he first started working in Education Management. Before joining ISVPS as Examination coordinator for Spain and Portugal, he worked in Online Education as an instructor and academic adviser. In his spare time he loves travelling, playing musical instruments and spending time with his dog.

Ivete Ribeiro | French Examination Coordinator

Ivete Ribeiro studied Music at the Music Conservatory in Aveiro. In 2009 she graduated in Languages and Publishing Studies in the University of Aveiro, where in 2012, she obtained a Masters in Languages, Literatures and Cultures. In 2014 she attended a course of International Commerce and in 2016, she completed a post-graduation in Legal Translation of French in the same university. In 2009, she started working as a music teacher at the elementary school. Before joining the ISPVS as French Examination Coordinator, she worked in a 3D Printing Company’s customer service team. She has also been working as a French translator of legal documents since 2010.

Marialetizia Villa | Italian Examination Coordinator

Marialetizia Villa is a qualified Veterinary Technician, and joined ISVPS as the Italian Examination Coordinator c/o SCIVAC, Cremona (IT) in 2014. Marialetizia has scientific training, high level of experience about sales line management, employee relations with pet shop, veterinary pharmacy, wholesaler.

Marialetizia’s role includes coordination and management of sales activities as consultant for product for animal health, coordination of breeder’s line events, employee relationship with veterinary and organisation veterinary scientific’s events. Marialetizia’s strengths are team oriented, problem solving, excellent independent business and team worker capacity, able to maintain and develop professional relations.

Naomi Chanin
Naomi Chanin | Examination Coordinator (English Assessments)

After qualifying in 2014 as a Registered Veterinary Nurse, Naomi has worked in a variety of small animal practices in the South West of the UK, including most recently at a 24-hour Veterinary Hospital where she joined the Out of Hours department as an Emergency and Critical Care Nurse.

After developing her clinical skills and knowledge in Veterinary Nursing, Naomi was keen to pursue her career in a non-clinical role and she is proud to have joined the ISPVS team in February 2021 as an Examination Coordinator.

Outside of work Naomi enjoys cooking and walks in the countryside with her two dogs. She also has an artistic side and loves to draw pet portraits in her spare time.

Paula de Fernandes | Examinations Delivery Specialist & Customer Success Advisor DE | AT | CH

Paula was born in Hamburg, Germany, and currently lives in Braga.
She studied Applied Languages – Translation at FLUP. She has worked in the automotive, textile and construction industries where, in addition to other activities, she has always done the translation work she loves so much.
She is passionate about fashion (a field in which she worked for 22 years) and where she obtained further training in clothes modelling and photography, a passion she shares with her family and friends.
She loves to cook, which is why her house is always a “full house” for friends and family. When she’s not cooking, she enjoys reading a good book and discovering new nature trails, especially in Portugal, with friends who share her passion.

Rosangel Ferrante | Spanish and Portuguese Examination Coordinator

Rosangel Carella Ferrante was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and is currently studying languages at the University of Porto, where she has been living since 2015.

During all these years she developed a strong knowledge in the area of customer service with the Spanish and Portuguese market.

She loves reading, traveling, learning new cultures and taking photos in her free time.

Silvia Signor
Silvia Signor DVM | Italian Examination Coordinator

Silvia Signor graduated in Veterinary Medicine at the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna 2018. After a break to travel and volunteer, she started working as a veterinary surgeon in 2019 and has worked as a General Practitioner in Italy and the UK. Silvia joined ISVPS as Italian Examination Coordinator in 2021.

Silvia enjoys her role in ISVPS because she strongly believes that improving the knowledge of vets is essential to improving animal health.

Tomomi Minamoto | Japan and Korea Examination Coordinator
Wendy Liu | China Examination Coordinator

Wendy Liu graduated from Shandong University in 2008 in English and International Business, she devoted herself to animal health and welfare career as soon as she graduated. And in the year 2020, Wendy joined the ISVPS team of exam coordinators, she is responsible for ISVPS candidates in China. She loves life, loves work and loves small animals. She enjoys serving the candidates because improving the medical level of animal care means improving the welfare of small animals.
She keeps two dogs and two rabbits with the family, and joins the local stray animals rescue organization, this makes her more busy but at the same time makes her feel more fulfilled.
She is really happy and proud to join this team!

ISVPS Support Team

Claire Burton | Examination Administrative Assistant

Claire joined ISVPS at the beginning of 2018 as an Examination Administrator. She is responsible for supporting the international team of coordinators and assisting the ISVPS finance team.

Previously Claire worked for nine years in the small animal department of a local long established, independent veterinary practice. She then worked for a financial company assisting a team of paraplanners.

Claire has a dog and a horse, so outside of work can be found spending time with them and competing with her horse.

Accreditation Committee:

To achieve ISVPS accreditation a course provider must provide/fulfil the set criteria, which is evaluated by the accreditation committee. Please refer to the accreditation page for further details.

Validation Review Panel:

This is not a formal committee of ISVPS but is an integral part of the examination process.  The Validation Review Panel is responsible for reviewing and benchmarking all submitted examination questions. Members of the Validation Review Panel are General Practitioner Certificate holders and academics.

Recent News

Investing in our own professional development

Congratulations to Georgia Stone, ISVPS Academic and Partnerships Manager, on achieving her Postgraduate Advanced Certificate in Educational Studies: Educational Assessment from the University of Cambridge (in association with Cambridge Assessment). Over 15 months...

ISVPS supporting ESCMID and ESGVM postgraduate education

We are delighted to be working with the ESCMID Study Group for Veterinary Microbiology (ESGVM) to highlight the importance of antimicrobial stewardship by accrediting their upcoming course, Emerging laboratory and point-of-care technologies for detection of AMR and...

Newsletter Signup

Enter your email below to get updates and news from ISVPS


Alexandra House
Whittingham Drive
Wroughton, Swindon
SN4 0QJ, UK.

Tel: +44 1793208124
Email: american@isvps.org

We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our site and to show relevant advertising. If you wish to continue to use this website, please give us your consent to their use.