March, 26th 2018 The calls for De Facto and ACVSMR recognition are open now

De Facto Recognition

1. Introduction

During the first five years following the provisional recognition of the College, the Interim Executive Committee may appoint a small number of additional de facto Diplomates as “Founding Diplomates” who are expected to contribute to the running of the College. For the ECVSMR, de facto recognition as a Diplomate is possible for internationally-renowned, experienced and suitably-qualified experts in this field, who have a well-documented record of clinical as well as scientific expertise. Such experts should have distinction in the field and their qualifications and experience must exceed those proposed as candidates to take the certifying examination of the organisation.

2. General criteria as described by the EBVS

Applicants must meet the general criteria described in the EBVS Policies and Procedures (2016, pages 6 and 7). The detailed criteria for the recognition as a de facto Diplomate can be found in chapter 3. Applicants must:

1. Be initiators in their field

2. Have achieved distinction in the field, and have qualifications, achieved by training and experience, far exceeding those necessary for candidates taking the certifying examination of the organisation

3. Be internationally recognised as a qualified specialist by their peers

4. Have at least ten years of experience practising the speciality, and by teaching, research and practice have contributed significantly to the development of the speciality

5. Have advanced training (at European Qualifications Framework [EQF] level 8) in the speciality, and have demonstrated competence through teaching, research and practice in the speciality to which the individual devotes most of his or her professional time

6. Be the author or co-author of at least ten significant publications, in peer-reviewed journals, resulting from research or practice in the speciality

7. Be uncontroversial to the majority of the membership

8. Spend at least 60 per cent of their time practising the speciality, based on a normal working week of 40 hours, for the last at least 10 years

9. Be practising in Europe

10. Practise scientific, evidence-based veterinary medicine, which complies with their country’s animal welfare legislation

11. Display a willingness to contribute to the growth of the College (e.g. by training residents).

3. Guidelines for applicants

The following section describes the criteria which must be fulfilled by the applicant. Each of the criteria must be fulfilled.

In order to prevent an unsuccessful application, the applicant should clearly emphasize in his application that he has an expertise in the field of sports medicine and rehabilitation. This should be reflected in his publications as well as in his clinical activities. It is also of particular importance that the applicant describes the extent to which he has a clinical connection to rehabilitation and sports medicine. In the latter case, it should be noted that sports medicine and rehabilitation does not refer to the purely surgical treatment of orthopaedic illnesses; this can be read in detail in the P&Ps.


3.1 Qualifications

Applicants must supply documentation describing advanced training (at European Qualifications Framework [EQF] level 8, e.g. professional doctorate or PhD) in the speciality.

3.2 Practising in Europe

Applicants must supply documentation that show that he/she is practising in Europe.

3.3 Experience and practice

Applicants must spend at least 60% of their time practising the speciality (based on a working week of 40 hours) and must have done so for at least the previous ten years. Applicants must supply documentation to this effect, confirming that their work has been carried out at specialist level (as detailed for the training of residents in the P&Ps) in their respective sub-specialty (small animal/equine). Applicants must also (1) provide evidence that they practice scientific, evidence-based veterinary medicine, which complies with their country’s animal welfare legislation, and (2) give details of their typical case load (animals seen) over the previous ten years

The ECVSMR hereby informs applicants that from 2018, individuals who are Diplomates in two European Colleges or two sub-specialities in the same European College must choose in which College/speciality they wish to be recognized as a specialist. In their second College/sub-speciality, they may only use the title ‘Diplomate’ and they will be considered ‘non-certified Diplomates’. They will not be allowed to call themselves specialists in two disciplines.

3.4 Teaching

Applicants must supply documentation that shows that:

1. they have presented original work, relevant to the College’s discipline, at national and/or international scientific meetings, with a connection to Europe. This is to demonstrate the ability to communicate their ideas and conclusions clearly and effectively.

2. they have national or international teaching experience, aimed at veterinarian, in the speciality, either at universities or in other settings (such as conferences) .

3.5 Research and publications

Applicants must be an author on at least ten significant publications in peer-reviewed journals (available from the ISI Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Report) resulting from research or practice in the speciality. The applicant must include a list of relevant publications and the following additional information:

1. The impact factor of the journal at the time of submission;

2. The relevance of the publication to the field. The author must be able to show that the publication covers at least one of the subject-specific areas of knowledge outlined in the ECVSMR P&Ps;

3. The role of the author in the study. At least four of the publications must be written as first or last author and/or as corresponding author.

3.6 Letters of support

The applicant must supply two letters of support from European Veterinary Diplomates for their application. These letters must describe how: the applicant is an initiator in the speciality and how they have achieved suitable distinction in the field. The letters must be sent directly to the ECVSMR

3.7 Willingness to contribute to the growth of the College

We stress that active, meaningful participation in the College and its Committees is an absolute requirement in order to remain a Diplomate after re-certification, which will take place every five years after admission. The applicant must, therefore,

1. supply information as to which of the committees outlined in the ECVSMR bylaws he/she will be willing to be active in during the first five years of de facto recognition;

2. confirm that he/she will actively contribute to the College aims by offering residencies and/or alternative pathways for candidates, and/or by submitting examination questions.

4. Deadlines

De facto recognition is possible for up to five years after approval of the College by the EBVS, and it is therefore expected to end on the 19th September 2022.


The guidelines and the application form can be downloaded here >>

For application please download the form and send it (including attachments) to:

Non-european applicants

For veterinarians who wish to apply for recognition as a Diplomate of ECVSMR but do not work in Europe, the following regulation applies:


The EBVS states in its Policies & Procedures: "The College must only certify veterinarians who are licensed to practise or are eligible to be licensed to practise in a European country. Applicants may be relieved of this requirement in exceptional cases." The Board of ECVSMR would therefore like to point out the following:


De facto recognition is only possible if the applicant can prove that he or she is working in Europe. This is based on the fact that a de facto status is linked to numerous obligations, such as active participation in the ECVSMR committees and/or the training of residents.