2016 December - Career breaks and returning to practice

The Board receives a number of calls each year from people who were previously registered in NSW or elsewhere and have now decided to return to practice as a veterinarian after a career break.

It is vital that you prepare for your return to practice to ensure a smooth transition and the Board has developed a policy on the Requirements for Returning to Practice to assist you with this preparation and ensure that the Board fulfils its requirements in relation to regulating the profession.

The policy is based on those used by the medical profession and considers the following:

  1. Length of absence from practice
  2. Number of years in practice prior to absence
  3. Continuing professional development activities completed during your absence
  4. A program of continuing professional development during the first year of your return to practice
  5. A period of supervision during the first year of your return to practice


A number of continuing professional development (CPD) providers have now developed courses specifically designed to assist with this return to practice and it is important that any CPD you complete is aligned with your intended area of practice.

The Australian Veterinary Association has also developed My Return – a practical guide to returning to your veterinary career which has some very useful information.

As for any veterinarian in practice the key is to ensure that if you are not sure how to best manage the care of an animal that you seek support from your colleagues by consultation or referral.

For those of you previously registered in NSW go to Registration, Restoration to the Register.  For those of you previously registered outside NSW, you will need to approach your previous Board for a Letter of Professional Standing or Letter of Good Standing and go to Registration, Apply for Registration.