2016 December - Registration and principal place of residence
National Recognition of Veterinary Registration (NRVR) in NSW means that veterinarians registered in another jurisdiction in Australia are able to work in NSW as deemed registrants.
In jurisdictions where NRVR has been enacted veterinarians must register in the jurisdiction of their principal place of residence. NRVR therefore allows greater mobility of veterinarians throughout Australia.
In jurisdictions yet to implement NRVR (Western Australia, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory) veterinarians must register where they work.
For most people your principal place of residence is easy to determine – it is your home, where your family resides, where you sleep and where you spend most of your time. Your address on the electoral roll, drivers licence, car registration, bank statements and other typical proof of identity documents would usually also assist in confirming your principal place of residence.
In some situations it can be more complicated and the Board has received a number of enquiries related to this issue.
If I live and work across State borders where should I register?
If your principal place of residence is in a border town in Victoria but you work in a border town in NSW under NRVR you register in Victoria and work in NSW under deemed registration.
If your principal place of residence is a border town in NSW but you work in the ACT you must register in the ACT as this jurisdiction is yet to implement NRVR. If you want to work in NSW as well the legislation requires that you register in NSW as this is your principal place of residence.
What if I am doing locum work?
If your principal place of residence is outside NSW and remains the same (you do not intend to move to NSW beyond the locum work) you maintain your registration in your current State or Territory and work as a deemed registrant in NSW.
How long can I work in NSW as a person with deemed registration?
The Veterinary Practice Act 2003 (s 34B(2)) defines a person’s principal place of residence as including any jurisdiction which was, within the last 3 months, the person’s principal place of residence.
Once you move from interstate to NSW and your principal place of residence becomes NSW you therefore have a period of up to 3 months where you can work under deemed registration (assuming you remain registered in your previous jurisdiction).
If the locum will be longer than 3 months the question returns to where is your principal place of residence.
What if I consider myself to be a fly-in fly-out veterinarian?
This is similar to the above. Again, in NSW the Board expects you would register in NSW if this is your principal place of residence but if your principal place of residence remains outside NSW you can work in NSW under deemed registration.
The situation will differ with various individual circumstances and the definition of principal place of residence can become complicated. For example your home may no longer be where you spend most of your time or where you typically ‘reside’.
The Board strongly recommends that you contact the Board in the State or Territory in which you plan to work to describe your individual circumstances and find out how the legislation is applied in that jurisdiction.
Whilst most States have implemented NRVR it must be remembered that you must comply with different veterinary and other legislation in each jurisdiction. This may include compliance in relation to insurance, other licences and permits, drugs and poisons legislation, CPD and registration period so it is vital that you contact that Board to discuss your legislative obligations prior to commencing work.
Finally, it is important to remember that the purpose of NRVR and deemed registration was to improve the mobility of the veterinary workforce by reducing administrative burdens on veterinarians and the costs of registration when working in multiple jurisdictions. Equally, it is important that the Board where you are registered is able to contact you and that you respond within the required timeframe to any notification from that Board.