Appropriate use of post-nominals


Ratification Date: 01 Aug 2010

Position statement

The use of post-nominals is encouraged when appropriate. Usage should follow the general rules and guidelines as dictated by convention and appropriate resources such as the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette.  Individual Veterinary Practitioner Boards may also provide guidance on what is acceptable in their respective jurisdictions.

It is recommended that the following specific guidelines be followed for the use of veterinary post-nominals. Inappropriate use is discouraged especially when it may be potentially misleading.


The following are guidelines for the use of veterinary post nominals.

The correct order for use of post nominals is:

  • Commonwealth honours and awards
  • University degrees both pre- and post-graduate
  • Appointments such as JP
  • Fellowships then Memberships of professional or academic bodies.
Use of qualification - MRCVS

Many Australian veterinarians work in the United Kingdom for a period of time, and while they are registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and working in the UK, they will be entitled to use the post-nominal 'MRCVS'.  However, the use of the qualification ‘MRCVS’ outside the UK is considered inappropriate when membership is attained by virtue of registration and fee payment alone. The fact that a person has practised in the UK at some point of time should not be held out to the public as an additional qualification. The exception to this occurs when the veterinarian has achieved membership of the RCVS by virtue of successful completion of the statutory examination conducted by the College (the equivalent of the National Veterinary Examination of Australia).  Membership gained by examination is a registrable degree in the United Kingdom and Australia, and is recognised as such.

Membership and Fellowship - ANZCVS

The Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (the College) is an examining body which awards the higher qualifications of Membership and Fellowship in a range of veterinary disciplines. Fellowship is recognised by the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) as suitable for attainment of specialist status. The College's guidelines for the use of their post-nominals are:

1. A veterinarian who has passed examinations and been admitted to Membership of the College shall be entitled to use the letters MANZCVS after his/her name, with the appropriate subject added in brackets. eg MANZCVS (Small Animal Medicine).
2. A veterinarian who has passed more than one membership examination shall be entitled to use MANZCVS only once, after which the subjects are to be listed alphabetically eg MANZCVS
(Anaesthesia, Small Animal Medicine).
3. A veterinarian who has passed examinations and been admitted to Fellowship of the College shall be entitled to use the letters FANZCVS after his/her name, with the appropriate subject added in brackets. eg FANZCVS (Veterinary Behaviour).
4. Only when a veterinarian has passed examinations for Membership and Fellowship in different subjects, shall he/she be entitled to list both the membership and fellowship qualifications. In this situation subject names are to be added eg MANZCVS (Small Animal Medicine), FANZCVS (Dermatology).
5. Members or Fellows of the College who become unfinancial or who resign from the College are no longer permitted to append postnominals referring to College qualifications.

American and European Boards - Specialist Qualifications

Veterinarians who have achieved Diplomate (specialist) status by passing an examination of the American Board of Veterinary Specialties (ABVS) or the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation (EBVS) should follow the relevant guidelines of those Boards e.g., DipACVS, DipECVIM

Date of ratification by AVA Board: August, 2010. Technical review March 2023.