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HomeFarming NewsVCI to apply accreditation standards to any new vet med courses
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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VCI to apply accreditation standards to any new vet med courses

The Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) has welcomed the Higher Education Authority’s (HEA) report showing that there is capacity in the Irish education system for 230 extra veterinary medicine training places.

The government announced on Wednesday, June 21st, 2023, that it will be examining proposals on how to deliver these additional places in third-level institutions.

Options include the potential for new programmes in vet med at UL, ATU and SETU, coupled with expansion at the country’s only current vet med education provider.

Proposals see a further 50 places (45 undergrads and 5 in grad entry) for the country’s only current vet med school (UCD), a further 40 for UL, 40 for ATU and 90 in veterinary medicine and surgery at UL.

The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science will now work with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to bring these proposals forward.

The DAFM will work with colleagues in the Departments of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Health and Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform with a view to agreeing an approach to be brought to government for decision in the “very near future”.

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The government agreed to advance the process with investment to be considered in the context of budgetary processes and the National Development Plan review.


A spokesperson for the VCI, the statutory body responsible for the regulation and management of the practice of veterinary medicine and veterinary nursing in the state, said:

“Any new veterinary medicine courses will be subject to VCI accreditation processes to validate them and ensure high standards of veterinary medicine are in place.”

“The Veterinary Council plays a key role in the regulation of veterinary medicine education, ensuring veterinary education and training remains up to date and is benchmarked to the highest international standards.”

“VCI accreditation enables professional recognition in Ireland, which then further affords access to registration in the UK, Europe and Australia and New Zealand.”


Niamh Muldoon, CEO and Registrar of the Veterinary Council of Ireland said, “The Veterinary Council welcomes this update from the Higher Education Authority.

“As the regulator for the sector, the council will be pleased to apply our accreditation assessment and standards to any new applicant programmes of veterinary medicine that arise from this process.”

“This will be done to ensure the high standards of veterinary medicine enjoyed in Ireland are maintained, in the interest of animal health and welfare and the public”.

Previous farming news article on MTU seeking VCI accreditation for new vet nursing degree

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