Data by category
Qualifications for veterinary assistants

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Qualifications for veterinary assistants

Qualifications for veterinary assistants vary from country to country in the FOCUS study, due to their different educational systems. For comparisons to be made, the levels of recognised qualification are expressed according to international EURYDICE norms.

Eurydice is part of the Socrates education programme, put into place by the European Union in 1995. Eurydice is a network of institutions which gathers, updates, analyses and distributes reliable and comparable information on educational policies and systems throughout Europe.

Country Qualification description] Level of qualification Name of national qualification or diploma
DK 1 level of qualification: "Veterinary nurse" after 3.2 years of study ISCED 3 Veterinaersygeplejerske
ES Non-officially recognised qualification
FI 2 levels of qualification :
1 : "Rural entrepreneur" obtenu après 3 ans d'étude
2 : "Veterinary nurse" obtenu après 1 année d'étude supplémentaire
ISCED 3 Pieneläinhoitaja
FR 2 levels of qualification as veterinary assistant ISCED 3 Veterinary assistant
Veterinary Nurse
HU no qualification
PT 1 level of qualification only after 3 years of study ISCED 3 Bacharelato
RO 2 levels of qualification :
1 : "veterinary technician" after 5 years of study
2 : "veterinary assistant" after 3 years further study
ISCED 3 Technician veterinar
SI 1 level of qualification after 4 years of study ISCED 3
SK 1 level of qualification only after 4 years of secondary studies ISCED 3 Veterinary technician
UK 2 levels of "NVQ" qualification:
1 :"Level 2"
2 : "Level 3"
ISCED 3 Veterinary nurse

International standards are expressed in ISCED (International Standard Classification for EDucation). There are 6 internationally recognised ISCED levels (NB: for further information, see the following links: and

ISCED 1 Etudes pré-primaires (études maternelles en France)
ISCED 2 Etudes primaires et Etudes secondaires de niveau inférieur (primaire et collège en France)
ISCED 3 Etudes secondaires de niveau supérieur (lycée en France)
ISCED 4 Etudes post-secondaires non supérieures
ISCED 5 Etudes supérieures de niveau inférieur (1er et 2nd cycle universitaire : DEUG-DUT-BTS-licence- maîtrise)
ISCED 6 Etudes supérieures de niveau supérieur (3ème cycle universitaire : mastère & doctorat)

Analysis of the differing qualifications in different countries shows that some countries have several levels of qualification (4 in France, 2 in the United Kingdom, Finland and Romania) others only one level of qualification (Portugal, Slovakia, Denmark and Slovenia) whilst Spain has no official qualification and Hungary none at all.

In all the countries with official qualifications, these are recognised according to international norms (ISCED) as level 3, which is the recognised secondary school-leavers level, except for Portugal where the veterinary nursing qualification gives access to an intermediary level between secondary and further education at ISCED 4 according to European standards.

The form of qualifications varies widely, although there is a certain harmonisation of levels according to international standards (ISCED).