BSAVA Postgraduate Certificates

BSAVA Postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Surgery

BSAVA will be launching new Postgraduate Certificates in Small Animal Surgery and in Small Animal Medicine in January 2012. These are designed to be clinically relevant postgraduate qualifications, with flexible study and a strong support structure allowing them to be achieved by those working in practice. They are academically equivalent to the RCVS CertAVP – but concentrate on discipline-based knowledge, understanding and skills.

The BSAVA PGCertSAS has two parts :

  1. Twenty small subject units, each covering a particular anatomical area or discipline. Each unit begins with a one day taught course – of which 7 are completely or partly practical in nature. After attending the taught course, students will spend time over the next few weeks working through online resources and activities which will be placed on a password protected part of the BSAVA web site. At least one activity in each unit will provide feedback and/or a mark to allow students to judge their own level of knowledge and understanding. Most students will spend around 20 hours on a subject unit, including the 7 hours of the taught course. Practical courses may not be attended until the corresponding theory courses have been run – but otherwise the subject units can be done in any order. All 20 subject units have to be completed, before sitting a formal written exam.
  2. Submission of a case book; 10 cases, each a maximum of 1500 words. This part of the certificate is assessed from the submitted cases and an oral examination.

Completing the programme satisfactorily will give you a PGCertSAS. Although all the teaching and assessment will be carried out through BSAVA, the programmes will be validated by Nottingham Trent University*. This means that the PGCert carries with it 60 academic credits at M level, which could potentially be used towards further academic studies. (*subject to formal ratification by Nottingham Trent University on July 6th).


  • Do I need to choose between orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery? No, the programme covers both orthopaedics and soft tissue, and is designed to develop a confident and competent all-round surgeon.
  • Do I need specialised equipment in the practice? You need sufficient equipment to be able to work up your cases and treat / manage them competently. But this is not a specialist qualification, and part of the programme is concerned with recognising your own limitations and when it is better to refer cases.
  • How long will it take? You can complete the programme in 3 years, or may extend your studies if you prefer to a maximum of 5 years
  • How much will it cost? Enrolment fees are payable each year for 3 years; the annual fee is currently £3,050 plus VAT. This covers attendance at all taught courses, access to all online activities and resources, all assessment, and BSAVA membership. If you extend your studies over 4 or 5 years, you will only need to pay your BSAVA membership fee and a small university fee.
  • When can I enrol? Enrolment via application form can be submitted all year round with a deadline of October 3rd for the following year's intake.

For further information please contact Frances Barr(