Represent, Support, Engage

Mission: To holistically support veterinary students through their studies, represent their views and interests and engage them in the wider issues of the profession.

The AVS represents veterinary students at all of the 9 vet schools in the UK and Ireland. Our aim is to improve veterinary student life and education by providing representation, support and encouraging engagement in wider issues of the profession. Formed in 1942, we are a division of the British Veterinary Association (BVA).

The AVS acts as a bridge between students and other areas of the profession. Executive committee members frequently attend meetings with the BVA, the RCVS and many other professional and student organisations, with the explicit aim of ensuring that student opinion is considered when creating policies that concern students. The AVS has recently further incorporated the International Veterinary Students’ Association (IVSA) into its meetings so as to add to the strengths of each organisation.

Vet school reps act as a link with other vet schools and are able to present issues to the main committee, and seek opinion from their own student body on matters that concern the AVS.

David Charles (AVS President 2018-2019( presenting at the London Vet Show

David Charles (AVS President 2018-2019( presenting at the London Vet Show

The AVS Committee is divided into sub-committees, which play different roles in delivering our mission to represent, support and engage students. The aims of each sub-committee are:

Policy & Student Engagement:

  • Ensuring accurate and effective representation of students by creating AVS policies that encapsulate our opinions on important issues.

  • Engaging students in current issues relevant to the veterinary profession.

  • Ensuring accurate representation of the student body by regular surveying and consultation of the student body.


  • Promoting high standards of student welfare for all vet students.

  • Providing events and resources that promote positive welfare in all vet schools.

  • Contributing to the development and promoting the available student support services provided by the Veterinary Benevolent Fund (VBF).

  • Increasing awareness and encouraging debate of animal welfare issues in partnership with the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF).

Member Services Group:

  • Identifying and providing useful services and resources for all student members. These may be educational, careers or welfare related.

  • Identifying and promoting diverse opportunities available to vet students.

  • Providing student-friendly, up-to-date, generic advice to potential veterinary applicants.

The IVSA (United Kingdom and Ireland)

The 2018 IVSA Committee (as well as all the University representatives) at their first live meeting.

The 2018 IVSA Committee (as well as all the University representatives) at their first live meeting.

From 2016 the IVSA (UK and Ireland) and the AVS have been integrated to become one family. This means that we can use all our resources to promote and help veterinary students both at home and abroad.

The IVSA have a sub-committee within the AVS committee. Their roles include:

  • Encouraging veterinary students to use their knowledge and abilities for the benefit of both animals and humans

  • Supporting measures to improve the standard of animal welfare worldwide

  • Providing opportunities for veterinary students to undertake education in important areas outside traditional veterinary training

  • Encouraging cooperation between veterinary students and international organisations

  • Acting within the constitution of the IVSA UK and Ireland

Meeting Minutes

In order to encourage transparency and make students more aware of the work of AVS, we now publish online minutes from each of our three annual meetings. These are compiled by the AVS secretary and give an overview of what is discussed at our meetings. We would welcome your comments and input, and you can get in touch through the contact us page or through social media.


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October 2017 (BVA Headquarters, London)

March 2017 (BVA Headquarters, London)

October 2016 (BVA Headquarters, London)

March 2016 (BVA Headquarters, London)

January 2015 (following AVS Congress 2015)

March 2015 (BVA Headquarters, London)

A few members of the AVS Committee at the annual RCVS Day 2018

A few members of the AVS Committee at the annual RCVS Day 2018

In addition to the work of AVS in supporting and representing students, AVS periodically carries out a student survey in partnership with the BVA. The survey assesses the demographics of the veterinary student population, the structure of the undergraduate course, and also includes a section concerning student finances. Smaller sections are also allocated to student welfare, widening participation, and the AVS. A copy of the most recent survey, completed in 2016, is available below.

BVA/AVS Student Survey 2016

BVA/AVS Student Survey 2012

AVS Constitution

Our constitution sets out the aims, membership and organisation of the association. It is available to view by clicking the link below. If you have any comments or queries please get in touch using the contact form. 

AVS constitution


AVS strive to represent, support and engage all vet students across the UK and Ireland. One of the ways that we do this is by having two representatives at each University which allow students to directly input into the issues that AVS tackle and to have their say. Each representative is voted in by their respective University to ensure that the best candidates are selected. The reps serve for two years, one as junior rep and then as senior. You can find out more about our reps on the "who we arepage. Becca Grace, Liverpool Junior Rep (2017-2018) has made a short video detailing the job that Junior reps play which you can watch below!