Certificate Program
General Overview

To obtain an ESAVS Certificate of Small Animal Veterinary Practice in the discipline of your choice, you have to attend ESAVS courses, which are offered in several European locations, take and pass the respective examinations and keep a case log which promotes application of newly learned methods and skills in daily practice at home. Applicants who have already taken ESAVS courses in the past 5 years and who wish to enroll for the Certificate Program can have their previous ECTS points validated by the Examination Board provided they pass the respective examinations.

For participants from EU countries, Norway and Switzerland, the certificate program is offered in collaboration with the University of Luxemburg (UL). The UL evolved from the former “Luxemburg university center”, which was a partner organization in the creation of ESAVS in 1991 in the frame of the Comet program of the EU. The UL can only admit potential students, who hold a residence of the state of Luxembourg or are citizens of one of the EU states, Norway or Switzerland.
For participants from non-EU countries, the certificate and master programs are offered under the patronage of the “Federation for EDucation in Europe” (FEDE) which has audited and officially approved our certificate and master degrees. FEDE is an international association of ca. 500 private schools of higher learning in a variety of domains from sustainable development to veterinary medicine and holds participatory status in the council of Europe. FEDE strongly promotes educational quality in its member institutions by complying with European standards.

The Certificate program (CSAVP) and the Master program (EMSAVM) are the two continuing education options ESAVS provides. The CSAVP is ideal for candidates who want to enhance their knowledge in a highly specialized field while avoiding the extra time required for the EMSAVM. Although the EMSAVM does require a greater time commitment, it is perfect for those who desire a more comprehensive scope of knowledge and expertise within their chosen discipline. Before a student enrols in either program, they should consider which option is more suitable to their academic aspirations and time requirements.

Please be aware that it is not possible to obtain the CSAVP and the EMSAVM in the same discipline. This means once you have completed the CSAVP you may not „continue or add on“ the EMSAVM in the same discipline, since validated course work or written work cannot count twice for two separate certifications/degrees.

It is however possible to switch from the CSAVP to the EMSAVM program (and vice versa), during your enrolment time, as long as you stay in the same discipline and switch not later than two years after the initial date of enrolment. All current ECTS credits will be transferred; the maximum study time still applies from the time of initial enrolment. It is only possible to switch programs once.

Important Information

Please note: the CSAVP and the EMSAVM are both one-time study programs at the University of Luxembourg. This means all disciplines fall under the same generalized degree. Because the degree is the same regardless of discipline, it is only possible to obtain one master and one certificate degree. You cannot, therefore, apply to more than one discipline for either program.

Program Details

The disciplines are taught in a series of 5- to 10-day consecutive courses where admission to the next level may require completion of the previous course (please see the specific requirements of each discipline). Each ESAVS course is credited by the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS points). Accounting for student working time to attend courses, participate in distance learning, to study and to prepare for the examination, a 5-day (40 hours) ESAVS course generates usually 5 ECTS.

Course Work (25 ECTS points)
In total, a minimum of 25 ECTS points have to be collected in course work.
Within this total requirement, a minimum of 15-20 ECTS are to be accumulated in the major subject, i.e. the chosen discipline, and the remaining 5 to 10 ECTS can be obtained in minor subjects. On certain conditions, course work may be accumulated from instruction taken outside of ESAVS courses. Such external courses must be of a similarly high standard, examinable and approved by the program director and the Veterinary Post Graduate-Education Program Committee. Please consult the specific guidelines for the discipline of your choice.

Case Log (5 ECTS points)
Candidates are required to collect 100 well documented cases in the form of a case log. These cases are expected to be mostly accumulated in the second half of the program. All raw data relevant to each case must be filed in a digitalized format and must be accessible upon request by the Examination Board. Please, consult the respective guidelines of each discipline for details.

Cases for the case log can be collected only after the official enrolment. Cases collected before the official enrolment will not be accepted.

Duration of the Program

The minimum time requirement for the Certificate program is 2 years. Though a prolongation is possible under certain conditions, the maximum time should not exceed 4 years. An applicant can enter the program immediately after graduating from veterinary school but the Certificate can only be obtained when the applicant has been practicing small animal veterinary medicine for at least 3 years since obtaining her/his veterinary degree.


Next examination date

Summer semester: 14 June 2023

Course Examination
Each course has to be validated by an examination. The latter are conducted bi-annually. The students are free to take any number of examinations at a set examination date. Registration must be made at least three months before the examination date. The exams consist of an interactive computerized work-up of a clinical case or other questions related to the subjects of the discipline covered in that course. Exams are graded on a 0-20 scale with passing grade of 10/20. Failed exams can be retaken at the next possible examination date.

Grading Scale

<10          = Fail
10 – 11,9 = Sufficient
12 – 13,9 = Fair
14 – 15,9 = Good
16 – 17,9 = Very Good
18 – 20    = Excellent

Case Log Evaluation
The case log is viewed by the Examination Board and graded on a 0-20 scale with a passing grade of 10/20. A sample of the latter can be requested to be immediately delivered in electronic form including all relevant information and documentation. In case of an insufficient grade, the candidate is notified about the shortcomings of the case log and requested to resubmit a revised version, or submit additional cases within 6 months of notice.

Following successful completion of the courses and the case log, the Post Graduate Committee reviews all grades collected. The ESAVS Certificate is issued as “Certificate of Small Animal Veterinary Practice (CSAVP) / your chosen discipline”.
The CSAVP Programs
Quality Assurance

Post Graduate Education Committee consists of six professors from various European universities. The committee is assisted by a coordinator from the ESAVS office.

The Post Graduate Committee is responsible for:

-Supervision of the quality of the certificate and master programs
-Regular review of the rules and requirements
-Appointing the members of the Examination Board
-Complaint and Appeal management

The Examination Board, consisting of 5 members of the ESAVS faculty and a chairperson
acts as the “Jury” which reviews and approves –and eventually amends- all grades collected by the students during the semester. These grades are assigned by the program directors to exams and written work from the students of their respective discipline and collected by the program coordinator.
Examinations of course work are organized twice a year by the program coordinator of the ESAVS office.

For students from EU countries, The UL is represented in the above named committees.

The Program Directors:
Each discipline has a program director. The program director is a course master who additionally directs and supervises all aspects of a discipline specific Master and/or Certificate program that are related to the student work. The duties of the program director are:
– In collaboration with the other course masters in the discipline, defining and regularly updating the discipline specific requirements that a student has to meet in the Master and Certificate programs consistent with the general rules and standards laid down by the post graduate committee
– Defining the content of the courses/study programs of the discipline (“major subject”) together with the other course masters and listing suitable additional courses (“minor subjects”) of the ESAVS
– Defining discipline specific guidelines for writing the case log
– Being responsible for or overseeing the creation of CASUS based examinations for each course in the discipline
– Nominating and inviting course masters of the discipline to join the examination board
– Overseeing the evaluation/grading of the case logs, case reports (Master) and theses (Master)
– Accepting or rejecting external (non ESAVS) course work submitted for obtaining ECTS credits
– Being overall responsible for the content and quality of the courses