The Institute of Registered Veterinary & Animal Physiotherapists
IRVAP is a dynamic community of qualified professionals working in animal therapy. Our shared belief is every animal deserves the best available treatment and their owners are supported and informed.


Become a MemberFind a Therapist

Our Members

Many of our members hold multi professional qualifications and offer an integrated service to the animals in their care, leading to improved lives for animals and owners. IRVAP’s diversity is our community strength, represented by our different membership categories and sub group.

Our full veterinary physiotherapy members use the post nominals MIRVAP (VP). Other category and subgroup members use specific post nominals, as indicated at the bottom of this page. Members with multiple qualifications have the respective bracketed post nominals to clarify their status.

Our membership community includes; veterinary surgeons, veterinary physiotherapists, animal musculoskeletal practitioners, veterinary nurses, canine hydrotherapists, animal massage therapists and TTouch practitioners who are holders of animal therapy qualifications.

High standards in professionalism and clinical proficiency are assured through our accredited registration process, guided by our specific category and sub group admissions policy. All our members are fully insured and work within the UK legislation requiring a veterinary referral to commence treatment.

What we do

Our Ethics & Values


Promote safe and effective practice in all aspects of animal therapy, linking underpinning scientific knowledge to current clinical practice, leading to improved lives for both animals and owners.

Animal Welfare

Support animal healthcare and welfare initiatives and provide clear and useful information for animal owners, veterinary surgeons, professional colleagues and the public. 


Provide an inclusive accreditation service in addition to supporting professional development. Qualifications and training are a career journey, not a destination. Animal therapists are always learning and advancing skills.


Facilitate research collaborations and scientific based approaches in all aspects of animal therapy and healthcare, across the field of professionals working in animal therapy.
What Drives Us

Our Mission

IRVAP is a caring community of qualified professionals working in animal therapy and  celebrates its diversity, animal focused ethics and inclusive opportunities. 

We aim to raise standards of practice and provide informed representation for our valued members. We believe in sharing our dynamic information and resource hub with all those who work with, care for and own animals.

What we OFFER

Member Benefits

Our registered members are entitled to these benefits:

Representation at local, regional and national level


Listing on Find a Therapist area of our website


Access to learning and professional resources


Access to a group insurance plan


Members Area for updates, free CPD and discounts


IRVAP Conference with high profile industry speakers


Recognition by major insurance companies


Research collaborations


Office hours and conversations with Chair


Access to online journals


Mentor and support programme


Discount for IRVAP approved courses


Regular email updates


Use of branded merchandise

Get Involved

We support our members at events and look forward to sharing ideas and information at conferences in the animal therapy calendar. Let’s meet up and network together.

Upcoming Events


Virtual AGM for all IRVAP members – date to be announced for October 2022





IRVAP’s comprehensive service to approve animal courses and CPD, raises standards and provides the very best quality assurance.

We foster a positive and interactive organisation that is at the forefront of training and service provision in animal physiotherapy, rehabilitation and hydrotherapy.

Our course approval board works closely with the IRVAP Council to support the needs of all animal therapists. The IRVAP Resource Hub offers inclusive information for animal owners, members of the public and professional colleagues.

IRVAP’s robust quality assurance safeguards standards and we actively support our members practice and advancement.

friendly faces

Meet the IRVAP Council

Barbara Houlding, IRVAP + ICH Chair



I aim to bring choices of accessible and approved CPD options for busy therapists in practice. Developing our friendly Open Office Hours scheme is about building a diverse membership community that are connected and supported.

sarah ward, Membership Secretary



In a rapidly evolving industry I believe it's important for qualified therapists to have support and mentoring to advance their practice. I aim to offer effective communications and efficient systems of practice to optimise their membership experience for our current and new members.

Deborah Winchester, VICE Chair, Treasurer & IEH moderator

AdvCertVPhys, MSc, ClinEd(AccMdx), EBW, EKT1, EKT2, BHSAI, BHS SM, RAMP, MIRVAP(VP)(IEH)

I enjoy supporting all our members at events and conferences. Let me know if you wish to use our PR banners and stand and we can support you and your business.

Michelle luck, Communication & PR Officer

DipVetPhysEq, BSc, MIRVAP(VP)

I look forward to delivering regular broadcasts to the membership to advise on the workings of the IRVAP Council, important industry events, announcements and interesting CPD opportunities.

Grainne Ni Chaba-Byrne, IEH CHAIR, Marketing & social media


I aim to actively promote IRVAP members by highlighting their profile and using marketing and digital media, alongside my role as IEH Chair.

Avril Coleman, Mentor Officer

BSc (Hons), PgCert SART, MIRVAP(VP)(ICH)

I strive to support and encourage new and existing members and offer guidance to assist in their professional and personal development within the industry sector.

Ellie Cooke, council officer

BSc, AdvCertVPhys, L3CertCanHydro, MIRVAP(VP)(ICH)


I aim to build and strengthen networks across the membership and offer support and communications to all our members.

Co-opted members

Co-opted members assist and work closely with the IRVAP Council.


Membership Categories

Full veterinary physiotherapist member: MIRVAP (VP)

Veterinary physiotherapist: Holder of an accredited university qualification at level 6 – 7. 

Evidenced by qualification certificate, course transcripts, CV, CPD record and insurance certification if not accessing the IRVAP group insurance scheme. Free second listing in another IRVAP category / sub group with appropriate evidence to meet it’s specific requirements and accreditation process. 

Manual Therapist member: MIRVAP (MT)

Animal practitioner: Holder of an accredited animal therapy qualification level 3 – 6

Evidence by qualification certificate, course transcripts, CV, CPD record and insurance certification if not accessing the IRVAP group insurance scheme. Free second listing in another IRVAP category / sub group with appropriate evidence to meet it’s specific requirements and accreditation process.

Institute of canine hydrotherapists: MIRVAP (ICH)

Canine hydrotherapist holds Ofqual qualification: Level 3 certificate in canine hydrotherapy, as a minimum, with L4 -L7 holders required to map in their qualification to the ICH day one canine hydrotherapy competencies.

Evidence required includes qualification certificate, course transcripts, CV, CPD record, first aid certificate, water management requirements and insurance certification if not accessing the IRVAP group insurance scheme. 


Institute of Equine hydrotherapists: MIRVAP (IEH)

Each application is looked at on an individual basis and you need to submit your equine CPD record and CV, evidencing your equine experience, education level, suitable professional courses, equine hydrotherapy experience and insurance cover (you are entitled to access our Group Insurance plan). Additional evidence includes equine first aid and a water management course or training. 


Student member

Learner on any relevant accredited course providing evidence of course place.

Non Practising member

Maternity leave, illness, injury, or sabbatical with appropriate run off insurance.

Hon Fellow / Fellow

Council appointed for outstanding service to IRVAP and the animal care industry.

Get Involved

Join our friendly community of professionals with a shared vision of delivering best practice and supporting each other along their animal therapy career journey.


ICH enquiries
IEH enquiries: 
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