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 that their owners are fully supported and informed.


Become a MemberFind a Therapist

2023 Conference - Animal Therapy For The Future

A truly amazing Conference which was  completely SOLD OUT months before the event and a fantastic success. Thank you to all the delegates, presenters and businesses who shared this memorable day and gave such great feedback.  We raised £550 for the two charities we are supporting this year, so £225 each. Thank you everyone at the Conference for your amazing generosity! – COMING SOON a journalistic photo gallery to celebrate the  day.


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 groups.

Our veterinary physiotherapy members use the post nominals MIRVAP (VP). Other categories use specific post nominals, as listed at the bottom of the page. Members who hold 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, equine and canine hydrotherapists, animal massage therapists and TTouch practitioners who hold 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.

What we do

Our Ethics & Values


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

Animal Welfare

Support animal health care 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. 


Facilitate research collaborations and scientific based approaches in all aspects of animal therapy and health care, across the field of professionals working in animal therapy.

What Drives Us

Our Mission

IRVAP is a caring, interactive community of qualified professionals working in animal therapy. We celebrate our diversity, animal focused ethics and inclusive opportunities. 

We aim to raise standards of practice and provide informed representation for our members and information and resources for all those who work with animals.

What we OFFER

Member Benefits

All of our registered members are entitled to these benefits:


Representation at local, regional and national level


Listing on Find a Therapist on this public website


Access to our IRVAP group insurance plan


Access to our exclusive member's only website


IRVAP Conference with high profile industry speakers


Recognition by major insurance companies


Research collaborations


Open office hours with IRVAP Chair and Council


Access to online journals


Members mentor and support programme


Approved IRVAP courses and CPD


Regular email updates


Use of branded merchandise

Leading the Way

IRVAP Conference provides an invaluable networking experience of conversations and presentations from industry experts – certificated 7 CPD hours.

Upcoming Events

2023 IRVAP Conference - SOLD OUT

Date: Friday 27th October 2023
Venue: Hinckley Island Hotel, Hinckley, Leicstershire CONFERENCE UPDATE LINK





IRVAP’s Accreditation Board approves CPD & Courses, raising standards and ensuring quality assurance.

We foster a proactive approach and are at the forefront of clinical skills training in animal therapy – see our CPD & Courses website page.

IRVAP’s robust quality assurance safeguards standards and we actively support our members career long commitment to advancing practice.

friendly faces

Meet the IRVAP Council

Barbara Houlding, IRVAP Chair



I aim to foster a proactive community of like minded therapists who focus on the health and wellbeing of the animals in their professional care. This involves supporting a diverse membership and nurturing best practice.

TOM WORMAN, treasurer

BSc, PgDip, L3CertHydroSA, MIRVAP(MT)(ICH)


With a broad experience across a variety of business and charity organisations I am here to our help members through their journey with IRVAP and to develop their own businesses.

Laura Hackett, Membership Secretary

MScVetPhys, PgDipVetPhys, Cert.ClinEd, BA, L4DipSAHydro, MIRVAP(VP)(ICH)


I aim to help ensure our members have a smooth registration and renewal process whilst upholding our accredited registration process.

Avril Coleman, Mentor coordinator



I support new and existing members and offer guidance to assist their professional and personal progress within the industry sector.

maria johnston, ICH CHAIR

L3CertHydroSA, TTouchP3, APDT, CBWA, AdvCertVPhys, FIRVAP(VP)(ICH)


I believe it's important for qualified therapists to have ongoing support to advance their practice and clinical skills.

Susanne Pender, insurance coordinator

L3CertHydroSA, BSc(Hons)Phys, PgCertSART, MCSP, MIRVAP(VP)(ICH)


My experiences as a past IRVAP Chair supports my role to verify insurance policies and organise the Group Insurance Scheme.

Grace Nattrass, IEH CO-CHAIR

AdvCertVPhys, CertClinEd, BSc(Hons), MIRVAP(VP)(IEH)


I aim to offer our members reliable and experienced support. With innovative ideas, an open mind and a creative approach I aim to inspire others in our industry.

Sarah Ward, MemberSpace Coordinator



I ensure all our members are listed on our find a therapist website and have access to our unique MemberSpace.

Gaby Kerfoot, IEH CO-CHAIR

BSc, AdvCertVPhys, FIRVAP(VP)(IEH)


With over 30 years in the industry, I aim to share equine physiotherapy, rehab and performance enhancement knowledge and skills with our members.


L3DipHydroSA, BSc(Hons), MIRVAP(ICH)


My role is to support the IRVAP Council with administration matters, to ensure the council can effectively represent and deliver for you.

Co-opted members

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

Carly Nairn, co-opted


Kerrie Oakley, co-opted


Lisa Bartley, co-opted


JENNY BEST, co-opted

L3DipHydroSA, BSc(Hons) RVN, PGCE, PgDipVP, MIRVAP (VP)(ICH)


Membership Categories

veterinary physiotherapist member: MIRVAP (VP)

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

Evidence required & verified – 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 the specific registration requirements. 

Manual Therapist member: MIRVAP (MT)

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

Evidence required & verified- 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 the specific registration requirements.

Institute of canine hydrotherapists: MIRVAP (ICH)

Canine hydrotherapist holder of an Ofqual qualification: Level 3 certificate in canine hydrotherapy, as a minimum. The ICH has members with qualification levels ranging from L3 to L7 which meet the ICH day one canine hydrotherapy competencies.

Evidence required & verified – 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.  LEARN MORE

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.

Promote your Courses

Find out how IRVAP endorsement of CPD and Courses provides quality assurance and value to your training provision. 


For Membership Enquiries -
For Professional Development Matters -
For Canine Hydrotherapy Support -
For Equine Hydrotherapy Support -
For Receipts and Transactions -
For Mentoring and Support -
For Student Support -
For The IRVAP Chair -