About us

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) protects animal health, public health and the environment.

We promote animal health and welfare by assuring the safety, quality and efficacy of veterinary medicines.

Who we are

As an executive agency of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) we contribute to their objectives to protect public health and meet high standards of animal welfare. Our work also helps the Food Standards Agency to protect and improve the safety of food people eat.

Around 166 people, a mixture of scientific and administrative staff, are based at our offices near Addlestone, Surrey.

Organisation team organogram (PDF, 415 KB, 1 page)

Our responsibilities

We’re responsible for:

  • monitoring and acting on reports of adverse events from veterinary medicines
  • testing for residues of veterinary medicines or illegal substances in animals and animal products
  • assessing applications for and authorising companies to sell veterinary medicines
  • controlling how veterinary medicines are made and distributed
  • advising government ministers on developing veterinary medicines policy and putting it into action
  • making, updating and enforcing the Veterinary Medicines Regulations

Our priorities

Our Corporate Priorities include:

  • Our people
  • Policy making and delivery
  • Regulatory service
  • Global influence and recognition
  • Business compliance
  • Net zero, the environment, and sustainability

Published standards

For 2024/2025, the Published Standards for our regulatory work relate to the VMD Corporate Priorities 2023/2024 (to be updated) and a number of business priorities from our key performance indicators and deliverables.

ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certification

The VMD is certified as meeting the international standards for quality management and information security, respectively – ISO 9001 and ISO 27001.

This certification provides independent, external assurance that our systems and processes are effective in delivering our published standards and targets and helping us continue to improve as an organisation.

Our Quality Policy seeks to continually improve the quality of the service that we provide to our customers and stakeholders in a proportionate and cost-effective way. This level of quality is achieved through adoption of a system of procedures that reflect our competence to existing customers, stakeholders and independent auditing authorities. We aim to meet or exceed our targets agreed with Ministers and to retain and enhance our reputation as one of the foremost veterinary medicines regulatory agencies.

Service standards

This document details the service standards users of our services and other stakeholders can expect from us. It also explains what you can do if you feel that we have not met these standards.

Regulator’s Code

How we meet the Regulator’s Code

Corporate information

Access our information

Jobs and contracts

Read about the types of information we routinely publish in our Publication scheme. Our Personal information charter explains how we treat your personal information. Read our policy on Social media use.