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 165 people, a mixture of scientific and administrative staff, work at our offices near Addlestone, Surrey.

Organisation team organogram (PDF, 447 KB, 1 page) - Touch or roll over each of our sections to find out more.

Our responsibilities

We’re responsible for:

  • monitoring and taking action 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 UK legislation on veterinary medicines

Our priorities

Our priorities are:

  • act as policy lead and provide policy advice on antimicrobial resistance issues to Defra and others, particularly the implementation of animal health specific aspects of the cross-government 5 year AMR strategy
  • delivery of core business to the satisfaction of customers
  • achieve full cost recovery for the budget
  • influence the development of revised legislation for veterinary medicines, medicated feeds and residues surveillance
  • continue to play leading roles in the UK and internationally on antibiotic resistance

Published standards

For 2021/2022, the Published Standards for our regulatory work relate to a number of business priorities from our key performance indicators and deliverables.

VMD Deliverables and KPIs for 2021/22 (PDF, 210 KB, 10 pages)

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 the VMD’s systems and processes are very effective in delivering our published standards and targets and helping us to 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 its 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.

Statement of objectivity and impartiality

As an executive agency of Defra VMD discharges its duties based on evidence without fear or favour.

Integrity, impartiality and objectivity, which we take very seriously, are cornerstones underpinning all the VMD’s activities at all levels. Our VMD Deliverables and KPIs for 2021/22 (PDF, 210 KB, 10 pages) paragraphs provides an insight into how objectivity and impartiality are built into our culture, supported within our legal obligations, and is also a key principle underpinning our scientific work.

Corporate information

Access our information

Jobs and contracts

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