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Book an SQP exam with AMTRA

You must book the exam directly with AMTRA, regardless of where you are planning to take the exam (or whether you've separately booked a training course). A list of forthcoming exam dates is available on the AMTRA website.

The exam must be taken within 24 months of enrolling with AMTRA (otherwise AMTRA will charge a supplementary fee). You must have enrolled first before booking your exam.

Exams must be booked an absolute minimum of three weeks before the exam take place - and some exams fill up well in advance. (To be precise, an exam booking form must be received by the AMTRA office by 1pm on the day three weeks before a set of exams, or if that day is a public holiday then by 1pm on the working day that precedes that day. If the set of exams at a centre runs over two days, then the deadline is three weeks prior to the first of the two days, even if the candidate is only being examined on the second day.)

Please note that all exams are subject to minimum numbers: we regret that occasionally it may be necessary to cancel an exam if insufficient people book for a particular date.

The examination fee is included in your original enrolment fee.

AMTRA Examinations will be related to the modular nature of the course structure. Candidates will be examined separately in:

The Base Module (examination up to 2 hours)
The Farm Animal Module (examination up to 1.5 hours for 1st and 3rd attempts, or 2 hours for 2nd and 4th attempts)
The Equine Module (examination up to 1 hour)
The Companion Animal Module (examination up to 1 hour)
The Avian Module (examination up to 1 hour)


Please note: while most of the exam centres are suitable for access by wheelchair and others with mobility difficulties, not all are. If this may cause problems for you, please contact us to seek advice before booking your exam.

Candidates will be provided with a copy of the Compendium in the exam room. That Compendium includes a copy of the SQP Code of Practice and Veterinary Medicines Guidance Note 3. Exam questions in the Base module are written so that they take account of the fact that the Compendium including the Code of Practice will be available in the exam room. Candidates should be familiar with how to use the Compendium and the contents of the Code of Practice and should be able to use and interpret its contents.

Exam withdrawal/cancellation fees

You must tell AMTRA at least 4 weeks in advance if you wish to withdraw from an exam, otherwise a fee will be charged. These are currently:
  • £50 fee if a candidate cancels (including failing to show for the exam) within two weeks of the exam, or
  • £30 fee if a candidate cancels between 4 and 2 weeks prior to the exam.
During the first six months of 2014, about 17% of SQP exam candidates withdrew from exams at short notice (within four weeks of the exam), or simply failed to turn up. This imposes significant administrative burdens on AMTRA and Harper Adams, and where exams fill up means that candidates are turned away and also sometimes reduces the viability of courses run by colleges.
 
AMTRA is also concerned at the number of last-minute substitutions made by companies, where one candidate is withdrawn from an exam and another added. While each case will be done for good reasons, we are worried that the overall trend is likely to lead to candidates being given inadequate time to prepare for the exams.
 
Note that cancellation/withdrawal includes substituting one individual for another within the same company.
 
Although the fee is a cancellation/withdrawal fee, it is payable upon re-booking for a fresh exam.
 
Exceptional circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis but these should be exceptional – for instance, candidates should allow for traffic delays. Applications for consideration of exceptional circumstances should be made in writing to the AMTRA Secretary General.
 
These fees will be introduced for all exams from 1 January 2015 (regardless of when the enrolment or exam booking took place). At the same time, enrolment fees are being reduced by £5 with a view to making the net financial effect of these changes zero.


Separate sittings & booking re-sits

Note that if you choose to take your initial exam modules (i.e. those for which you initially enrol) spread over more than one date, there is an additional fee of £95 for each additional exam sitting: this is because government subsidy via HEFCE doesn't help with the second sitting; the fee also covers administrative costs and paying an exam centre for your place twice. In this case, please use the Individual modules Exam Form for second and subsequent sittings and send the fee with the form.

If you are booking a re-sit, please also use the Individual modules Exam Form and send the fee with the form. (See also the full note on re-sits under "Exam results & what happens next".)

Viva (oral exam)

After the written examination, candidates are assessed for their professional competence as SQPs, which is undertaken by an AMTRA Assessor appointed for that purpose in a one-to-one 10-15 minute oral ("viva") examination. The purpose of the assessment is to establish that the candidate has competence in knowledge, understanding and interpretation of the legal and professional responsibilities of SQPs, of the relevant parts of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations and the Code of Practice or of other germane legal and professional requirements.

All SQPs must succeed in the base module, an oral and at least one species module.

Note: to count towards the SQP qualification, the viva must be passed not more than 24 months before the written exams, so if written exams are passed a long time after the viva (for instance after re-sits), then AMTRA will require a fresh viva (at the normal re-sit cost) before considering the candidate for registration as an SQP.

Farm animal module

Those taking the farm animal module are also required to do a assignment (project): this needs to be submitted at least two weeks prior to the exam date and so you should select an exam date with that in mind. (To be precise, the project [both the physical copies and the electronic copy] must be received by the Harper Adams office by 5pm on the day two weeks before a set of exams, or if that day is a public holiday then by 5pm on the working day that precedes that day. If the set of exams at a centre runs over two days, then the deadline is two weeks prior to the first of the two days, even if the candidate is only being examined on the second day.)

If the first attempt at the farm animal module did not result in a pass, then see also the note on re-sits under "Exam results & what happens next".

Additional guidance

This page last updated 11/12/2015