Veterinary Nurses

This summary for veterinary nurses complements the other material in this document “Becoming an AMTRA RAMA”, and should be read in conjunction with the full text.

AMTRA and Harper Adams University allow qualified VNs on the RCVS register to “add on” to their VN qualification and to become an AMTRA RAMA who can supply NFA-VPS medicines for companion animals. One or more of the other modules (equine, farm-animal and avian) may also be taken at the same time.

Practice staff such as non-qualified nurses and receptionists can also become AMTRA RAMAs but they will have to enrol as a new student, and then study and be assessed on a base module and a companion animal module, i.e. more study and assessment as they do not have a formal relevant qualification which can be accredited.

Since qualified VNs already have been assessed on some of the relevant material in this qualification they can be given credit for this and just have to be assessed on the “new” material and the working understanding of their other knowledge checked.

A potential AMTRA RAMA must register with AMTRA as the body holding the professional register (just as the RCVS does for the VN qualification) but Harper Adams University will conduct the assessment and will award the necessary academic credits, whether the assessment is at Harper Adams or at another centre.


Veterinary Nurses enrolling with AMTRA will be provided with written course material. Optional revision courses are offered by some examination centres, aimed at candidate RAMAs taking the normal Base and Companion Animal modules but still of value to VNs.

The AMTRA enrolment fee includes the examination fee (provided the exam is sat within 24 months of enrolment), the AMTRA assessment fee, the price of the training material, the Harper Adams assessment/credit rating/quality control fee, and a NOAH Compendium containing data sheets of those medicines which qualified RAMAs can prescribe, free inclusion on the AMTRA RAMA Register for the remainder of the calendar year of the examination, access to AMTRA services and to Continuing Professional Development.

Prices for VN RAMA enrolment are the same as the prices for standard RAMA enrolments.

Qualified VNs on the RCVS register take just a single two-hour AMTRA RAMA written exam, plus the viva (oral exam).

The written assessment is made up of two sections: the first is a case study with a description of a scenario. An example might be: Non client X comes into surgery with young dog Y just obtained from a rescue kennel. It has been vaccinated but the new owner has been told to get the dog wormed. Describe the procedure a RAMA vet nurse would go through, including questions asked, advice given, products sold and data recorded.

There are also some short answer questions to cover knowledge of other areas of the medicines legislation relevant to RAMAs, e.g. legal aspects of medicine storage and relevant companion animal health areas.

If a qualified veterinary nurse chooses also to include one or more of the other species modules (farm, equine or avian), these will be assessed as standard RAMA modules.

After the written examination, you will be assessed for your professional competence as a RAMA by an AMTRA Assessor appointed for that purpose in a one-to-one 10-15 minute viva (oral exam).

Examination centres

Once enrolled with AMTRA and in receipt of the training manual, veterinary nurses may book their examination with AMTRA.

There is a range of exam centres around the UK with a variety of dates. See the AMTRA website for the full list.

Supportive Taught Courses

None of the AMTRA examination centres currently offer training courses aimed directly at VNs, though courses covering the Base and Companion Animal modules may be found helpful: these are listed on the AMTRA website. However, most VNs find that home study from the printed and online training manual is sufficient.

VNs should enrol with AMTRA, book any training/revision directly with the college concerned, and when ready send AMTRA the exam booking form.  

Continuing Professional Development

All RAMAs are required to undertake continuing professional development. When the AMTRA Council set the rules it was agreed that in recognition of the special status of veterinary nurse RAMAs, that a slightly different approach was needed from that for all other RAMAs.

In general, AMTRA CPD points may only be claimed for content which has been accredited by AMTRA in advance, and where the organiser provides a certified list of attendees. We do not generally allow other evidence of attendance.

We know that veterinary nurses are already doing lots of CPD, but the problem for AMTRA was that not all VN CPD is relevant to the RAMA role, and where it is, we generally haven't had applications for AMTRA CPD accreditation.

In recognition of the special circumstances of vet nurse RAMAs, you may claim half of your AMTRA CPD points obligation from VN CPD provided it meets the following criteria:

  • a copy of a certificate of attendance is provided, and
  • you confirm that in your view the CPD was supportive of your RAMA role

If you've already undertaken CPD which meets these criteria and you'd like to claim AMTRA CPD points for it, please complete and return the Veterinary Nurse CPD claim form together with a copy of the certificate(s) of attendance.