The Animal Medicines Industry has long recognised the need to train those people that work within it. Since 1974, the industry’s Code of Practice has required staff to be trained.
In addition to manufacturing companies’ own training scheme for their sales teams, it was decided that an independent industry qualification be established to reassure their customers, regulatory authorities and the government that animal medicines were being sold in a responsible way.
Therefore, in 1991, NOAH and AMTRA launched the qualification – The Animal Medicine Manufacturers’ Sales Staff Register. This was drawn up to ensure that all manufacturing companies’ representatives undergo thorough training and possess sufficient veterinary and technical knowledge to present information on the company’s products in an accurate and responsible manner. This was later renamed as the Marketing Authorisation Holders (MAH) Representatives Scheme.
It is a requirement of NOAH membership and participation in the NOAH Compendium that all companies’ sales representatives involved in the direct technical selling of medicines (other than those on free sale) are on the Register and take the examination within two years of joining the industry. Content of the training manual is relevant to all classes of product for large and companion animal use. This Training Manual provides information on animal production and physiology, animal health, and animal medicine legislation with the facility for some specialisation towards the detail of relevant sectors.
From November 2010 maintenance of the register of animal health representatives previously registered with AMTRA under the MAH scheme has switched to NOAH, who are now co-ordinating the register and arrangements for training courses and examinations.
All new registrations and exam bookings should now be made with NOAH to whom all enquiries should be directed.
This change will enable NOAH to be more closely involved as the scheme evolves, and AMTRA to focus on what has become the dominant part of its activities in recent years, namely acting as the registration body appointed by the Secretary of State to deal with Suitably Qualified Persons. It will also enable both organisations to communicate more effectively about the two distinct groups of individuals that until now have both been managed by AMTRA.
This change will have no impact on AMTRA’s activities in relation to SQPs, including accreditation of CPD for SQPs which will continue to be done by AMTRA.
Anyone who wishes to become an AMTRA SQP must pass the relevant SQP exams like any other candidate – see “Becoming an SQP“.
Those holding the NOAH Certificate in Animal Health (NCAH) or the original AMTRA MA Holders qualification are not exempted from this obligation. While AMTRA used to offer an accreditation of prior learning (APL) and alternative exam route for such people, the numbers using this route were very low and made it unviable to continue to offer this option.