SQP Syllabus and Module Descriptors

Legal background

VMD requires that the courses accepted by AMTRA for SQP qualification shall be at the Higher Education level, consistent with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and the corresponding Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) frameworks.

The syllabus must include:

  • basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology and nutrition
  • knowledge of the legislation, in particular the distribution category and the SQP section of the Code of Practice
  • information on products sufficient to sell appropriate medicine and advise on use, storage, handling waste disposal, despatch/distribution (postal regulations)
  • how to obtain knowledge of a farm to enable appropriate advice to be given
  • how to interpret Animal Health Plans
  • disease control / parasite control strategies (including husbandry methods which minimise disease and medicines interactions)
  • what each RQP type can sell and when to refer a customer to a veterinary surgeon
  • how to submit information to the VMD Suspected Adverse Reaction Surveillance Scheme
  • the requirements for registered premises
  • strategies to optimise the use of medicines
  • recognition of the limits of an SQP’s knowledge and competence and the implications of actions

Academic qualifications acceptable to AMTRA as basis for SQP registration

  • Two or more of the standard SQP modules including the Base module (see below for more on the SQP modules)
  • The Veterinary Nurse Base module (which may be attained by Accreditation of Prior Learning) and the Veterinary Nurse Companion Animal module
  • One of the following issued by Harper Adams University through the Veterinary Pharmacy Education Programme, which include assessment of the SQP content at HE Level 5: Professional Certificate in Companion Animal & Equine Health Care; Professional Certificate in Large Animal Health Care; University College Diploma in Veterinary Pharmacy; Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Pharmacy; Masters in Veterinary Pharmacy.
  • The module in Companion Animal Life Care issued by Harper Adams University

In all cases the academic qualification must be combined with a successful viva (oral exam) conducted by an AMTRA Assessor.

Veterinary Nurses

Veterinary nurses have already gained much of the knowledge and understanding required to operate as an SQP. The modules “AMTRA Veterinary Nurse: Base” and “AMTRA Veterinary Nurse: Companion Animal” have taken these differences into account within their outcomes and their indicative content.

SQP modular approach

There are five certificate level modules in this group:

These modules can be combined in any way you wish:

R-SQP FAM + EQM + CAM All VPS Medicines
G-SQP FAM + EQM VPS – farm animals & equines
K-SQP FAM + CAM VPS – farm & companion animals
E-SQP EQM + CAM VPS – equines & companion animals only
L-SQP FAM VPS – farm animals only
J-SQP EQM VPS – equines only
C-SQP CAM VPS – companion animals only
A-SQP AVM VPS – avians only
CA-SQP CAM + AVM VPS – companion animals & avians
JA-SQP EQM + AVM VPS – equines & avians
EA-SQP CAM + EQM + AVM VPS – companion, equine & avian