Coronavirus update – 24 June

AMTRA exams

All AMTRA exams until early August have been cancelled. We will keep the situation under review for subsequent exams.

For the avoidance of doubt, if we do have to cancel exams, then the normal 24-month window to sit any exams without additional charge will be extended.

We will let people booked on those exams know as soon as a decision is reached. Further exams will be scheduled eventually, but we don’t anticipate this happening until we have a reasonably clear idea as to when we can do so safely: we do not want to schedule further exams, only to have to cancel them again.

AMTRA CPD

AMTRA strongly encourages RAMAs to find ways to access CPD now, and not leave it till the last minute.

While we hope to be able to return to some face-to-face events in the coming months, it would be sensible not to rely on that, and when such events eventually come, to regard them as a bonus opportunity.

AMTRA is aware that the workload for many RAMAs is intensive at present due to changes in work patterns, with some RAMAs working remotely. For those that normally rely on face-to-face CPD, then the removal of that is a challenge, a different way of doing things that is unwanted, but AMTRA encourages RAMAs to embrace the opportunity – online CPD means no travelling time or costs, a wider range of subject matter and methods of delivery.

The AMTRA Council recently considered whether the extraordinary circumstances justified an extension to the CPD deadline, currently 30 June 2021. Council is keeping things under review for a final look in December, but as things stand we do not intend to extend the deadline – there is still plenty of time, lots of online and other opportunities, and an expectation that face-to-face will resume by next Spring.

Remote prescribing

In view of the unique challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the VMD has adopted a changed approach to the enforcement of the requirements on prescribing and authorisation of supply. This is now in place until 30 June 2020, and will be reviewed by then – given the ongoing uncertainties, AMTRA thinks it reasonably likely the date will be extended further, but this is not certain.

In practice, this means that during the current period RAMAs will be allowed to prescribe and authorise supply remotely, provided certain procedures are observed. The RAMA is still responsible for the prescription and supply. More details…

Temporary premises

VMD has relaxed the enforcement of specific provisions of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations to allow a RAMA to supply veterinary medicines from temporary premises. Wholesale dealers will be allowed to supply veterinary medicines to RAMAs at such temporary premises. This is now in place until 30 June 2020, and will be reviewed by then – given the ongoing uncertainties, AMTRA thinks it reasonably likely the date will be extended further, but this is not certain.