CPD Organisers

AMTRA encourages third parties to provide CPD for SQPs – but all CPD must be accredited by AMTRA in advance in order for it to be counted against the CPD requirements for individual SQPs.


Frequently Asked Questions for CPD organisers

(See also the FAQ for SQPs.)

AMTRA encourages third parties to provide CPD for SQPs – but all CPD must be accredited by AMTRA in advance in order for it to be counted against the CPD requirements for individual SQPs.

1. What has changed recently for CPD providers?

  1. A new CPD period started on 1 July 2017 and runs for two years (i.e. until 30 June 2019)
  2. A new syllabus for the farm-animal exam was introduced from April 2018, being optional until October. All farm AMTRA SQPs who passed the farm exam under the “old” syllabus, had to undertake 32 points of CPD on resistance and parasite control by 31 January 2018. Though AMTRA provided this CPD online and at face-to-face events, if any other provider is interested in providing CPD which might count towards this obligation, please contact AMTRA. A small number of people have an extended deadline of 30 June 2019, but most have now completed this obligation.
  3. There are no other significant changes:
    1. The scope of what can be accredited by AMTRA as CPD remains the same: all training or learning that is of benefit to an SQP in the performance of their duties will generally be accredited (but see Q5).
    2. Passing relevant Further Education or Higher Education courses is allowed to contribute towards an SQP’s points target at the rate of 1 point per educational credit.
    3. Points targets for the full two-year CPD period remain unchanged (but note point 2, above):R-SQP:        80 points
      G, EA and K-SQPs:    60 points
      E and L-SQPs:    50 points
      CA and JA-SQPs:    40 points
      J, A and C-SQPs    30 points
    4. Veterinary nurses and pharmacy professionals who are also SQPs may meet 50% of their AMTRA CPD target through certified attendance at non-AMTRA-accredited events which are CPD for their other profession and which the individual asserts as relevant to their SQP role.

2. How does the accreditation process work?

  1. You apply for accreditation in advance on the accreditation application form (June 2015 or subsequent).
  2. If the seminar or distance learning is accredited, then AMTRA will advise you of the number of points awarded. We aim to do this within two weeks, but it can occasionally take four weeks or longer and we urge applicants to apply as soon as possible.
  3. You must advise AMTRA at least 14 days in advance of the first occurrence of a seminar (location, date and time), and continue to advise AMTRA of further occurrences at least 14 days in advance.
  4. After the event(s), you provide AMTRA with the details of SQPs who attended

3. What if my seminar or distance learning has already been accredited in the previous CPD period?

Any content you have had accredited since July 2011 can continue to be used without further accreditation until we advise otherwise.

In March 2015 we have published some new guidance on how many points per hour will be awarded to seminars – see Q5. We will not be proactively reviewing already accredited material to give a fresh points award, but we will review material on request under the new guidance.

4. How do I apply for accreditation?

Send AMTRA a completed accreditation application form – please use the form dated June 2015 (or subsequent). Since AMTRA must be notified at least two weeks in advance of any accredited events, then an application must be submitted an absolute minimum of two weeks in advance.

However, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit much earlier. Processing of applications is subject to available resources in the AMTRA office and of our external advisors, both of which might be subject to delay due to holidays etc. Additionally, some applications are rejected and later accepted following amendments – it is therefore sensible to allow time for that process, otherwise a planned event may not be accredited. SQPs planning to attend will want to be confident that AMTRA accreditation has been gained, and may also ask how many CPD points will be awarded. Since accreditation typically takes one to three weeks, applicants are encouraged to apply six weeks in advance.

Brief additional guidance on completion of the application form is provided in “Notes for CPD Providers“.

5. What content will be accredited?

The AMTRA CPD Accreditation Panel will be looking for quality seminars relevant to the role of the SQP.

CPD will normally be awarded between 4 and 8 points per hour. In general:

  • material core to the SQP role of advising on POM-VPS and NFA-VPS medicines earns 8 points per hour
  • material relevant to the SQP role and to supporting good animal health, but less directly relevant to supply and advice of VPS medicines earns 6 points per hour
  • material supportive of the SQP role or relevant to the SQP syllabus, but not core to the SQP core, particularly where relevant to supporting good animal health and welfare, earns 4 points per hour

In section 5 of Notes for CPD Providers we have provided examples of what may be awarded 4, 6 or 8 points. Where a longer event includes a number of sections, a mixture of the available ratings may be applied. Some events may have sections which are not regarded as accreditable CPD – points will then normally be awarded for the remainder of the event.

Material which is overtly promotional, or judged by the AMTRA Accreditation Panel not to be of the nature of CPD or in other ways not appropriate will not be awarded points. The decision of AMTRA is final, but applicants may submit an amended application.

Information on particular veterinary medicines may be included where relevant and educational. Normally overview of the full range of options available, including non-medicinal options, should be included. Interpretation of this paragraph will depend on the context, including the number of medicines available in a relevant market segment. (Companies may, of course, accompany accredited CPD with non-accredited content.)

6. What about webinars?

AMTRA will accredit webinars or other means of accessing seminar-like content in the same way as a conventional face-to-face seminar provided that appropriate processes are in place to offer reasonable assurance that those claiming attendance did participate throughout: AMTRA is open to proposals for how to achieve this, but it could include one-to-one discussions for small live webinars, multiple-choice questions periodically and/or at the end, and a requirement frequently for user interaction (clicking “next”) to advance the presentation.

In general, it should not be possible to log in or press “play” or the like, and then return at the end of an extended period and claim credit for participation.

Where multiple-choice questions are used, either at stages or at the end, CPD points will normally be awarded only where an 80% correct score is achieved. Ideally a bank of questions should be available, a subset of which is presented at random to each participant. See also Q7, below.

7. What about other distance learning?

Distance learning is accredited where supported by multiple-choice questions (“quizzes”).

Normally each block of ten multiple-choice questions will be accredited with 1 CPD point.

There should normally be at least three answers per question (except for occasional true/false questions); questions/answers should not be deliberately misleading; and answers must require some thought and effort by the reader – the reader must learn from the article, it should not simply be a ‘tick box’ exercise.

Additionally, an extra point may be awarded for relevant text of between 1000 and 2000 words, or 2 extra points for 2000-4000 words or 3 extra points for 4000-6000 words. Material longer than this should include additional multiple-choice questions.

Where supportive material is audiovisual or interactive, then the applicant should estimate and justify the duration of the learning. For material of extended duration such as recorded webinars, we would expect some means of offering reasonable assurance that the SQP did participate, such as by requiring periodic interaction.

SQPs must gain at least 80% in the multiple choice questions to be awarded the CPD points. The CPD organiser will be expected to mark the questions and submit the CPD points achieved to AMTRA on the standard Excel spreadsheet also used for seminars.

8. Do I need to have settled on precise content when I apply?

No. First, it is not AMTRA’s intention to try to evaluate the detail of what you intend to present, merely that your seminar is appropriate for accreditation.

Second, while we encourage provision of as much detail as possible at the time of application, you may submit written material and presentations etc. within a week after the event. In such circumstances, the accreditation and points award is provisional pending receipt of such documents.

There is therefore benefit in including presentations at the time of application because it gives certainty to the accreditation award, but it is not essential – you can supply a detailed summary instead.

9. Why do I need to advise AMTRA 14 days in advance?

All CPD seminars (including webinars) must be open to random visits from an AMTRA CPD Assessor. AMTRA must therefore be advised at least 14 days in advance of any accredited event taking place. Such visits or participation are not charged by AMTRA, and must be facilitated free of charge to AMTRA.

Should any concerns arise from such visits, then AMTRA will discuss them with the CPD provider. The AMTRA Council has agreed that only in exceptional circumstances will an unsatisfactory audit result in points not being allocated to SQPs for the seminar in question, but rather that the provider’s accreditation for future events (including those in the very near future) may be withdrawn pending further consideration.

10. How do I advise AMTRA of dates of seminars?

Please send:

  • Agreed name of seminar including AMTRA reference number
  • Location
  • Date and time

to [email protected] as soon as possible and in any case 14 days before the event.

11. How do the points from attending get onto the SQP’s record?

Seminar providers must submit information on those attending to AMTRA in a format specified by AMTRA, to [email protected]. Provision of the information in this format is a condition of accreditation.
  • the list of those attending must be provided in the standard AMTRA Excel format – details of the standard Excel format are provided in the “Notes for CPD Providers“.
  • a signed register of attendance (or some similar record) must be taken at the event and a scanned copy of this provided to AMTRA along with the Excel spreadsheet or retained for inspection for at least 12 months.
Providers should provide AMTRA with information on attendees or completers of distance learning as soon as possible. If information is missing after a month, AMTRA will direct enquiries from SQPs back to the CPD provider in question.
AMTRA will endeavour to record information on SQPs’ records soon after receipt of this from the CPD provider, but occasionally it may take us up to 14 days.

12. Will AMTRA promote my seminar or quiz?

AMTRA is very keen to make SQPs aware of as many CPD options as possible.

CPD organisers may ask AMTRA to include their seminar(s) or provide information about their distance learning on the AMTRA website once accredited.

AMTRA may also, at the request of the CPD provider, choose to provide information about seminars or quizzes to SQPs via email (which can include subsets such as geographically or type of SQP qualification). AMTRA will also look favourably on requests to circulate printed material (at cost) on behalf of CPD providers. Provision of such information to SQPs is at the discretion of AMTRA – the more notice is given, the more likely such assistance can be provided.

13. Can AMTRA help in any other way?

AMTRA will provide on request information to help CPD providers target their activities, such as information on numbers of SQPs in particular areas, and numbers of SQPs of the various types who have not yet met their CPD minimum targets or who have yet to attend a seminar.

AMTRA will not provide names and addresses of SQPs to CPD providers, but as described above we are happy to consider communicating on your behalf to SQPs.