Farm-animal compulsory CPD on resistance and parasite control

Please start now: go to www.amtra-academy.org.uk and login in with your SQP Number (starting with a Q) as both the username and the password. Do not use your password from the main AMTRA website. You do not need to register as a new user.

It is important that all farm-animal SQPs read and understand this note.

Background

As I hope you are aware, AMTRA has agreed with VMD that all farm animal SQPs qualifying before April 2017 should undergo some compulsory farm-animal CPD, focused on resistance and parasite control. (This is different from the compulsory CPD on legal and professional duties of SQPs which was due by 30 June 2017 – that obligation is complete and not being repeated in the current CPD period.)

Several things have changed:

  • All new farm SQPs enrolling with AMTRA since March 2017 are doing a new exam which expands on the amount of material on resistance and farm-animal parasite control (among other changes). This draws heavily on the technical manuals from SCOPS and COWS for sheep and cattle. SQPs who qualified before April 2017 have therefore been examined on a less detailed syllabus.
  • A new Code of Practice for SQPs issued by VMD now makes it compulsory for the first time that every time a farm-animal SQP prescribes an anthelmintic for sheep or cattle, that the prescription should follow the recommendations of SCOPS or COWS. This is in addition to the existing broader requirement that every prescription should take into account the need for responsible use.
  • Zolvix has been reclassified as POM-VPS from 1 July, and Startect from 24 August, and both can now be prescribed by all farm-animal SQPs with immediate effect. Response to the news of this change has not been universally positive, with some people questioning whether SQPs have the knowledge and skills to prescribe such anthelmintics responsibly. AMTRA believes that all SQPs, as animal medicines advisors and professional prescribers, do have that knowledge and skills, but we also want to be able to show that the industry is committed to keeping that knowledge fresh and up to date with the latest technical guidance.

With these changes in mind, AMTRA has agreed with VMD this new farm-animal CPD requirement. You must gain 32 points of this material, which includes some multiple-choice questions to check understanding. The 32 points of this compulsory material will count towards your normal overall CPD points requirement in the current 2-year period, so isn’t an extra amount of CPD, just bringing some of it forward to earlier in the two-year CPD period.

More than 75% of you have already started and almost 50% finished, which is great to see, but we want to see that number climbing towards 100% soon. All four modules are available online for you to access now.

How to access online

Please start now: go to www.amtra-academy.org.uk and login in with your SQP Number (starting with a Q) as both the username and the password. Do not use your password from the main AMTRA website. You do not need to register as a new user.

You must watch all of the video, and also get at least 80% right on the questions asked, though you can have as many goes at the questions as are necessary. As with all CPD, points will be added to your record when we’ve received the information and processed it – this is not immediately. We generally advise you allow 6 weeks for CPD points information to reach your AMTRA CPD record, and though it should be quicker than that here, it will not be immediate so please don’t chase us for missing points.

AMTRA originally agreed a deadline of 30 September 2017 with VMD. We are sorry that it took longer than we expected for us to get the online CPD provision up and running. Bearing in mind that delay and after listening to feedback from SQPs and employers, and bearing in mind that very little of these medicines will be prescribed over the winter, we have now agreed with VMD that all farm SQPs will complete by 31 January 2018.

Other options

AHDA has advised us of two new sessions where you could gain your 32 points in person, at events hosted and run by Lesley Stubbings of SCOPS.

The farm animal CPD workshops being provided by AHDA are as follows:

  • Tuesday 21st November at the Mascall Centre, Ludlow, 12.30pm – 4.00pm
  • Tuesday 5th December at the Shap Wells Hotel, 1.00pm – 5.00pm

Bookings for these are by email to bryan@ahda.co.uk – please contact AHDA with any queries (email Bryan Lovegrove or telephone 01664 822335) and not AMTRA.

The events will be free of charge for AHDA members and a cost of £25 for non-AHDA members.

Additionally, the content will also be available as part of the AHDA Conference on 17-18 January – see later in this email for more.

Other options for gaining at least some of these 32 points have been available in addition to the online AMTRA Academy, which address the same key topics by different means: these included the AMTRA/AHDA roadshow in May/June, and the module on incorporating Zolvix into sustainable worm control programmes available via the VBMS SQP Learning website: the obligation is to gain 32 of these “special” CPD points, but how that is reached is up to individual SQPs. We strongly encourage SQPs to make a start now with the online provision via the AMTRA Academy.

So if you can access it online, please start now, and do a little bit at a time: don’t leave it till the last minute and have to do it all in one go.