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.

For the vast majority of farm SQPs, the period of the compulsory farm CPD is over.

  • for those qualifying under the old syllabus before April 2017, the deadline was 31 January 2018. 97.3% of farm SQPs completed this. Those who didn’t have been “downgraded”, losing their farm animal registration (see below for more)
  • for the few SQPs qualifying under the old syllabus in the transitional period between April and October 2017, the deadline is 30 June 2019, the end of the general CPD period. Some of these SQPs have already done the compulsory CPD; the remainder must do it by this extended deadline.
  • for the few SQPs who’ve had cases of exceptional circumstances recognised (long term ill health, etc.), the deadline is 30 June 2019.

Non-compliance

Not completing the compulsory CPD by the deadline means immediate loss of the farm-animal element of the SQP registration: for instance, an R-SQP becomes an E-SQP, or an L-SQP ceases to be an SQP altogether. In all cases, prescribing and supplying POM-VPS medicines for farm animals becomes unlawful. VMD have been informed of the details of such people, and are targeting their inspections accordingly.

The farm-animal registration may be regained by sitting and passing a written exam at a cost of £200 (VAT exempt, fee subject to revision). Exams must be booked at least three weeks in advance and can take place at any venue (subject to space) where ordinary SQP exams are taking place – see the exams and course dates page. Book by completing the compulsory farm CPD exam booking form and returning it to AMTRA with payment.

Background

AMTRA 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 2017, and Startect from 24 August 2017, 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 90% of you have already started and about 80% finished, which is great to see, but we want to see that number climbing towards 100%. 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

There have been various options available during the period May 2017 to January 2018, but at this late stage the only remaining one is to do the CPD online.

So if you haven’t yet finished get online now: don’t leave it till the last minute and have to do it all in one go.