Farm-animal compulsory CPD on resistance and parasite control

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

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 is therefore now available for all farm-animal SQPs to prescribe and supply 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 Zolvix and the other 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.

About half of you have already started, which is great to see. The first three modules are available for you now and we expect the final module to be made available very shortly.

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.

The current deadline is 30 September 2017, but we recognise that this is very challenging for some of you, particularly for those without easy Internet access.

We are looking at providing more face-to-face training in the early autumn.

And we are in discussions with VMD about the deadline – but it will be easier to convince VMD of that case for the minority who have access difficulties if we can show that the majority of you who could do it online have made a positive start.

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.