A survey conducted which produced responses from over 1000 AMTRA SQPs, reveals that the regulatory body AMTRA (Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority) is both demonstrating its value to SQPs, but also highlighting the profitability benefits of following good animal medicines advice.
The online survey, conducted in January 2019, attracted responses from 1031 professionals, of which 34% were AMTRA SQPs working within agricultural/country stores, 26% in veterinary practices, 25% in pet stores and 6.5% in the equine sector. Another 8.5% of the responding registered SQPs are not currently working as an SQP.
Overwhelmingly, more than 86% of respondents rated AMTRA’s support in encouraging them to maintain the highest professional standards as either ‘extremely well’ (44%) or ‘very well’ (43%), representing a total of 896 of the 1031 responses. Similarly, more than 82% felt AMTRA had communicated its value as a regulatory body either extremely well (39%) or very well (43%).
AMTRA has taken a leading role in encouraging responsible use of animal medicines, particularly when considering wormer resistance. When asked how well AMTRA has informed SQPs on the need to consider and address wormer resistance, an equally emphatic figure of over 80% responded saying this has been done extremely well (47%) or very well (33%).
Getting animal medicines advice and treatments right not only helps animal health and welfare, but will also bring profitability benefits to farmers. It was therefore encouraging to note that over 75% of respondents working in agriculture felt AMTRA had informed SQPs of the profitability benefits of following good animal medicine advice.
“We are really encouraged by these key findings from the research survey,” explains AMTRA secretary general Stephen Dawson. “In particular, in all four of these key questions above, less than 1% of respondents felt these objectives had not been met at all. However, whenever there is less than 100%, we always strive to develop and continue to enhance and improve services.”
The survey also highlighted the availability of a series of Point of Sales (PoS) materials, helping SQPs to inform clients of their professional status and capabilities, whilst also explaining the legal requirements before prescribing and supplying animal medicines.
“It was interesting to discover that over 45% of respondents were not aware of the availability of a range of promotional materials to help raise the SQP’s profile as a regulated, professional animal medicines advisor. However, more than 81% said they would like to make use of these materials if supplied.”
AMTRA has prepared a range of materials, many of which can be easily branded for individual outlets and retail establishments, including leaflets, stickers, posters and badges. Examples can be found here.
Mr Dawson says, “It is always important to listen to the feedback from our SQPs, and the response levels from this survey shows the passion and professional approach there is within the industry. We were overwhelmed by the responses, and the many text answers offering further feedback and demonstrating a passion for the SQP role.
“We always appreciate further feedback and suggestions, and encourage AMTRA SQPs and others to maintain contact with the AMTRA team with any further thoughts,” he concludes.