Official Controls Qualification
(Animal Health Paraprofessional) OCQ(AHP)

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The following steps must be completed in order to be successfully authorised as an Animal Health Paraprofessional (AHP):

Step 1: Registration

  • The candidate must complete the registration form and make sure to enter their ‘Region of work’. For CSO this will be Great Britain (APHA) or Northern Ireland (DAERA). For ATT, it will be Great Britain – England or Wales – ONLY (APHA).

Step 2: Confirmation of registration

  • Once registered, the candidate will receive an automated email with a payment receipt and their log in details. If this does not arrive, candidates should check their ‘Junk’ folder.
  • At the same time, an automated email will be sent to the candidate's nominated employer/representative/CO, via which they will validate the candidate’s eligibility. This is done by entering their name and professional number on the electronic form accessed through a link in the email. The candidate must provide physical evidence of their qualifications in order for their nominated employer/CO to assess their eligibility. Eligibility criteria can be found here.

Step 3: Confirmation of eligibility

  • The candidate will receive an email to notify them that their employer/representative/CO has confirmed their eligibility. They can then proceed to log in and enrol on their CSO/ATT/FCCO course and complete the online training.

Step 4: Authorisation box

  • If the candidate wants to be authorised to work as a CSO/ATT/FCCO, they must tick the relevant box on their 'Training details' page and must sit and pass the end-of-course online exam.

Step 5: Online exam

  • The invigilated online exam can be taken at a convenient time for both the candidate and their invigilator.
  • Currently, invigilation can be carried out via Zoom. Alternatively, there is an option to use a third-party company to invigilate the exam – but this will be at a cost. All information can be found here.

Step 6 (ATTs only): Confirmation of conditional authorisation

  • When an ATT candidate passes the exam, they will be sent an email prompting them to nominate an Approved Veterinary Supervisor (AVS) and complete and return a Sam declaration form before they can receive conditional authorisation. ATT candidates must not start work while they are waiting for conditional authorisation.
  • The ATT candidate will receive an email confirming their conditional authorisation and will be able to view and print a certificate of conditional authorisation as a downloadable PDF file from their AHP Personal Training Dashboard. 

Step 7 (ATTs only): Practical training and assessment

  • Conditional ATTs must conduct practical TB testing under the direct and continuous supervision of their AVS until all practical training requirements have been achieved.
  • Conditional ATTs must then pass a Practical Assessment with Improve International.

Step 8: Confirmation of authorisation

  • Once a CSO/FCCO candidate passes the online exam, this will notify the relevant authority (i.e. APHA or DAERA), who will then approve their full authorisation. 
  • Once an ATT candidate passes the Practical Assessment, this will notify APHA, who will then send an email approving the ATT's full authorisation to TB test under the direction of their AVS.
  • The candidate will be prompted to log in to their AHP Personal Training Dashboard, where they can view and print a certificate of authorisation as a downloadable PDF file. 

Step 9: Reminders

  • ATTs, CSOs and FCCOs will be contacted via email every six months to confirm their status and to remind them to update their details if appropriate. They can do this by logging in to their AHP Personal Training Dashboard.

Step 10: Revalidation in order to maintain authorisation

  • Revalidation of CSO and FCCO training will be required every four years.
  • Revalidation of ATT training will first be required after two years, and then every four years after that.
  • CSOs, FCCOs and ATTs will receive their first reminder email six months prior to the expiry of their qualification, and then at frequent intervals after that, so they can enrol on and complete the revalidation training in good time. Failure to complete the revalidation training will result in the CSO, FCCO or ATT authorisation being expired.

Step 11: Change of region

  • If an AHP changes region at any point, they must update their details on their Personal Training Dashboard.
  • They will then be deauthorised in their previous region and will be automatically presented to their new region for authorisation. The exception to this is when they are changing their nation within the GB region (i.e. England to Wales), in which case APHA authorisation will not be affected.
  • AHPs must wait until they have received official authorisation from the authority in their new region before commencing work there.
  • Once they have received confirmation of authorisation from their new region, they will be able to download a new certificate of authorisation from their AHP Personal Training Dashboard.
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