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

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I update my details on the database?

You may update your details at any time by logging in to your Personal Training Dashboard and selecting ‘Update details’ from the left-hand side of the screen. It is your responsibility to keep your details up to date at all times and to ensure that you provide a personal email address which you monitor for receiving official communications.

Is it possible for a CSO to work under the direction of more than one Certifying Officer in the company?

It is possible for a CSO to work with multiple Certifying Officers (OVs or EHOs), although due regard should be given to the formal relationship between each CO and CSO for a particular certificate to be signed, in that each party must be familiar with the ingredients, processes and requirements for the particular commodity and Export Health Certificate (EHC).

I am having trouble uploading my signature.

We have tried to provide clear guidelines but if you cannot upload your signature please call us for further support.

I do not intend to continue with CSO work. What should I do with my stamp?

If you no longer need your CSO stamp, please return it to the APHA OV Team, APHA Specialist Service Centre, Worcestershire County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2NP. For NI candidates, please contact for advice on where to send your stamp.

I want to train to TB test cattle. How do I go about this?

You must find a veterinary practice that trains and employs Approved Tuberculin Testers. You must have an employer who can confirm your eligibility for the course before you can enrol on the OCQ(AHP) - ATT online course. ATTs are only approved in England.

I am interested in the Certification Support Officer role. How do I start?

You must find an Official Veterinarian who completes certification for animal products and would like to employ a Certification Support Officer. You must have an employer who can confirm your eligibility for the course before you can enrol on the OCQ(AHP) - CSO course.

My CSO stamp is damaged or lost. How may I get a replacement?

APHA are responsible for issuing CSO stamps in GB. Please contact them at CSC One Health OV Team (APHA). For NI CSOs, please contact

A candidate holds high school qualifications but not A levels or Scottish Highers. Are they eligible for enrolment on the CSO course?

If an employer holds evidence that the candidate has a qualification at least equivalent to A Levels (e.g. the Polish Matura and Romanian Diploma de Bacalaureat), then candidates do not need to apply to Improve International to confirm their eligibility, and the Certifying Officers (COs) may verify this as suitable for enrolment. COs must see or hold original qualification documents or verified copies.

As with the A Level requirements, any non A Level high school qualifications should also include a science or food technology subject.

Is holding an FDQ qualification sufficient for a candidate to meet eligibility requirements to enrol on the CSO course?

A candidate who holds the FDQ Level 4 Diploma for Proficiency in Meat Inspection is suitable for enrolment.

An FDQ Level 2 qualification is by itself not sufficient for enrolment. However, if a candidate holding an FDQ Level 2 qualification meets the eligibility requirements in another way, such as by meeting the A Level requirements, then they may enrol.

What documentation do university degree holders need to provide to meet eligibility requirements for the CSO course?

University degrees must be presented as original documents, and a verified copy of the degree certificate should be held by the CO or employer. It is the CO’s responsibility to check with the issuing institution where there is any question about the authenticity of the qualification. Institutions must be checked against the World Higher Education Database (WHED) – International Association of Universities' Worldwide Database of Higher Education Institutions, Systems and Credentials.

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