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

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Practical Training for ATTs

Once you have passed the OCQ(AHP) - ATT online exam, you will need to nominate your Approved Veterinary Supervisor (AVS) and complete your Sam declaration form. This can be done via the ‘Practical training phase’ section of your training details on your Personal Training Dashboard.

Nominating an AVS will trigger an email to your nominee, asking them to confirm that they are prepared to undertake the AVS role. Your AVS may nominate up to three deputies, who will provide cover when required.

When your AVS has completed this process and APHA have received your completed Sam declaration form, they will process your authorisation for conditional AHP status. Once you have received an email confirmation from APHA that your conditional authorisation has been granted, you may start TB testing.

Please note: This can take up to ten working days. You must not start TB testing until you have official confirmation from APHA. 

Conditional ATT authorisation

Testing under supervision

Your AVS will teach you the practical skills required to TB test cattle correctly. They must provide direct and continuous supervision at every test you undertake until you pass your Practical Assessment and have been granted full ATT authorisation by APHA.

When you are under the direct supervision of your AVS and are learning to TB test you must fulfil the following requirements:

  • TB test at least 500 cattle (maximum to be submitted from a single farm is 100)
  • TB test on at least ten different farms
  • see at least 80 reactions to the TB test (this must include a minimum of 20 circumscribed reactions and 20 reactions with some oedema). You may count reactions which you have seen, felt and measured even if they are from a test being undertaken by another ATT or OV
  • enter your test results through your own Sam log in. These are then countersigned by your AVS before the results are submitted to APHA
  • upload case logs that evidence the TB tests you have completed

When you have completed all the above requirements your AVS must sign you off on the database.

Practical Assessment

The Practical Assessment must be completed within six months of receiving your conditional ATT authorisation. It is your responsibility to contact Improve International to book the Practical Assessment when you are ready.

The following questions and answers explain more about the Practical Assessment:

How do I know I am ready to book my Practical Assessment?

You will be ready when you have:

  1. TB tested a minimum of 500 animals on at least ten different farms during your conditional testing phase.
  2. Observed at least 80 reactions (a minimum of 20 circumscribed reactions and 20 reactions with some oedema). Evidence of these reactions must be submitted with your case logs.
  3. Completed and uploaded your case logs to your Personal Training Dashboard. 
  4. Been signed off by your AVS (using the link that they were emailed upon their nomination).
  5. Paid for your Practical Assessment via your Personal Training Dashboard.

Please note: If you book your Practical Assessment before fulfilling these five requirements, and subsequently fail to complete any of them, it may result in your Practical Assessment being cancelled and you being charged an additional fee.

What happens once I have contacted Improve International to say I am ready?

  1. Both you and your AVS will be sent a copy of the report form and the terms and conditions of the Practical Assessment so that you understand the format and the marking scheme.
  2. An Improve International assessor will contact you to compare diaries and arrange a mutually convenient date and test at which to assess you.
  3. Once a date is agreed with the assessor, you may book the test with the farmer.
  4. You must ensure that the five requirements listed above have been fulfilled well in advance of your Practical Assessment taking place.
  5. Your Practical Assessment will take place.

What do I need to consider when booking a TB test for my Practical Assessment?

Your Practical Assessment will take place on a farm belonging to one of your practice’s clients. When selecting a suitable test, please consider the following:

  • We suggest that you find a test that will be conducted on one site at a farm with good, safe handling facilities and quiet adult cattle.
  • The test must have a minimum of 30 – mainly adult – animals.
  • Ensure that the farmer understands that the assessor will be discussing the testing with you, so it will take longer than usual.
  • Your AVS must be present at both days of the test and be prepared to take over the testing if, for any reason, you do not pass.

What should I expect during the Practical Assessment?

You will be assessed on:

  • what you have been taught in the online course and by your AVS during your practical training.
  • the manner in which you present yourself on the farm. Disease control is important, so if you present yourself, your car or your equipment in a way that presents a disease risk to the farm you are visiting, you will fail the Practical Assessment on these grounds.

Your assessor will:

  • attend both days of your test.
  • be present at the start of the test to check your equipment and your biosecurity practices.
  • discuss the first few animals with you, giving you time to ask questions and for your assessor to correct any inconsistencies in your technique.
  • watch you test sufficient cattle on each day of the test, then give you feedback on how you have done and leave you to continue with the testing. They will need time for this and will try to select a natural break in the testing, where possible.

Please note: You will be sent a copy of the Assessment Report Form when you book your Practical Assessment. Please ensure that you read this carefully so that you understand what is expected of you.

What else is important to consider when I’m arranging my Practical Assessment?

  • It is your responsibility to communicate with Improve International, your assessor and the farmer and to make arrangements for your Practical Assessment in good time. Whilst we will make every effort to be available when you have a suitable test, we cannot guarantee to be available at short notice.
  • The five requirements listed at the top of this section must be fulfilled at least two weeks before the Practical Assessment at the latest. If they are not completed by this deadline, we cannot guarantee that the Practical Assessment will be able to go ahead, and you may be charged an additional fee to rearrange it.
  • If you haven’t completed one or more of the five requirements by the time you contact us to book your Practical Assessment, but are confident you will do so before your Practical Assessment takes place, you must confirm this to us in writing, or we may take the decision to postpone your Practical Assessment until a later date. You must still upload all the evidence you have by the two-week deadline mentioned in the previous point.
  • If there is any possibility that you won’t see sufficient SO reactions, we strongly recommend that you and your AVS make arrangements for you to visit a practice in another area of the country (where SO reactions are more common) as soon as possible.
  • If you cancel your arrangements within two working days of the planned Practical Assessment, you will be asked to pay an additional fee before you can arrange a new one.
  • You will be given every opportunity to pass the Practical Assessment, but if you do fail for any reason, you will be asked to pay again before arranging a retake.
  • Your AVS must continue to be present at all your tests until APHA have granted you full ATT authorisation.

What happens after I have passed the Practical Assessment?

  • Improve International will notify APHA once you have passed your Practical Assessment.
  • APHA will then award you full ATT authorisation for TB testing. You will receive an email notification when your authorisation status is changed and can check that this has been done on your Personal Training Dashboard. Please allow five working days for APHA to complete this process.
  • When you are granted full authorisation, you will be allowed to TB test alone but must always be under the direction of your AVS who must always be available to join you on a farm if needed and must confirm the results of every TB test that you undertake.
  • Your AVS must audit your testing after six months for you to maintain your authorisation.

What if I need to retake the Practical Assessment?

If you fail the Practical Assessment, you will be required to undertake further training under the direct and continuous supervision of your AVS before you apply to retake it. There is a retake fee of £900 plus VAT. This must be paid at the time of booking.

If you fail a second Practical Assessment you will be required to retake the full OCQ(AHP) - ATT course. In such cases, the full enrolment fee of £199 plus VAT must be paid again in addition to a further Practical Assessment retake fee.

Is there an appeals process?

You have the right to appeal to ISVPS if you consider that your Practical Assessment has not been conducted in a fair manner.


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