OCQ(AHP) - ATT (Approved Tuberculin Tester)
The Approved Tuberculin Tester course provides the training required for a paraprofessional to conduct TB skin testing under the direction of an Approved Veterinary Supervisor (AVS).
The minimum requirements for registration for the Approved Tuberculin Tester (ATT) course are:
- to be employed to work in England or Wales (ATTs will not be authorised in Scotland)
- to have a minimum of six months' cattle handling experience; and either
- (a) three GCSEs or equivalent qualifications in English, mathematics, and a science or food production subject OR (b) three years' performance in a government regulatory role, e.g. Local Authority Inspector or Environmental Health Officer.
If you can't meet these entry requirements but consider that you have alternative relevant qualifications please email email@example.com with your details. These will be forwarded to the relevant APHA Course Director for consideration.
The ATT course covers:
- Working on behalf of the Government
- The legal basis for the control of TB in England and Wales
- TB control measures used in England and Wales
- How to carry out TB testing on cattle in full compliance with APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) Tuberculosis Testing Instructions and Standard Operating Procedures
- How to correctly identify all test reactions (and other suspicious signs of disease) at each TB test undertaken and refer to an AVS for interpretation according to the Tuberculosis Testing instructions issued by APHA
- How to initiate and complete post TB test procedures for cattle appropriate to the results and as required by APHA
- How to complete and process official TB paperwork and certification for cattle in compliance with both legal and APHA requirements
The qualification requires each candidate to complete the following phases:
- Study the online course
- Pass the end of course exam
- Receive conditional authorisation from APHA
- Nominate an Approved Veterinary Supervisor (AVS)
- Practical TB testing under the direct and continuous supervision of the AVS until all practical training requirements have been achieved
- Pass Practical Assessment with Improve International
- Full authorisation by APHA to TB test under the direction of the AVS
ATTs with full authorisation will be required to:
- Be audited by their AVS six months after passing their Practical Assessment
- Revalidate their qualification after two years and from then on every four years.
- Have random audits from the Veterinary Delivery Partnership, APHA or Improve International.
To study the ATT course you must first register on the AHP database. When you register you will be asked to nominate your employer or a representative of your employer who will confirm your right to work and eligibility for the qualification.
The person you nominate will receive an email asking them to confirm that the checks have been complete and that you fulfil the requirements. You will be notified by email when this confirmation has been made. You will then be able to log in and enrol on the ATT course.
- Registration for OCQ(AHP) courses - £59 plus VAT
There is a one-off fee for registration. Registration must be done on an individual basis and must be accepted before you can enrol and access the OCQ(AHP) courses. See the Registration information section for more details.
- OCQ(AHP) - ATT online course - £199 plus VAT
- OCQ(AHP) - ATT Practical Assessment - £900 plus VAT (two-day assessment)
Payment for the OCQ(AHP) - ATT Practical Assessment can be made when you have passed the online exam and before you book the Practical Assessment. This payment can be made direct from your Personal Training Dashboard.
- OCQ(AHP) online exam retake - £49 plus VAT
- OCQ(AHP) - ATT Practical Assessment retake - £900 plus VAT (two-day assessment)
Employers of 20 or more OVs and AHPs
Whilst it is required that each AHP registers individually, employers of 20 or more AHPs and OVs may apply, in advance, for group invoicing facilities. If your employer would like to apply for group invoicing facilities, please ask your accounts department to email Improve International. It takes up to two working days to set up this facility. If your employer already has a group invoicing facility they will provide you with a payment code to use when you are asked for payment at registration and enrolment. Your employer will be invoiced by Improve International for each use of their payment code.
How do I access the training?
The training is accessed via your own Personal Training Dashboard, once you are registered and enrolled on the course. The training can be done at a time to suit you, over more than one session and is followed by an invigilated, online, multiple choice exam.
How long does the training take?
The length of time it takes to complete the online course depends on your pace of study but will take in the region of ten hours for the OCQ(AHP) - ATT course.
Practical requirements for the OCQ(AHP) - ATT course
The OCQ(AHP) - ATT online course is followed by a period of TB testing under the direct and continuous supervision of your AVS. You will be given conditional authorisation by APHA, which allows you to start your practical training. You must wait for confirmation of your conditional authorisation from APHA before you start TB testing. When you have completed all the practical requirements of the course there is a Practical Assessment with an Improve International Assessor, which you must pass to be awarded your full qualification. The maximum period that you can hold conditional authorisation is six months but it is expected that you will have completed sufficient TB tests to take your Practical Assessment much sooner. Please see the Practical training for ATTs page for more details.
Authorisation by the APHA
The APHA will be notified automatically, through this website, that you have passed the exam and will process your authorisation for AHP status, a process which takes up to ten working days. You cannot start work while you are waiting for authorisation. Once your authorisation is granted, you will be notified by email and will be able to download your certificate of conditional authorisation from your Personal Training Dashboard.
Once authorised as a conditional ATT you will work under the direct and continuous supervision of your AVS until you have fulfilled all the testing requirements and completed your Practical Assessment. Please contact Improve International in good time to ensure there are no delays in arranging this. APHA require a further five working days, after passing your Practical Assessment, to award you your full ATT testing authorisation. During this time you may continue to test in the presence of your AVS.
When you have been awarded your full ATT authorisation you may test alone but under the direction of your AVS. You will be able to download your authorisation certificate from your Personal Training Dashboard.
TB Field Audits for ATTs in England who do not work on behalf of a Veterinary Delivery Partnership (VDP)
APHA has an enhanced field audit programme of bovine tuberculosis skin testing carried out by ATTs across Great Britain. This programme is to provide assurance that regulatory standards are being followed.
A new requirement introduced on 2nd November 2020 specifies that Improve International must carry out TB field audits of ATTs who work in England but do not undertake TB testing on behalf of a Veterinary Delivery Partnership. All TB testing ATTs will be audited in the 12-month period after being granted full authorisation and subsequently at least once every two years by APHA, their VDP or Improve International*.
Improve International will email any ATT who has been selected by APHA for audit to notify them of this. There is a fee of £550 plus VAT for each audit, which must be paid as soon as the notification is received and before an audit can take place. The fee is paid via the ATT’s Personal Training Dashboard, where the field audit information will be displayed on the overview page. TB field audits will be undertaken on behalf of Improve International by UK Farmcare Ltd. ATTs who test for a VDP will continue to be audited in accordance with their VDP contract. VDPs are Iechyd Da (Gwledig) Ltd, Menter a Busnes and UK Farmcare.
The cost of a field audit must be met by the ATT for whom the audit is being carried out.
Where an ATT fails to pay the audit fee within 15 days of the original notification, or fails to comply with the requirement for audit, Improve International will notify APHA. APHA will then contact the ATT in writing, giving a deadline by which the payment must be made to enable the audit to take place. Failure to comply by the deadline will result in suspension of the ATT’s authorisation.
What is the process for a field audit?
- APHA selects the ATT for audit and informs Improve International
- Improve International contacts the ATT via email to notify them**
- The ATT must pay the audit fee of £550 + VAT by logging on to their Personal Training Dashboard
- Improve International will arrange the audit, which may be:
- announced (the ATT will be informed of the date of the test at which it will take place); or
- unannounced (the auditor will not notify the ATT before arriving at a test)
- The audit will take place
- The audit results will be reported to APHA
ATTs must ensure that they keep their test dates up to date on Sam so that audits can be arranged.
Please note: if an auditor arrives to audit a test that was scheduled on Sam and the ATT selected for audit is not present, that ATT will be responsible for paying for the auditor to return on another occasion to complete their audit.
If you don't test for a VDP and you think you need to complete an audit, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Please note that the OCQ(AHP) - ATT Practical Assessment is not an audit.
** ATTs must ensure that their contact details on their Personal Training Dashboard are up to date at all times
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