The Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) has published its invitation to tender for new training and certification arrangements for official veterinarians (OVs).

The agency says it hopes the new contract will be signed with a training provider by March (2014) for incremental implementation over the next 12 months.

Under the new arrangements, OV panels will be discontinued and replaced by certificates of competence, with corresponding training modules. The certificates of competence are to be known as official veterinary qualifications (OVQs) and the proposed list includes:

  • essential skills – a prerequisite for any other module, and covering basics such as state veterinary medicine, working with AHVLA, regulation of animal diseases and animal welfare, principles of certification, avoidance of conflicts of interest, communication and health and safety;
  • tuberculin testing – of cattle and other species;
  • statutory surveillance – activities for endemic diseases other than bTB, which are currently brucellosis and anthrax testing.

There are also several modules on exports, covering pets, avian, equine and products of animal origin.

Explaining the changes, AHVLA said there is room for improvement in the training it provides, especially in the following areas:

  • AHVLA veterinary officers are not expert trainers, meaning delivery can be inconsistent;
  • there can be delays in training courses becoming available, with consequential delay in new OVs being able to operate;
  • time away from the workplace to attend face-to-face training, sometimes in distant locations.

The agency has also published an update on its veterinary developer partnership project, with proposed lot areas and plans to remove local veterinary inspector power.

For more information, visit the Bravo website for OVs.

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