The AHVLA has awarded the contract for the training and revalidation of official veterinarians (OVs) operating in England, Scotland and Wales to Improve International.

Following a tender exercise, Improve International has been selected as AHVLA’s OV training provider and is now preparing for the launch of a new OV qualification, the Official Controls Qualification (Veterinary), or OCQ(V).

OCQ(V)s will be delivered via blended learning methods, in conjunction with Improve International’s assessment partner, the European School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ESVPS), and Harper Adams University, which will validate the qualification.

Existing OVs will be granted “grandfather rights“, meaning already experienced OVs will not need to undertake initial training. To qualify they must register on the new system between August 2014, when a new registration database is launched, and March 31, 2015. A revalidation requirement is being introduced for all OVs to ensure quality standards are maintained.

Under the new system, individuals or their employers will fund their own training at a cost of between £99 and £249 plus VAT per training or revalidation module.

David Babington, managing director of Improve International, said: “We were delighted to be appointed by the AHVLA, with our partners ESVPS and Harper Adams University, to provide training and revalidation for OVs. We believe these qualifications will become increasingly desirable and that achieving an OCQ(V) will demonstrate both a commitment to CPD and to lifelong learning.

“We are working on the development of a brand new registration database which will go live in August and on the creation of our blended learning training programme, which we will roll out over the coming months.”

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