Official Controls Qualification
(Veterinary) OCQ(V)

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Frequently asked questions


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

APHA are responsible for issuing OV stamps. Please contact them at CSC One Health OV Team (APHA)  

How do I change my details on my registration?

You may amend any of your details that you originally registered with by logging into your Personal Training Dashboard and selecting ‘Update Details’ from the left hand side of the screen.  This includes if you change practice; all you need to do is update your details of the new practice. You may wish to make a note of your old practice in the comments section too.

Who do I contact to find out about filling in APHA forms, for example pet passports?

Any queries relating to pet passports; exports, etc. OVs should contact The Centre for International Trade Carlisle (tel. 0300 020 0301). For advice on completing APHA forms the OV should contact their local APHA office

The Practice email address is shared and doesn't work for my registration - what do I do?

It is an APHA requirement that all OVs have an individual and unique email address and can thereby register and gain authorisation and OCQ(V)s linked to the individual, not a practice.  Please refer to the following link for more information.  If you do not have a unique practice email address, you may need to register using your personal email address or set up a new practice one. It must be an email address that you check regularly.

Where do I find information about Revalidation?

You will find the Revalidation information, including frequently asked questions, here

I am a small animal vet and I only want to do pet passports for dogs or cats, how do I become an OV?

You will only need to do OCQ(V) – CA  Companion Animals. This module covers the export of pets (including pet birds) and the Pet Travel Scheme and incorporates elements of OCQ (V) ES and OCQ (V) EX applicable to small animal practitioners and the export of pets/PETS. It should be noted that the scope of coverage of these elements e.g. notifiable disease, welfare, export certification and procedures will be limited to that required for this work. Once you have successfully completed the online training and assessment and obtained the OCQ(V) CA qualification, you can apply through this registration site to the APHA for authorisation as an OV.

NB:  If you also wanted to cover the commercial export of small animals you may require OCQ(V) – SX Small Animal Exports instead. This module covers work relating to commercial exports of a variety of small animals, including laboratory/zoo and other establishments – incorporating approved and registered veterinarian aspects, in addition to export of pet animals and PETS. As a prerequisite practitioners wanting to do OCQ (V) SX will have to have first completed OCQ (V) ES and OCQ (V) EX – the scope of these modules is significantly wider in terms of the key elements of notifiable disease, welfare, export certification and procedures which reflects the complexity of the scenarios under which this work is undertaken and the commercial nature of the OV work in this area.

What’s covered on OCQ(V) CA?


  • Export of pet dogs, cats, ferrets, small mammals (guinea pigs, mice, rabbits etc.)
  • Export of pet birds -these are all birds (excluding poultry and pigeons) which are accompanied by their owner and are not intended to be sold or transferred to another owner
  • Export of pets from breeding establishments and rescue centres as a commercial exercise
  • Export of more than five pets for shows or competitions.
  • Export of more than five pets not intended for shows or competitions (i.e. travelling with their owner on holiday)
  • Export can be to the EU or countries outside the EU.

What’s covered in OCQ(V) SX?

A more commercial qualification.

  • All the above is included plus:
  • Commercial export of small laboratory animals including all primates
  • Commercial export of zoo animals including primates, carnivores etc. (except zoo ungulates (hoofed animals) which fall under UX)
  • Reptiles and snakes as they are not considered as pets.
  • Zoo birds
  • Bees
  • Exports to the EU or outside of EU

What’s covered in OCQ(V) AX?

  • Hatching Eggs – Eggs for incubation, laid by poultry
  • Poultry – this includes fowl (chickens ) turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks, geese, pheasants, partridge, quail and ratites ( flightless birds like ostrich and emu )
  • Captive birds – birds usually kept as a hobby, for pleasure, scientific interest or sport i.e. racing pigeons and birds of prey.
  • Although people keep ducks, chickens and geese as pets they are not considered as pets and are not covered by CA. 
  • Exports to the EU or outside of EU

If in doubt please contact us or call the APHA OV Team on 0208 026 1094 to clarify.

How do I order a supply of Pet Passports?

A supply of Pet passports is ordered by emailing

How do I complete the new style pet passport?

EU Pet Passport Guidance notes for completion of new model pet passports issued after 28th December 2014 are available at the following link:

I have grandfather rights to OCQ(V) - UX but only do equine work. Will I be able to revalidate the new OCQ(V) - EQ instead of UX?

Yes. if you would like to revalidate EQ instead of UX please contact Improve International by emailing and we will enable this for you.

I want to train to test cattle for TB. How soon can I be testing on my own?

The initial training is online. Once you have successfully completed the training and passed the online assessment you then apply to APHA to receive conditional approval as an OV for OCQ(V) TT. When your approval is granted, which can take up to ten working days, APHA will send you your OV stamp and set up your SAM access. You have up to six months, from the date you are granted conditional OV status, to complete your practical assessment and achieve full approval. During this supervisory period you will be allowed to carry out TT testing under the supervision of an experienced member of your veterinary practice OV team.  You must test a minimum of 50 animals under ‘direct and continuous’ supervision. When your supervisor is able to ‘sign you off’ as competent to test you may progress to testing under ‘direction’ where an experienced OV is available to consult, but is not necessarily present. This experienced OV does not have to be your nominated supervisor. Please see Practical Assessment for further information.

I am a conditional OV for OCQ(V)TT and am testing under direction. An APHA vet audited my testing last week. Does that count as my Practical Assessment?

The APHA conduct random audits at any time. We are pleased to hear that your audit was successful but it does not replace your OCQ(V)TT Practical Assessment. These are two separate processes. You must still arrange your Practical Assessment with Improve International. Please contact us in good time to book this.

Will I need to book time off from work to attend the OV training as previously?

No, the training will all be online and can be studied and assessed in your own time, all you need is a computer with internet access.

Candidates completing the online assessment are required to do so in the presence of a MRCVS, or a DVM for overseas students, so you will need to coordinate this in advance. See Assessment & accreditation for further info.

(NB There will be practical assessment for OCQ(V) – TT)

I am about to graduate or have just graduated. Can I complete these qualifications before I join a Practice?

Yes you can start studying now but when you register do not apply to be an OV. Later, once you have your RCVS registration number, log in again and apply for OV status at this stage. Also we advise that you do not take the OCQ(V)TT exam, even if you have completed the course, until you start work. This is because you have 6 months, from passing the exam, to complete your practical training so you don’t want to start the clock ticking before you start work and have access to cattle to test.

Do I have to be a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) to take the qualifications?
No, anyone can take the qualifications but in order to apply to be an OV you must be a member.

(NB To complete the practical assessment of OCQ(V) TT you will need to be a member of RCVS and be working in a Practice in England, Scotland or Wales where your duties include TB testing )

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.

Why have I been prevented from printing off my Official Veterinarian approval/authorisation certificate?

There will be instances where the Official Veterinarian (OV) status certificate may require a countersignature, for example for OVs who work on behalf of a Welsh veterinary practice. At present the certificate as downloaded from the Improve International registration database would not include any countersignature; therefore in those instances, to ensure the certificate is legal, APHA will produce the certificate and once it has been countersigned it will be forwarded to the OV by post.

What if I work as a locum?

If you work as a locum, and are registered under your home address, and are intending to enrol for the OCQ(V)S CA and/or SX, you should use the address of the practice from which you issue the pet passport in both section IV “issuing of the passport”, and in the authorised veterinarian box in the rabies section of the passport. Please also use the comments section on your personal training dashboard to keep an up to date record of the practices you are working in.

I want to become a Local Veterinary Inspector (LVI) what do I do? 

This is the correct place to register and train, however the term LVI has been replaced by Official Veterinarian (OV).

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

If you no longer need your OV stamp, please return it to the APHA OV Team, APHA Specialist Service Centre – Worcestershire  County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2NP

I work in an abattoir. Are these OV qualifications relevant to me?

The OCQ(V) qualifications do not cover Red Meat, White Meat or Game inspection work. But you will be required to hold the OCQ(V) - PX if you are certifying any meat or meat products for export. To have the qualification OCQ(V) - PX you will also require the OCQ(V) s ES and EX which are prerequisites to PX.

Are the OCQ(V)s recognised in Northern Ireland?

No. the OCQ(V) qualifications are not currently recognised in Northern Ireland. This link gives you the contact details for Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland (DAERD)

What is covered by the OCQ(V) - PX qualification?

The OCQ(V) - PX covers the export of products of animal origin. This includes foodstuffs of animal origin, certain live animals for direct human consumption such as mussels, animal by-products such as wool, hides and skins, and goods which may have come in contact with animals such as hay and straw.  Semen and ova are also animal products but are covered in the OCQ(V) - GX, Germinal Products Course


Click here to read the APHA FAQs 

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