Official Controls Qualification
(Veterinary) OCQ(V)


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Practical Assessment

Currently, only the OCQ(V) - TT module carries a practical test element. 

Once you have successfully completed the OCQ(V) - TT online assessment and achieved the conditional qualification, you should be granted conditional (OV) status by APHA, provided you ticked the relevant application box when you enrolled for the course. This can take up to ten working days. When you have received your OV stamp and SAM access you will then be approved to conduct TB tests under appropriate supervision and direction.

Supervisory period

Vets awarded ‘conditional’ status are authorised to carry out TB testing under the supervision of an experienced member of the veterinary practice OV team.  During the period, you will be a  'Conditional OV' and you are expected to maintain a case log of TB tests carried out, recording:

  • Dates of tests (Day one and two)
  • Farm address and herd details
  • Number of animals tested
  • Reactions to tests – numbers clear, inconclusive and reactors, giving evidence of the reactions seen. (NB. this is reactions NOT reactors)
  • Supporting evidence such as screenshot from SAM, scans of worksheets, photos etc 
  • Comments and reflections relating to the test process itself and what you have learnt
  • Name and qualifications of supervising OV

This log forms part of your 'Personal Training Record' and must be uploaded to your 'Personal Training Dashboard' where it will be a permanent record of your training.

Minimum Number of Tests

It will be necessary for a ‘Conditional OV’ to test a minimum number of animals during this period., A test will include both day one and day two. The requirements are:

  • At least two hundred and fifty (250) animals overall.
  • At least three (3) different test farms. (Your 250 total can be made up from multiple small tests provided that at least 3 tests are of 25 or more cattle. If you test 250 cattle on just 3 farms then there must be at least 25 cattle tested on each of these farms)
  • At least ten (10) reactions must be observed.  Please note this is reactions NOT reactors. Evidence of the size and interpretation of the reactions should be given in your case logs

Supervising OV

A ‘Supervising OV’ will be nominated and must confirm with an electronic signature that they have undertaken this role. The Supervising OV must be an experienced OV and TT tester. 

The stages of supervision

The supervision is based on the RCVS recommendation for supervising as below;

  1. ‘Direct and continuous personal supervision’ means that the supervising OV is present at the test and giving the conditional OV his/her undivided personal attention during the testing.
  2. ‘Supervision’ means that the supervising OV is present on the site, and able to respond to a request for assistance from the conditional OV if needed.
  3. ‘Direction’ means that the supervising OV is available for support but is not necessarily present at the site.

The time it takes to move from stage one to stage three, and being ready for final assessment, will vary. It will rely on the professional judgement of the ‘Supervising OV’, as well as the availability of suitable tests. The conditional OV must test a minimum of fifty (50) animals under the ‘direct and continuous supervision’ of their supervising OV. Thereafter the conditional OV can progress to testing under ‘direction’ at the discretion of their Supervisor.  

It is necessary for the ‘Supervising  OV’ to ‘sign-off’ the ‘Conditional OV’ before they can operate under ‘direction’.

Improve International will provide training or support for ‘Supervising OV’s.

Final assessment

The final assessment must be completed within six months following the successful completion of the online component of the qualification. Before applying for the final assessment the candidate must;

  • be ‘signed off’ by their ‘Supervising OV’.
  • have tested a minimum of 250 cattle.
  • uploaded their case logs to be assessed.

This assessment will be performed by Regional Assessors working for Improve International.  The assessment will include a marked evaluation of the following areas;

  • Pre-test requirements
  • On-site requirements
  • Day One and Day Two test procedures
  • Interpretation of test
  • Record completion and next steps
  • Attitudes and behaviours

Booking the Final Assessment

Once you are ready to apply for the final assessment, please contact Improve International. We will carry out your Practical Assessment on one of your client’s farms.  It is your responsibility, as a Conditional OV, to provide us with a number of tests scheduled in your locality and to ensure they can be carried out within six months of the completion of your online assessment. Please contact us in good time to ensure that we have an Assessor available on a date that suits you and your client. We advise that you book your Practical Assessment as soon as you have tested sufficient cattle; there is no requirement to delay this until the end of your six month conditional status. We advise that you plan for your OCQ(V) - TT testing to take place when your Practice has sufficient testing for you to fulfill the requirements in your six month window.

Improve International will notify APHA once you have successfully completed your practical assessment. APHA will then award you full OV status for TB testing. You can check that this has been done on your personal training dashboard.

Re-takes

If you fail the online test, a standard retake fee of £49 plus VAT applies.  You have to wait at least two weeks before retaking, in order to allow time for further study and revision.

If you fail the practical assessment, you will then need to start again from the beginning of the supervisory period and fulfil these requirements before applying for a second assessment, i.e. go back to ‘direct and continuous personal supervision’.  A reassessment fee of £150 plus VAT applies. The Head of Practical Skills will provide additional support and further training on supervision for the ‘Supervising OV’, with reference to the RCVS code of conduct if appropriate.

If you fail a second assessment you will have to retake the full OCQ(V) - TT. Additional support via our Head of Practical Skills will be provided. In addition, where a final assessment is unsuccessful, our Head of Practical Skills will work with you and your ‘Supervising OV’, to ensure that you fully understand what is required.

If you fail a second assessment, you have a right of appeal.

If you fail to organise and complete your Practical Assessment before the end of your six month conditional appointment your OCQ(V)TT status will be expired by APHA and you will be required to re-enrol for the full course. There is no refund. If you are unable to complete your assessment due to exceptional circumstances, such as working in a very low TB area or an injury which prevents you from working please contact Improve International. 

TB in species other than cattle.

Currently the OCQ(V) - TT qualifies you test cattle and other species such as camelids and deer but you must apply to APHA before undertaking any non bovine tests. We provided a CPD course for testing camelids. You can enrol on this from your training dashboard if you wish to study this course.

We are working with APHA to develop a new OCQ(V) - TTOS which will be available later in the year.

Registered users

NEW. OCQ(V) – EQ. (Equine) is available for enrolment

The equine export qualification OCQ(V) – EQ is now available. Specialist Equine OVs who hold OCQ(V) – UX can select either UX OR EQ at revalidation. Please contact Improve International on 0330 202 0380 if you would like to be transferred from UX to EQ for your revalidation.


Veterinary Practice magazine

Veterinary Practice magazine is home to the Official Vet column, providing OVs with the latest news and updates from APHA and Improve International as well as featuring interesting articles on topics relevant to the industry.


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