Official Controls Qualification
(Veterinary) OCQ(V)

You are here:  Home > About

Companion Animals revalidation

What does OCQ(V) - CA (Companion Animal) revalidation involve?

It is now recognised as good practice to ensure that we all remain up to date with the latest policies, advice and techniques for the work that we do. Revalidation is your opportunity to do this and can contribute towards your annual CPD requirements.

Revalidation for the OCQ(V) - CA is required every 4 years. If you do not revalidate, you will not be able to continue as an OV for Companion Animals.

The only exceptions to the 4-year revalidation cycle are those who had 'grandfather rights', or who had already studied and been awarded the OCQ(V) - CA before 30th April 2019, whose revalidation will be due 5 years from the date that they passed the online exam and completed the declarations. However, for those who are awarded or revalidate the OCQ(V) - CA after 30th April 2019, your first revalidation will be due 4 years from the date that you passed your online exam and completed your declarations.

You may enrol to revalidate and start the process at any time. There will be a 6-month window before the expiry date of your OCQ(V) - CA in which you can complete the revalidation (by signing the declarations) without changing your future revalidation date. We recommend that you don’t leave it until the last minute. You will need to ensure you have enough time to complete ALL the requirements before your expiry date.

If you do not complete revalidation within the permitted timeframe your status will be expired by APHA. If this happens you will be informed by email from APHA and you will not be allowed to use the OCQ(V) - CA. Once your status has been expired, you will either have to contact APHA in order for your status to be changed to 'suspended' and enable you to complete the revalidation course within 6 months of the missed deadline, or complete the full OCQ(V) course before your OV status can be reinstated. If you wish to appeal the revocation of your status you should contact APHA, as the final decision rests with them. If you are aware of any exceptional or mitigating circumstances it is worth contacting APHA as soon as possible to avoid the necessity to retrain. Please see the APHA Briefing Note for more information on the options available to you if you have missed a revalidation deadline. You can view a flowchart illustrating these by clicking here.

Improve International will send a reminder to OVs prior to the expiry date of the OCQ(V) - CA .  

Online training and exam

Revalidation is undertaken by accessing the online training platform.

Everyone studies at their own pace, but the revalidation course will equate to 3 hours of CPD. You may access the training in your own time and it does not have to be completed in one go. Once you are ready, you may then proceed – via your Personal Training Dashboard – to the online exam. You are allowed 30 minutes for this online exam, which involves answering 10 multiple choice questions. You will be required to nominate an invigilator. Candidates completing the online exam are required to do so in the presence of an MRCVS (this can be a DVM for overseas students), an RVN, a doctor or a lawyer. Both the candidate and invigilator will be required to sign the disclaimer and give their professional membership number before the online exam takes place. Any false certification, including the impersonation of another MRCVS or violation of any of the "ISVPS Rules for Examination Candidates", may be reported to the RCVS (or corresponding authority for overseas students) for investigation as potential professional misconduct, and may result in disciplinary action being taken against the candidate by ISVPS, or the revocation of the relevant status with APHA or RCVS.

Once you have passed, you will be able to download a certificate of achievement.

If you fail the exam you have two opportunities to resit. A week is allowed for further study and you do not have access to resit the exam until after this week. If you fail for a third time your status will be revoked and you will have to take and pass the full OCQ(V) - CA course to regain your OV status.


You will be asked to provide evidence of relevant CPD that you have undertaken to support this field of work. You will be expected to have completed at least 10 hours of relevant CPD within the revalidation cycle, which can include the 3 hours spent on the revalidation course and any additional time spent completing case logs and certification exercises for the revalidation course (no more than 1 hour per exercise).

CPD should be recorded on your Personal Training Dashboard and you may want to start updating it now and do this as you go along, rather than waiting for revalidation to begin. Whilst the CPD should be relevant to this OCQ(V) - CA, it is possible to use the same CPD for other OCQ(V)s. Please highlight which of your OCQ(V)s each CPD activity applies to.  

After taking the online exam, you will be asked to confirm that ‘In this revalidation cycle, I have undertaken at least 10 hours of CPD that is relevant to the OCQ(V) - CA and have completed my CPD log on my Personal Training Dashboard to evidence this.’ You will not be automatically revalidated until you can tick this statement.

The type of activities that would count as relevant CPD for the OCQ(V) - CA are:

  • Reading the OV Export Instructions on the APHA Vet Gateway
  • Reading instructions relating to the Pet Travel Scheme
  • Reading information on policy changes provided via the APHA Briefing Notes
  • Reading relevant articles in veterinary publications, e.g. relating to exotic diseases and notifiable diseases
  • Attending the annual OV Conference
  • Attending relevant pharmaceutical company CPD, e.g. preventative parasitic treatments
  • Reading relevant articles in the OV section of Veterinary Practice
  • Mentoring other OVs who are new to OCQ(V) - CA work
  • Other relevant conferences and congresses or day courses

Case logs

You are required to provide 3 examples of your use of companion animal export skills. To do this you must complete any combination of the following (3 in total):

  • A description of an export that went ahead successfully.
  • An example of when you provided advice and guidance to a client on a proposed export
  • Complete certification exercises 

Your examples should include evidence of how you implemented the principles of certification.

If your export work involves regular repetitious examples, please try and ensure that you describe cases where there was some specific issue or problem, including details of where you needed to use problem-solving skills or research in order to complete the certification process.

Where possible include reflection upon communications and feedback from your colleagues, clients or APHA, and again record how you have learnt from this and made appropriate changes for future practice.

The case log does not need to contain a lot of words – bullet points are fine.

You should also use the principles described by the RCVS in the Code of Professional Conduct – 'clinical governance' (for both the individual vet and the practice team) as guidance.

You will find the certification exercises at the end of the online course. The answer template for these should be uploaded to your Personal Training Dashboard in the 'case log' section.

For further support and guidance, please go to the relevant section of your Personal Training Dashboard and download the guidance notes. These will also be found in the revalidation course.

It is advisable to prepare evidence for your case logs, in advance, by recording particularly interesting cases.  

Internal Verification (IV)

Once you have passed the online exam and ticked all the declaration boxes to confirm compliance and completion of your case logs and CPD record, your revalidation will proceed automatically and you will be able to download new certificates of authorisation. However, there will be a process of internal verification of the CPD records and case logs/certification exercises by the awarding body, ISVPS. ISVPS will sample 10% of CPD records and case logs/certification exercises within 1 month of completion of all revalidation requirements. If your CPD record or case logs/certification exercises are in the sample chosen and do not meet the required standard, you will be contacted by ISVPS and offered an opportunity to update them to a satisfactory condition. If they are updated satisfactorily within 1 month, then no further action will be required. However, if they are not updated satisfactorily within the required time, this will be reported to APHA, who will review your case and may suspend or revoke your OV status. Please note – the ultimate jurisdiction lies with APHA.

Final declarations

Once you have passed the online examination you will asked to confirm the declarations below:

I confirm that:

  1. In this revalidation cycle, I have undertaken at least 10 hours of CPD that is relevant to the OCQ(V) - CA and have completed my CPD log on my Personal Training Dashboard to evidence this.
  2. I have uploaded 3 representative cases/certification exercises in my field of work and understand that this case log may be subject to internal verification within 1 month of my completing revalidation.
  3. I have self-reflected on any feedback I have received from colleagues, clients or APHA.
  4. I consider that my knowledge of my legal and professional responsibilities is current.
  5. I have accessed the latest version of the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct and refreshed my knowledge of the following sections: Clinical Governance and Certification.
  6. I have accessed the OV Instructions within the last year.
  7. I have checked that my personal contact details, including my unique email address, are up to date and that I have been receiving OV communications.
  8. My signature is uploaded and is both clear and correct. (You can check your signature by downloading a certificate of authorisation. If you need to update your signature you can replace the one you originally uploaded by going to the 'Update details' section.) 


If you are considering completing a PgC then you should complete the full OCQ(V) - CA instead of the revalidation course.


If you currently hold the OCQ(V) - SX (Small Animal Exports) and relevant prerequisite courses – OCQ(V) - ES and OCQ(V) - EX – and you wish to complete the OCQ(V) - CA revalidation instead, you may do this if it meets the requirements of the work you carry out. Please email or phone 0330 202 0380 to request this transfer. Please note that should you complete the OCQ(V) - CAr and then wish to hold the OCQ(V) - SX qualification again in the future, you will have to complete the full OCQ(V) - SX course, along with any prerequisites that are not already held.

Revalidation fee

£99 + VAT

Please see the Revalidation page for further information.

Registered users

AHP Training

For Animal Health Paraprofessional training, visit

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.

Getting started

New OV registration

How to gain an OCQ(V) qualification and become an OV


Register online to gain access to OCQ(V) training and revalidation

Latest updates

2020 OV Conference dates announced, Sept 29th and 30th

Register now for exclusive discounted rates. Book here.

Independent, confidential and free help for everyone in the veterinary community.