Official Controls Qualification
(Veterinary) OCQ(V)

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OCQ(V) - TT (Tuberculin Testing)

Important information regarding the OCQ(V) - TT

Relevant for all enrolments since 2nd November 2020

There is a separate charge for the Practical Assessment, which must be paid before the Practical Assessment takes place. The candidate must give Improve International at least six weeks' notice when booking a Practical Assessment. There is no guarantee that a Practical Assessment will take place before the candidate’s deadline if this length of notice is not given.

The time allowed from the granting of conditional authorisation to passing the Practical Assessment is four months. If a candidate has not met the criteria for a Practical Assessment by the four-month deadline, they may apply for an extension. Before applying, the candidate must:

  • have an on-farm assessment carried out by their Supervisor between two and four months after the date their conditional authorisation was granted. A declaration by the Supervisor that the assessment has been completed must be uploaded with their case logs before the end of the four-month window. 

  • provide a declaration of the reason for requiring an extension.

If they have not reached the criteria for the numbers of cattle tested or reactions seen and the Supervisor assessment has been completed, an automatic four-month extension will be given.

For any other reason, the request will be referred to APHA.

Candidates who fail to either complete their Practical Assessment or apply for an extension by the end of the four-month window will have their conditional authorisation expired.

Candidates who are granted an extension may apply for a second extension if they are still unable to fulfil the criteria for an assessment, provided that they repeat the steps described above.

Any subsequent request for an extension will be at the discretion of APHA, where they consider there are exceptional or mitigating circumstances.

Vets who only test animals in zoological collections may not need to complete this course. This will depend upon the purpose of the testing that they carry out. Such vets should consult the information on the APHA Vet Gateway for more information.

Click here to access the relevant page on the APHA Vet Gateway or click here to view further information in Briefing Note 43/22.

The OCQ(V) - TT (Tuberculin Testing) covers the tuberculin testing of cattle and other species.*

* Currently the OCQ(V) - TT qualifies you to test cattle and other species such as camelids and deer. However, you must ask for permission from APHA before doing so. In order to give more detailed information on the requirements for testing non-bovines, we also provide a CPD course for testing camelids. You can enrol from your Personal Training Dashboard if you wish to study this course.

Looking for the OCQ(V) - TTr (Tuberculin Testing revalidation) course? Click here

Useful facts for OCQ(V) - TT

Prerequisite OCQ(V)s for TT


OCQ(V)s that TT is a prerequisite for


CPD hours awarded on completion of the course

Eight hours

Revalidation frequency

Every four years

Fee – online course
Fee – Practical Assessment

£199 plus VAT
£450 plus VAT

Course presentation

Online and practical

Overview of training for OCQ(V) - TT


The training for the OCQ(V) - TT is initially provided online. Topics covered include:

  • Essential background information relating to TB, relevant to the responsibilities and role of an OV undertaking TB testing of cattle and other species
  • Detailed procedural training related to TB testing with specific reference to the APHA OV Instructions for TB and SOPs, including hygiene, biosecurity and health and safety requirements
  • Clarification of the legal and professional responsibilities of all vets in relation to compliance with The 10 Principles of Certification, avoidance of conflicts of interest, protection of animal welfare and the management of suspect notifiable disease
  • Familiarisation with Defra, APHA and other websites providing relevant information to refresh knowledge


After this there is an element of practical training and a Practical Assessment. Once you have passed your online exam, you must:

  1. Nominate a Supervisor and complete a Sam declaration form in order to be granted conditional authorisation.
  2. TB test at least 50 animals under the direct and continuous supervision of your Supervisor.
  3. Keep a case log of TB tests carried out.
  4. Be signed off by your Supervisor in order to continue TB testing under direction.
  5. TB test a minimum of 250 animals on at least three different farms during your conditional testing phase. The 50 animals tested under direct and continuous supervision can count towards this total. You must observe at least ten reactions (please note: this is reactions, NOT reactors) and record these in your case log.
  6. Upload your case log to your Personal Training Dashboard to be assessed.
  7. Pay for the Practical Assessment.
  8. Contact Improve International to arrange your Practical Assessment.

If you fail either the online exam or the Practical Assessment, you can pay for a retake.

Improve International will notify APHA once you have passed 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.

Revalidation of OCQ(V) - TT

You are required to undergo revalidation for OCQ(V) - TT every four years.

To view the requirements for the OCQ(V) - TTr (Tuberculin Testing revalidation) course, click here.

Key terms


A nominated Supervisor must be an OV and TB tester who is experienced enough to have the confidence to train the candidate. Supervisors must confirm their acceptance of the role with an electronic signature before the candidate will be granted conditional authorisation to TB test.

Supervisors will be sent a link, via which they can access a short course explaining the role of the Supervisor and sign off different stages of the candidate’s practical training.

The different stages of supervision are as follows:

  1. Direct and continuous personal supervision’ means that the Supervisor is present at the test and giving the conditional OV his/her undivided personal attention during the testing.

  2. Supervision’ means that the Supervisor 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 Supervisor (or any experienced TT OV) is available for support but is not necessarily present at the site.

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Conditional authorisation

Conditional authorisation to start TB testing is granted by APHA. This can take up to ten working days from the date on which APHA received your completed Sam declaration, or from when your Supervisor accepted their role, whichever is the latter. When you have received your conditional authorisation and Sam access, you will then be approved to conduct TB tests under appropriate supervision and direction.

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Case log

During the conditional testing phase, you are expected to maintain a case log of TB tests carried out, recording:

  1. Dates of tests (Day 1 and 2)
  2. Farm address and herd details
  3. Number of animals tested
  4. Reactions to tests – numbers clear, inconclusive and reactors, giving evidence of the reactions seen. (Please note: these are reactions, NOT reactors.)
  5. Supporting evidence such as screenshots from Sam, scans of worksheets, photos, etc.
  6. Comments and reflections relating to the test process itself and what you have learnt
  7. Name and qualifications of Supervisor

This case 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.

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Practical Assessment

The Practical Assessment must be completed within four months of receiving conditional authorisation. Before applying for the Practical Assessment the candidate must have:

  1. tested a minimum of 250 cattle
  2. observed at least ten reactions and included evidence of these in their case log
  3. uploaded their case log to be assessed
  4. been signed off by their Supervisor
  5. paid for their Practical Assessment

This Practical 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 1 and Day 2 test procedures
  • Interpretation of test
  • Record completion and next steps
  • Attitudes and behaviours

Once you are ready to apply for the Practical Assessment, please contact Improve International. We will carry out your Practical Assessment on one of your clients' farms. It is your responsibility, as a conditional OV, to provide us with a number of tests (each with at least 30 cattle) scheduled in your locality and to ensure they can be carried out within four months of receiving your conditional authorisation. Please contact us in good time to ensure that we have an Assessor available on a date that suits both 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 four-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 fulfil the requirements in your four-month window.

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If you fail the online exam, 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 £450 plus VAT applies. The Head of OV Training 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 Practical Assessment, you will have to retake the full OCQ(V) - TT. Additional support via our Head of OV Training will be provided. In addition, where a Practical Assessment is unsuccessful, our Head of OV Training will work with you and your Supervisor, to ensure that you fully understand what is required.

If you fail a second Practical Assessment, you have a right to appeal.

If you fail to organise and complete your Practical Assessment or apply for an extension before the end of your four-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 will be no refund available. If you are unable to complete your Assessment due to exceptional circumstances, such as working in a very low TB area or an injury that prevents you from working, please contact APHA for an extension.

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