Official Controls Qualification
(Veterinary) OCQ(V)

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Veterinary Public Health: the basics of state veterinary medicine


Improvement of animal health and welfare are crucial aspects of government policy; the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) exists in order to implement the policy, and to react to incidents and outbreaks. Although veterinary public health is, in fact, a daily function of every vet in the country, APHA vets specialise in this, and apply their veterinary and legal skills in dealing with a wide variety of situations.

This course offers a selection of different learning materials, intended to raise your awareness of APHA activities. As one of the main employers of vets in Great Britain, there are many different roles, and on completion you will have an improved knowledge of these varied roles, together with some more detailed knowledge of the legal frameworks.

This course gives 20 hours of CPD.


On completion, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the application of legislation in the maintenance of animal health and welfare.
  2. Apply epidemiological principles to the control of endemic and exotic disease.
  3. Assess a wide range of policies which promote public health.

The course includes elements relating to the roles and responsibilities of a government veterinary service, the basic principles of legislative powers used in state veterinary medicine, veterinary ethics, and certification, veterinary public health, epidemiology and investigation skills, principles of disease control, current animal health issues and animal welfare.

Who should be completing this course?

All APHA vets are expected to complete this course. For new recruits, the timescale should be agreed with your line manager.

Non-APHA vets might be interested in completing this course if employment with APHA is an aspiration.


If you work for APHA, you will have access to the relevant instructions, and costs will be met by the organisation. If you are not an APHA employee, you should first register and then pay for the course enrolment fee, which is £199 + VAT.

For Animal Health Paraprofessional training, please visit:

Counts of OVs Authorised by APHA in GB




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