Official Controls Qualification
(Animal Health Paraprofessional) OCQ(AHP)


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Approved Tuberculin Tester Qualification - OCQ(AHP) - ATT

The Approved Tuberculin Tester course provides the training required for a paraprofessional to conduct TB skin testing of cattle in England, under the direction of an Approved Veterinary Supervisor (AVS). This course will initially be run as a pilot trial with a limited number of OV Practices. Only those Practices which have been nominated by APHA will be eligible to enrol on the course during the pilot.

The minimum requirements for registration for the Approved Tuberculin Tester (ATT) course are:

  • to be employed in England (ATTs in private practice will not be authorised in Scotland or Wales)
  • to have a minimum of 6 months' cattle handling experience; and either
  • (a) 3 GCSEs or equivalent qualifications in English, mathematics, and a science or food production subject OR (b) 3 years' performance in a government regulatory role, e.g. Local Authority Inspector or Environmental Health Officer.

Please see the Supervisor Requirements page for more details on eligibility checks.

The ATT course covers:

  1. Working on behalf of the Government
  2. The legal basis for the control of TB in England
  3. TB control measures used in England
  4. How to carry out TB testing on cattle in full compliance with APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) Tuberculosis Testing Instructions and Standard Operating Procedures
  5. How to correctly identify all test reactions (and other suspicious signs of disease) at each TB test undertaken and refer to an AVS for interpretation according to the Tuberculosis Testing Instructions issued by APHA
  6. How to initiate and complete post TB test procedures for cattle appropriate to the results and as required by APHA
  7. How to complete and process official TB paperwork and certification for cattle in compliance with both legal and APHA requirements

The qualification requires each candidate to complete the following phases:

  • Study the online course
  • Pass the end of course exam
  • Receive conditional authorisation from APHA
  • Nominate an Approved Veterinary Supervisor (AVS)
  • Conduct practical TB testing under the direct and continuous supervision of the AVS until all practical training requirements have been achieved
  • Pass a Practical Assessment with Improve International
  • Receive full authorisation by APHA to TB test under the direction of the AVS

ATTs with full authorisation will be required to:

  • Be audited by their AVS 6 months after passing their Practical Assessment
  • Revalidate their qualification every 2 years
  • Have random audits from the Veterinary Delivery Partnership and by APHA

 

Registration

To study the ATT course you must first register in the AHP database. When you register you will be asked to nominate your employer or a representative of your employer who will confirm your right to work and eligibility for the qualification.

The person you nominate will receive an email asking them to confirm that the checks have been completed and that you fulfil the requirements. You will be notified by email when this confirmation has been made. You will then be able to log in and enrol on the ATT course.

Candidates nominated to take part in the pilot trial will be given a code to use as payment when they register and enrol on the course.

Registration fee

  • Registration for OCQ(AHP) courses                    £59 plus VAT

There is a one-off fee for registration. Registration must be done on an individual basis and must be accepted before you can enrol and access the OCQ(AHP) courses. See the Registration information section for more details.

Enrolment fees

  • OCQ(AHP) - ATT online course                            £149 plus VAT
  • OCQ(AHP) - ATT Practical Assessment               £600 plus VAT (2 day assessment)

Payment for the OCQ(AHP) - ATT Practical Assessment can be made when you have passed the online exam and before you book the Practical Assessment. This payment can be made direct from your Personal Training Dashboard.

Retake fees

  • OCQ(AHP) - ATT online exam retake                    £49 plus VAT
  • OCQ(AHP) - ATT Practical Assessment retake     £600 plus VAT (2 day assessment)

Employers of 20 or more OVs and AHPs

Whilst it is required that each AHP registers individually, employers of 20 or more AHPs and OVs may apply, in advance, for group invoicing facilities. If your employer would like to apply for group invoicing facilities, please ask your accounts department to email Improve International. It takes up to 2 working days to set up this facility. If your employer already has a group invoicing facility they will provide you with an invoice code to use when you are asked for payment at registration and enrolment. Your employer will be invoiced by Improve International for each use of their invoice code.

How do I access the training?

The training is accessed via your own Personal Training Dashboard, once you are registered and enrolled on the course. The training can be done at a time to suit you, over more than one session, and is followed by an invigilated, online, multiple choice exam.

How long does the training take?

The length of time it takes to complete the online course depends on your pace of study, but will take in the region of 10 hours for the OCQ(AHP) - ATT course.

Practical requirements for the OCQ(AHP) - ATT course

The OCQ(AHP) - ATT online course is followed by a period of TB testing under the direct and continuous supervision of your AVS. You will be given conditional authorisation by APHA, which allows you to start your practical training. When you have completed all the practical requirements of the course there is a Practical Assessment with an Improve International Assessor, which you must pass to be awarded your full qualification. The maximum period that you can hold conditional authorisation for is 6 months, but it is expected that you will have completed sufficient TB tests to take your Practical Assessment much sooner. Please see the Practical Training for ATTs page for more details.

Authorisation by the APHA

The APHA will be notified automatically, through this website, that you have passed the exam and will process your authorisation for AHP status, a process which takes up to 10 working days. You cannot start work while you are waiting for authorisation. Once your authorisation is granted, you will be notified by email and will be able to download your certificate of conditional authorisation from your Personal Training Dashboard.

Once authorised as a conditional ATT you will work under the direct and continuous supervision of your AVS until you have fulfilled all the testing requirements and completed your Practical Assessment. Please contact Improve International in good time to ensure there are no delays in arranging this. APHA require a further 5 working days after you have passed your Practical Assessment to award you your full ATT authorisation. During this time you may continue to test in the presence of your AVS.

When you have been awarded your full ATT authorisation you may test alone but under the direction of your AVS. You will be able to download your authorisation certificate from your Personal Training Dashboard.

Please see the Practical Training for ATTs page for more details.

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