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Revalidation Explained – what it means for the Official Vet

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01 October 2015, at 12:00am

Revalidation is an Official Veterinarian’s (OV’s) opportunity to demonstrate ongoing competence for the duties they perform on behalf of the Animal and Plant Health Authority (APHA).

Revalidation is an Official Veterinarian’s (OV’s) opportunity to demonstrate ongoing competence for the duties they perform on behalf of the Animal and Plant Health Authority (APHA). Other professions have introduced revalidation and, while it may not be a requirement for many aspects of veterinary practice, it is recognised good practice to ensure that we all remain up to date with the latest policies, advice and techniques for the work that we do.

It is also important that OVs are confident that their knowledge is up-to-date when they carry out an official function, not least to have a defence should something go wrong, and it is considered essential for duties discharged on behalf of government in order to meet international standards and is crucial to maintain our international trade.

For this reason APHA introduced a revalidation requirement for OCQ(V)s to provide assurance that OVs are maintaining and continuously improving their competence and applying the same to their work.  Having a revalidation process ensures high standards are maintained throughout the career of an OV and can contribute towards their annual CPD requirements. 

Revalidation Periods 

There is a revalidation period for each OCQ(V) ranging from two to five years. To retain the qualification it is necessary to successfully complete revalidation training before the end of the revalidation period. 

Improve International will notify OVs when this is approaching so it is important for all contact data to be kept up to date on the OV registration database, www. improve-ov.com, and it is the OV’s responsibility to do so. It is also an OV’s responsibility to be aware when revalidation is due.  The expiry date is determined from the date which an individual passed either the original OCQ(V), or from 1st April 2015 if granted the OCQ(V) by grandfather rights.  

OVs may apply to take the revalidation module up to two months before expiry of the OCQ(V) certificate without changing the revalidation date in the future and we recommend that it is not left until the last minute. OVs will need to ensure they have enough time to complete all the requirements before the expiry date. 

If OVs do not complete revalidation within the permitted time frame their status will be revoked by APHA. If this happens they will be informed by email from APHA and will not be allowed to use the relevant OCQ(V) or those for which it is a prerequisite, meaning they will be unable to continue to carry out OV work.  Once revoked they will have to enrol and successfully complete the full OCQ(V) to regain their status.  There will be an appeals process dependent on any exceptional or mitigating circumstances, and the final decision will rest with APHA. 

If you are in the process of revalidating, but have not successfully completed it before the deadline, e.g. you are waiting to retake your exam, then you will have one month from the revalidation date in order to complete the process. During this time your status will be suspended and you will be unable to use your OCQ(V) or any of the prerequisites, however if you successfully revalidate within this month, your status will go back to normal without it being revoked. 

What does Revalidation involve? 

The revalidation process is not likely to contain a great deal of taught information compared to the full OCQ(V) but OVs are expected to keep a case log and to record relevant CPD undertaken.  It is important that OVs are aware of this requirement and are able to access their own case log and CPD folder once registered.

Revalidation is undertaken by accessing the online training module, via the individual OV’s personal training dashboard. Everyone studies at their own pace but the revalidation course will equate to three hours of CPD. OVs may access the training in their own time and it does not have to be completed in one go. When complete they are then required to take a short on line exam and once successful will be able to download a certificate. If OVs are unsuccessful with their revalidation exam, they will have an opportunity for two retakes before their status is revoked and they will have to take the full qualification again. 

CPD 

You will also be asked to provide evidence of relevant CPD you have undertaken to support this field of work. This should be done via your personal training dashboard and we recommend updating it as you go along, rather than wait for revalidation to begin.

Whilst the CPD should be relevant to this OCQ(V) in question, it is possible to use the same CPD for other OCQ(V)s. Please highlight which of your OCQ(V)s each CPD applies to. 

Case Logs 

Most of the OCQ(V)s will also require a case log being uploaded. The requirement for each will be clearly defined and the case log does not need to contain a lot of words plus any appropriate scanned copies of documentation, photographs etc.

Ideally it will include reflection upon communications and feedback from peers/team members, experienced colleagues, and clients, and how appropriate changes have been made for future practice. It may also include any APHA audits or similar feedback. OVs should also use the principles described by the RCVS in the Code of Professional Conduct - clinical governance for the individual vet and the practice team, as guidance.

Final Declarations 

Once OVs have successfully passed the online examination and completed the relevant CPD and Case logs, they will be asked to tick some online declarations to confirm they are remaining update with relevant OV procedures and practices.

Internal Verification (IV) 

There will be a process of internal verification of the CPD and case logs by the awarding body, ESVPS. 

Pricing 

The revalidation modules will cost £99 plus VAT which works out on average around £27 plus VAT per year across all the OCQ(V)s.

The OCQ(V) TT revalidation module is already live; the remaining modules are due live in Autumn 2015 and all OVs will be emailed well in advance with further clarification, however, in the meantime if there are any further queries please contact the OV Customer Services Manager at enquiries@improve-ov.com or call us on 0330 202 0380.