Official vets

Official vets (OVs) are veterinary surgeons appointed by government to carry out authorised duties on its behalf. They are not employees of the Minister but are rather appointed under the terms of a Memorandum. The work performed by OVs is normally of a statutory nature and is often undertaken at public expense.

Following a tendering exercise in 2014, OV services, including TB testing in cattle, non-bovines, brucellosis testing, anthrax investigations, and disease outbreak response are now provided by Delivery Partners using a network of subcontracted veterinary practices in England and Wales.

In 2014 the contract for the training and revalidation of OVs was awarded to Improve International.

Please note that as from 1 June 2018 APHA have reinstated the revalidation of OCQ(V) export related qualifications.

APHA have reinstated the revalidation of OCQ(V)s AX, EQ, GX, PX and UX. The revalidation process must be completed by 1 August 2018.

Revalidation of OCQ(V)s SS and TT will continue as planned.

For more information, see the APHA briefing note - Revalidation of OCQ(V) export related modules

Revalidation of Official Vet qualifications

We’re aware of member concerns around the revalidation requirements for OCQ(V)s and understand that this could have a detrimental impact on the UK’s ability to respond to disease outbreak and service export certification needs both now and post-Brexit. We recently asked you to complete a survey telling us which qualifications you hold, or have dropped, and why.

The response rate was unprecedented, with almost 1300 of you getting in touch, citing expiry of grandfather rights and the onerous and repetitive nature of the training as key reasons for deciding to drop your qualifications. Read the summary results of the OV revalidation survey (PDF 241 KB).

We are incredibly grateful to everyone who took part, providing us with some invaluable data to discuss with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), which is exactly what we have done.

We are now in the process of developing some proposals for improvements to the content and structure of the modules to reduce duplication, ensure relevance (for example, removal of the equine element within the module for Ungulate exports), and ensure that the training more accurately reflects the real-life experience of OV work. We will keep you updated as that progresses, and as always, we continue to welcome your input via

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