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InFocus

New information and extended deadlines for OV exports courses

To ensure that OVs are able to stay up to date with post-Brexit regulations, OCQ(V) exports courses are being reviewed and amended as necessary, with six courses updated so far and three in development, and select revalidation deadlines have been extended

As all Official Veterinarians (OVs) who certify animals and products for export will be aware, the UK’s exit from the EU has resulted in a great many changes to legislation, requirements and procedures.

Since the end of the transition period, Improve International has been working with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) to review new information and update the Official Controls Qualification (Veterinary) (OCQ(V)) exports courses as necessary.

So far, the following courses (and related revalidation courses) have been updated:

  • OCQ(V) – FA (Farm Animal Exports) – new course released January 2021
  • OCQ(V) – EX (Exports General) – updated February 2021
  • OCQ(V) – CA (Companion Animals) – updated April 2021
  • OCQ(V) – PX (Product Exports) – updated May 2021
  • OCQ(V) – EQ (Equine Exports) – updated August 2021
  • OCQ(V) – SX (Small Animal Exports) – updated August 2021

Those courses yet to be updated are:

  • OCQ(V) – UX (Ungulate Exports) – scheduled for 6 October 2021
  • OCQ(V) – GX (Germinal Products Exports) – TBC
  • OCQ(V) – AX (Avian Exports) – TBC
All affected OVs are emailed in the weeks before and after courses are updated and should therefore have received notifications to their personal email address. OVs should ensure that their contact details are up to date and that enquiries@improve-ov.com is listed as a contact so that they do not miss these notifications and should contact the Improve OV Team if they are still not receiving emails.

Extensions to revalidation deadlines

As a means of ensuring that OVs with revalidations due have enough time to complete the updated courses, APHA has applied extensions to several deadlines. These affect OVs who were due to revalidate:

  • EQ before 8 November 2021 – for these OVs, the due date has now been extended to 9 November 2021
  • AX, GX, SX or UX before 30 December 2021 – for these OVs, the due date has now been extended to 31 December 2021

No other revalidation due dates will change. For confirmation, OVs should see Briefing Note 34/21.

Access to courses

OVs have continued access to the most recent version of any course(s) that they are enrolled on, right up until six months before their next revalidation due date (at which point they will need to enrol on their revalidation course in order to regain access to training material). They should therefore consider the courses to be a continued resource for reference and to check back for recent updates.

Upon returning to a course, OVs may find that the course appearance is very different from the version that they originally studied. However, they should be assured that it is still the same qualification and they are not required to retake the online examination.

Example certificates

In each updated course, an example export health certificate (EHC) and/or animal health certificate (AHC) to the EU has been provided, along with a quick reference guide for completion to be used alongside the notes for guidance (NFG). Copies of these may be printed for reference, but OVs must be aware that updates are still likely and they must regularly check recent NFGs and the latest guidance to ensure that they are not using out-of-date information.

Other sources of information

Although the course updates aim to provide OVs with the knowledge and confidence they need to continue certifying exports under the new legislation, there are other useful sources of information available as well.

The Exports Forum hosted on the online learning platform is one such resource. Here, OVs can view previous forum discussions, ask questions and share knowledge and past experiences with their peers.

This year’s OV Conference Online will also feature a number of presentations and Q&A sessions related to new export certification requirements introduced since EU Exit. You can view the full programme and buy tickets online.

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