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OV TB Testing Audit


APHA Veterinary Heads of Field Delivery/Veterinary Leads

1. APHA Veterinary Heads of Delivery (VHoFD)/Veterinary Lead Scotland (VLS)/Veterinary Lead Wales (VLW):

  • selection of APHA Veterinary staff for carrying out audits in liaison with APHA Field Delivery Managers (FDMs)
  • selection of criteria for practices (Scotland) and individual OVs for audit
  • ensuring that auditors are familiar with TB testing procedures and field audit requirements before carrying out any audits
  • ensuring that the auditors have themselves been successfully audited under the APHA Quality Assurance (QA) programme
  • ensuring a review of all audit findings
  • ensuring appropriate sanctions are taken to address unsatisfactory visits
  • ensuring a letter is sent to the DP Senior OV/practice principal, detailing the audit findings and action taken or required
  • ensuring a copy of the report is sent to the OV Team in One Health Customer Service Centre (CSC) and Regulatory Affairs, Compliance and Enforcement (RACE) Team
  • ensuring appropriate Regional communications with OVs and representative farming bodies
  • notifying the OV Team of Official Controls Qualification (OCQ)(V) TT members who no longer carry out TB testing.

Selecting Official Veterinarians/TB Tests for Audit

1. Individual OVs may be selected for audit on the basis of intelligence and/or data that raises concerns about their TB testing performance. Attention will primarily be directed towards OV practices or individuals who deliver a high volume of testing and/or where testing outcomes differ from the regional norm. The following are examples of warning indicators that would trigger a field audit visit:

  • a request for intervention and/or support from a DP or OV practice
  • following retraining of an OV temporarily removed from OCQ(V) - TT
  • high OV practice and/or individual OV TB testing volumes
  • testing data e.g. no increases in skin thickness recorded or consistently high numbers of cattle tested by a single operator
  • local intelligence including farmer complaints, persistent errors on test reports
  • where there is a poor level of understanding and/or engagement with standards or process by an OV practice or an individual OV
  • when evidence of non-compliance is found within the DP or OV practice in relation to the management of TB testing. VHoFD/VLS/VLW have discretion to audit OVs employed
  • testers of high risk herd in Scotland (OVs that do post movement testing and annual Whole Herd Test (WHT) in Scotland)
  • practices which do not notify test dates consistently on Sam.

2. DP organisations in England and Wales and OV practices in Scotland are required to enter the TB test dates on Sam, as they are arranged. The local APHA office may contact a DP or OV practice for a list of TB tests arranged for that week and the week following.

3. If tests are not pre-notified, this will be taken into account in targeting of subsequent tests. The following details will be required:

  • CPH and name of farmer
  • location of test
  • date and start time of test (Day One)
  • date and start time of reading (Day Two)
  • number of animals
  • name of OV.

Record Keeping

1. APHA will maintain a record of audits completed containing the following information:

  • office
  • zone
  • audit date
  • farmer's name
  • CPH reference
  • OV Sam customer ID
  • OV name
  • practice name
  • annual animal tests for OV
  • auditor
  • TT1 or TT2
  • arrival time
  • departure time
  • outcome
  • non-compliances
  • overall assessment
  • sanctions.

Failure to Comply with Audit Requirements

1. Failure to comply with audit will result in written notification from APHA of a four month deadline by which the audit must be completed. Failure to complete by the deadline will result in suspension of the OV’s OCQ(V) - TT authorisation, other than in exceptional circumstances. An audit will be required before the authorisation is fully re-instated.

2. In order to facilitate audit, all OVs must ensure that accurate information is provided regarding the tests that they intend to complete. This information must be provided via Sam or, if the OV is not an authorised Sam user, by submitting a Bovine TB Testing Notification Template (TB216), as soon as the test is confirmed and immediately updated if it changes.