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Tuberculin Testing revalidation: extension/exemption process

1. APHA introduced a revalidation requirement for OCQ(V) Tuberculin Testing (OCQ(V) TT) to provide assurance that OVs are maintaining and continuously improving their competence and applying the same to their work, this has been implemented to meet international standards of work. All the appointed OVs at the time of the introduction of OCQ(V) were granted 'grandfather rights' under OCQ(V) TT in April 2015 and revalidation was set-up to take place before 1 April 2017.

From 31st January 2019 the revalidation for the OCQ(V) - TT will be required every four years for all OVs completing their revalidation or the main qualification after that date i.e. OVs will need to complete their existing revalidation before entering in the four yearly revalidation cycle.

Revalidation criteria were agreed with the approved training provider and involve the following within each revalidation cycle:

  • Minimum of 10 hours of TB related Continuing Professional Development (CPD). This may include completion of 3 hours OCQ(V) TT online revalidation module. For further information on what qualifies as CPD, please refer to the RCVS guidelines. This may include, but is not limited to (further information and examples may be found on the Improve International website):
    • Herd health planning, as it applies to TB, to improve biosecurity, H&S, or to discuss changes to TB policy with clients
    • Practice meetings/presentations
    • Supervising/teaching TB testers 
  • Completing OCQ(V) TT  online revalidation module training and successfully completing the online assessment.
  • A minimum number of 30 animals tested within the revalidation period.
  • At least ten reactions observed (these do not need to in Reactors or IRs).
  • Completing three TB testing scenario exercises each describing a situation that might be encountered at a TB test where the OV is asked to describe the actions to take and/or the advice to give to the farmer. These are optional and case logs can be completed instead if preferred.
  • Submission of TB testing case logs for a minimum of 30 bovine animals tested on a minimum of three different farms. Case logs do not need to be completed if scenarios are completed instead.
  • Successful Veterinary Delivery Partner audit, APHA audit, or a nominated peer review of testing.
  • Signed Declarations.

For further information, please see the Improve International website.

4. OVs who have extenuating circumstances and are unable to test 30 bovine animals within the revalidation cycle may apply for an extension or exemption from the standard revalidation testing requirements. The following circumstances are given special consideration:

  • OVs on maternity/medical/career break/other leave (greater than three months duration). If an OV is not working at the time of revalidation and is not prepared to revalidate whilst on leave, the OV status is eligible for suspension. The APHA OV Team should be notified when the OV plans to commence leave and when they return to work. An additional six months will be given to complete revalidation of the qualification upon the return to work. Failing to revalidate means that the qualification in question will be revoked and the entire OCQ(V) TT will need to be repeated to regain OV status. The date of subsequent revalidation will be unaltered. If the OV does not notify the OV team and fails to revalidate by their due date their status will be expired. The OV may then appeal for retroactive suspension.
  • TB Assessors/Auditor who no longer TB test.
  • If there is another valid reason to seek extension/exemption from the standard testing revalidation requirements, this may be considered by APHA. APHA may make further enquiries and check records, as appropriate.

5. If an OV will be able to fulfil the standard revalidation testing requirements with a six months’ extension then the OV should apply for an ‘Extension of revalidation period’ (extension of revalidation is not available for OVs working in Scotland, please see ‘Exemption from standard revalidation protocol’ below). This will allow an additional six months of testing but will not reset the future OCQ(V) TT revalidation cycle date. An application should be submitted in writing to the OV Team (email: OVTeam@apha.gov.uk) and should include:

  • Declaration that the OCQ (V) TT online revalidation module training, completion of the three TB scenarios exercises (unless case logs are submitted) and successful completion of the online assessment will be reported to the OV Team within 30 working days from the extension approval date.  Failure to comply with this requirement will invalidate the extension.
  • Declaration that a minimum of 10 hours of relevant CPD will be completed once the OCQ(V) TT online revalidation module training is completed, as per standard revalidation protocol.
  • Case logs, as described in the standard revalidation protocol, of testing completed to date of application for extension, unless the TB scenarios exercises have been completed.
  • At least ten reactions observed (these do not need to be Reactors or IR's).
  • Successful Veterinary Delivery Partner audit, APHA audit, or a nominated peer review of testing or a declaration that this will be arranged within the extension period.

For further information, please see the Improve International website.

6. If an OV will not be able to fulfil the revalidation criteria with a 6 month extension, then the OV may apply for an ‘Exemption from standard revalidation protocol’.  An application should be submitted in writing to OV Team (email: OVTeam@apha.gov.uk) and should include the following declarations (a) AND evidence (b):
a.  Declarations:

  • Declaration that the OCQ (V) TT online revalidation module training, completion of the three TB scenarios exercises (unless case logs are submitted) and successful completion of the online assessment will be reported to the OV Team within 30 working days from the exemption approval date.  Failure to comply with this requirement will invalidate the exemption.
  • Declaration that a minimum of 10 hours of relevant CPD will be completed once the OCQ(V) TT online revalidation module training is completed, as per standard revalidation protocol.
  • Reason the OCQ(V) TT revalidation process cannot be followed.

b. Supporting evidence of testing history i.e case logs (unless the TB scenarios exercises have been completed) and satisfactory testing assessment must be included with the application. The type of evidence required is based on the applicant’s reason for requesting an exemption:

  • Case logs of testing completed during the current revalidation cycle. For additional information on what should be included in the case logs, please see the Improve International website.
  • Case logs of  testing completed to date of application for exemption.
  • For exemption due to TB assessor/auditor status (OVs who do not currently TB test) - An assessment log (minimum of five assessments) will be required.
  • Evidence of a satisfactory testing assessment done within the current two year’s revalidation cycle by a peer with a full/revalidated OCQ(V) TT, compliant APHA and/or Veterinary Delivery Partner audit (either individual or LRA audit day).  Specific conditions apply based on the exemption reason:
  • For exemption due to TB assessor/auditor status (OVs who do not currently TB test) - A declaration not to test and successful completion of a witnessed assessment, either peer reviewed or APHA will be required.

7. When the OV applies for an extension/exemption, the APHA OV Team will assess the application. If supporting evidence is required, the OV Team will request additional information within 10 working days from receipt of the application. Applying for an extension/exemption does not extend the revalidation deadline.  If notification of approval has not been received prior to the revalidation deadline, the OV status is suspended immediately pending approval. It is advisable that an extension/exemption application is made at least one month in advance of the OCQ(V) TT revalidation deadline.  

8. In the case of an OV appealing the decision of the OV Team, the OV must notify the OV team in writing within 15 days of suspension/notification.  The OV must send a copy of the original application and the statement for grounds of appeal which will be forwarded to a Review Panel consisting of two APHA representatives. A decision will be made by the Review Panel within 15 working days and the OV will be notified of the outcome. The OV’s status remains suspended, if revalidation deadline has passed, throughout the review/appeal process.

9. The OV has a right to appeal against the Review Panel’s decision. This must be received at the APHA OV Team within 28 days of receipt of the Review Panel’s notification. The appeal must be in writing detailing the grounds for an appeal. The Review Panel’s decision and grounds for appeal by the OV will be considered by two APHA Veterinary Advisors for Field Delivery (VAFD) from the relevant region. A decision will be made by the VAFDs within 15 working days and the OV will be informed of the outcome. The VAFD’s decision is final.  If the appeal is not granted (extension/exemption application approved), the OV’s OCQ(V) TT is revoked until the full OCQ(V) TT training with ‘Conditional’ OV status is completed.

10. If an OV does not meet the Standard, Extension, or Exemption criteria of Revalidation, then the OV’s OCQ(V) TT is revoked until the full OCQ(V) TT training with ‘Conditional’ OV status is completed.

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