AMTRA: ‘SQP’ will remain as official title
‘Suitably Qualified Person’ (SQP) will remain as the official and legal title of those qualifying through the Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority (AMTRA), the organisation has confirmed.
Other descriptions of the role however, such as Animal Medicines Advisor, and Animal Health Advisor, can be useful in explaining to the public what an SQP does, though AMTRA advises against abbreviating those into new acronyms.
Stephen Dawson, Secretary General of AMTRA, said businesses should have the freedom to use a description they feel is appropriate, but it was important to bear in mind that SQP remains the official title.
“There has been a lot of debate about how we should describe an SQP to the public in a way that is clear, descriptive and accurate. Various phrases have come into use, and I believe that businesses should describe their employees in a way that is relevant to their customers. However, SQP remains the official and legal title, enshrined in the Veterinary Medicines Regulations, in the “S” of the POM-VPS and NFA-VPS medicines categories, and in the Higher Education qualification that underpins SQPs,” he said.
At a recent AMTRA Council meeting members voted for the description ‘Animal Medicines Advisor’ to accompany AMTRA literature, bearing in mind the core of the SQP role and qualification is focused on safe and effective use of medicines.
Mr Dawson added: “The title of SQP remains the same. The important thing is to increase understanding among customers of the training and qualification of the person who gives them medicines advice.”
Notes for Editors
AMTRA is an independent regulatory body whose task it is to ensure that the prescription and supply of VPS animal medicines in the UK is undertaken in a responsible manner by AMTRA qualified persons. Under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations, AMTRA is the body appointed by the Secretary of State to keep a register of Suitably Qualified Persons. AMTRA's tasks include: working with Harper Adams University College to develop and maintain a qualification syllabus at Higher Education Level 4 which meets the needs of SQPs and the requirements of the Secretary of State working with training centres to support course provision provision of information and advice to SQPs maintenance of the Register of SQPs monitoring and accreditation of continuing professional development for SQPs regulation of professional conduct (including powers to suspend registration or strike off the Register for misconduct). SQPs are permitted under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations to prescribe and supply medicines classified as POM-VPS and NFA-VPS – these are medicines used to control and prevent effects of endemic disease in herds, flocks or individual animals, for example certain vaccines and products against internal and external parasites, where there are risks for the user/animal/consumer/environment but these can be moderated by oral & written advice from professional non-vets. There are over 4600 SQPs, all of whom have passed specifically designed Higher Education exams. Of these, more than 500 work in veterinary practices, the remainder in country stores, equine suppliers and pet shops. More about AMTRA can be found on its website at www.amtra.org.uk
Issued on behalf of AMTRA by Kendalls Communications.
For further information please contact: Henry Creagh – Tel: 01394 610022