Official Controls Qualification
(Veterinary) OCQ(V)

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About the OCQ(V)s

There is no requirement to be a vet to undertake OCQ(V) training or to hold an OCQ(V) qualification, but only vets holding an OCQ(V) qualification and who are full members of the RCVS and are working in GB can be authorised as APHA Official Veterinarians (OVs). OVs holding OCQ(V)s and working in other countries that recognise the qualifications – such as Jersey – will receive OV authorisation through their own government department. There is no limit to the number of OCQ(V)s that you can hold.

While you may find it useful to consult the APHA website in relevant areas (see useful links), no compulsory work is required before enrolling. It is expected, however, that you will keep your knowledge up to date in order to help prepare for revalidation

The table below gives an overview of the OCQ(V)s. Please click on the link on the left-hand side for a fuller explanation of each, plus see the FAQs for a summary of the difference between CA and SX:

OCQ(V) Summary of content
Essential Skills

This course is a prerequisite for all the other OCQ(V)s with the exception of the OCQ(V) - CA. 

Topics include:

  • The basics of state veterinary medicine
  • Working with the APHA
  • Regulation and statutory control of animal diseases and animal welfare
  • Principles of certification
Tuberculin Testing

This course focuses on tuberculin testing of cattle and other species.

You must also hold the OCQ(V) - ES.

Statutory Surveillance

This course currently includes statutory surveillance activities for ‘endemic’ diseases other than bTB; currently Brucellosis, Anthrax and Sheep Scab. Others may be added.

You must also hold the OCQ(V) - ES.

Exports General

This course is a prerequisite for the other exports courses and may be sufficient in cases where no further training is required (e.g. for the export of insects or live fish). 

It covers:

  • The basics of international trade
  • Export certification and procedures

You must also hold the OCQ(V) - ES.

Small Animal Exports

This course covers the export of small animals. This includes commercial export from zoos and laboratories (excluding those covered by OCQ(V) - UX and OCQ(V) - AX) in addition to companion animals and pet birds. Please click here for more information.

You must also hold the OCQ(V) - ES and OCQ(V) - EX.

Ungulate Exports

This course covers the export of ungulates, including non domesticated ungulates from zoos and laboratories and equidae.

You must also hold the OCQ(V) - ES and OCQ (V) - EX.

Equine Exports

This course covers the export of equidae.

You must also hold the OCQ(V) - ES and OCQ (V) - EX.

Avian Exports

This course covers the export of poultry, including the Poultry Health Scheme and captive birds that are not pets.

You must also hold the OCQ(V) - ES and OCQ(V) - EX.

Product Exports

This course covers the export of animal products, including food for human consumption and animal by-products.

You must also hold the OCQ(V) - ES and OCQ(V) - EX.

Germinal Products Exports

This course covers the export of germinal products, including the supervision of AI centres.

(To comply with new EU legislation the previous name of ‘Germplasm Export’ has changed to ‘Germinal Products Exports’. The course content remains the same, it is only the title that has changed.)

You must also hold the OCQ(V) - ES and OCQ (V) - EX.

Companion Animals

This is a self-contained course specifically designed for companion animal vets with minimal reference to production animal issues. It includes the elements of the OCQ(V) - ES and OCQ(V) - EX that are most relevant to small animal practitioners. This course covers pet passports and the completion of Export Health Certificates. Please click here for further information.

You are not required to hold any other OCQ(V)s before taking this course.


Overview of Prerequisites

Registered users

AHP Training

For Animal Health Paraprofessional training visit

Veterinary Practice magazine

Veterinary Practice magazine is home to the Official Vet column, providing OVs with the latest news and updates from APHA and Improve International as well as featuring interesting articles on topics relevant to the industry.

Getting started

New OV registration

How to gain an OCQ(V) qualification and become an OV


Register online to gain access to OCQ(V) training and revalidation

Latest updates

2019 OV Conference dates announced, Sept 25th and 26th

Register now for exclusive discounted rates. Book here.

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