Official Controls Qualification
(Veterinary) OCQ(V)

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Assessment and Accreditation


The European School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ESVPS) is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2003 with the remit of accrediting veterinary CPD and awarding a range of certificates on a pan-European basis. ESVPS has over 10 years’ experience in the veterinary industry of running examinations and accrediting courses.

Harper Adams University (HAU) is a higher education institution located in Shropshire and is the UK’s leading specialist provider of higher education for the agri-food chain and rural sector. Established in 1901, HAU has had its own degree-awarding powers since 1996. HAU retains oversight for quality assurance and enhancement and moderates the assessments managed by ESVPS by an appointed external examiner. HAU operates under the Quality Assurance Agency Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


The assessment for each OCQ(V) will be an online exam comprising of 20 multiple choice questions to be completed in 1 hour. For the revalidation OCQ(V)s the online exam will comprise 10 multiple choice questions to be completed in 30 minutes. Each multiple choice question will have 3 distractors and only 1 correct answer. Marks will not be deducted for incorrect answers. 

Candidates can complete the online exam as soon as they have completed the online training and nominated their invigilator.

Online examination conditions:

Candidates completing the online examination are required to do so in the presence of a registered Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS) – this can be a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) for overseas students – or a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN). Candidates may also be invigilated by doctors or lawyers. Both the candidate and invigilator will be required to sign the disclaimer and give their professional membership number before the online examination takes place. Any false certification, including the impersonation of another MRCVS or violation of any of the 'ESVPS Rules for Examination Candidates', may be reported to the RCVS (or corresponding authority for overseas students) for investigation as potential professional misconduct, and may result in disciplinary action being taken against the candidate by ESVPS, or the revocation of the relevant status with APHA or RCVS. 

After passing the online exam, candidates will be issued with a ‘Certificate of Competence’ as a downloadable PDF file. Candidates on the OCQ(V) - TT course will also have to nominate a Supervisor and send in a Sam declaration form after passing the online exam. They will then be issued with a ‘Conditional Certificate of Competence’ until they have completed and passed the Practical Assessment component of the OCQ(V) (please refer to the OCQ(V) - TT section below).

ESVPS Candidate Appeals Procedure

Candidates have the right to appeal any component of the examination.

Appeals based on health grounds or other extenuating circumstances will not be considered unless there was prior notification.

Appeals must:

  • be made via email ( to the ESVPS Examination Secretary,
  • arrive within 30 days of being informed of the adverse result,
  • outline the grounds for appeal in detail.

Appeals received after 30 days will not be considered.

Appeals will be conducted by the ESVPS Examination Committee Chairman. Appeals will be restricted to a review of examination procedures. Outcomes of appeals will be decided and candidates will be notified within 30 days of the appeal being lodged.

Please email ESVPS for the full appeals procedure.

Failure of the online examination:

Candidates have three attempts at passing the OCQ(V) online exam. Candidates who fail the first attempt will not be able to retake the exam for a minimum of 2 weeks (up to a maximum of 3 months). If the retake is not completed within the 3-month timeframe, candidates will be required to retake the OCQ(V) course in full. There is a re-sit fee of £49 plus VAT. Candidates who fail the exam twice should contact the ESVPS office for assistance before undertaking a third attempt and may be required to repeat the online training before they can re-sit the exam again.

OCQ(V) - TT:

Candidates completing the OCQ(V) - TT will be required to pass both the online examination and a Practical Assessment to achieve a Certificate of Competence. The online examination will comprise of 20 multiple choice questions for the full course, or 10 multiple choice questions for the revalidation examination (please refer to the revalidation section).

Conditional candidates will be required to complete a Practical Assessment within 6 months of their conditional authorisation being granted. Candidates will be required to keep a log of their TB testing. This must provide evidence that they have tested at least 250 animals on at least 3 farms and seen a minimum of 10 reactions. The case log must be completed and uploaded to the Personal Training Dashboard before the Practical Assessment can be booked. If you think that you will have a problem completing this requirement, please email

On passing the OCQ(V) - TT Practical Assessment, candidates will be issued with a Certificate of Competence as a downloadable PDF file.

University Credits leading to a Postgraduate Award:

Candidates have the option of applying for and gaining University credits after being awarded selected OCQ(V)s. Each OCQ(V)* carries 5 credits at Level 5 within the Quality Assurance Agency Framework. Candidates can elect to gain these University credits for a small additional fee. Candidates registering for multiple OCQ(V)s will have the option of building these University credits into a full Postgraduate Certificate in Veterinary State Medicine through Harper Adams University (HAU) and upgrading to Level 7. 

* OCQ(V) - ES and OCQ(V) - EX do not carry the University credits.


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