Official Controls Qualification
(Veterinary) OCQ(V)

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Assessment and accreditation


The International School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ISVPS) is a not-for-profit organisation (formerly known as ESVPS), which was established in 2003 with the remit of accrediting veterinary CPD and providing attainable, balanced qualifications for veterinary practitioners working in full-time practice. ISVPS has over 20 years’ experience in the veterinary industry of running examinations and accrediting courses.

Harper Adams University

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 ISVPS by an appointed an external examiner. HAU operates under the Quality Assurance Agency Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Online examination conditions:

Candidates completing the online examination are required to do so in the presence of an invigilator. This could be:

  • a registered Member or Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS/FRCVS)
  • a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) for overseas students
  • a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN)
  • a doctor
  • a lawyer
  • an invigilator from the remote invigilation service, ProctorU

The invigilator will be required to sign the disclaimer and give their professional membership number before the online examination takes place. The candidate agrees to abide by the 'ISVPS Rules for Examination Candidates'. Any false certification, including the impersonation of another MRCVS/FRCVS or violation of any of the exam rules, 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 ISVPS, or the revocation of the relevant status with APHA or RCVS.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, remote invigilation via screenshare has been recognised as an acceptable form of invigilation. Please click here for further information.

Alternatively, you may now register to be remotely invigilated by our partner, ProctorU; a live online proctoring service that is available 24/7. Further information on ProctorU is provided on your Personal Training Dashboard when you come to nominate an invigilator. Remote invigilation via ProctorU has a fee of £49 + VAT.

If the online exam is failed, candidates will have two opportunities to retake it, with a mandatory waiting period of two weeks between exams. Retakes must take place within three months of the failed exam to prevent the candidate having to retake the OCQ(V) course in full. There is a retake fee of £49 + VAT. 

After passing the online exam, candidates will be issued with a ‘certificate of competence’ from ISVPS 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 to APHA. They will then be issued with a ‘conditional certificate of approval’ (by APHA) until they have completed and passed the Practical Assessment component of the OCQ(V). 

Once APHA authorisation has been granted for each qualification, candidates will be able to download a 'certificate of authorisation'.

Click here to read the ISVPS Examination Rules for Candidates.

ISVPS 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 ISVPS 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 ISVPS 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 ISVPS for the full appeals procedure.

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