Official Controls Qualification
(Veterinary) OCQ(V)

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Small Animal Exports revalidation

What does OCQ(V) - SX (Small Animal Exports) Revalidation involve?

It is now recognised as good practice to ensure that we all remain up to date with the latest policies, advice and techniques for the work that we do. Revalidation is your opportunity to do this and can contribute towards your annual CPD requirements.

Revalidation for the OCQ(V) - SX is required every 4 years. If you do not revalidate, you will not be able to continue as an OV for Small Animal Exports.

The only exceptions to the 4-year revalidation cycle are those who had already studied and been awarded the OCQ(V) - SX before 30th April 2019, whose revalidation will be due 5 years from the date that they passed the online exam and completed the declarations. However, for those who are awarded the OCQ(V) - SX after 30th April 2019, your first revalidation will be due 4 years from the date that you passed your online exam and completed your declarations.

You may enrol to revalidate and start the process, at any time. There is a two month window in which you can complete the revalidation, by signing the declarations, without changing your future revalidation date. We recommend that you don’t leave it until the last minute. You will need to ensure you have enough time to complete ALL the requirements before your expiry date.

If you do not complete revalidation within the permitted timeframe your status will be expired by APHA. If this happens you will be informed by email from APHA and you will not be allowed to use the OCQ(V) - SX. Once your status has been expired, you will either have to contact APHA in order for your status to be changed to 'suspended' and enable you to complete the revalidation course within 6 months of the missed deadline, or complete the full OCQ(V) course before your OV status can be reinstated. If you wish to appeal the revocation of your status you should contact APHA, as the final decision rests with them. If you are aware of any exceptional or mitigating circumstances it is worth contacting APHA as soon as possible to avoid the necessity to retrain. Please see the APHA Briefing Note for more information on the options available to you if you have missed a revalidation deadline. You can view a flowchart illustrating these by clicking here.

Improve International will send a reminder to OVs prior to the expiry date of the OCQ(V) - SX.  

Online Training and Exam

Revalidation is undertaken by accessing the online training course. Everyone studies at their own pace but the revalidation course will equate to three hours of CPD. You may access the training in your own time and it does not have to be completed in one go. Once you are ready you may then proceed, via your Personal Training Dashboard, to the online exam. You are allowed 30 minutes for this online exam which involves answering 10 multiple choice questions and you will be required to nominate an invigilator. Candidates completing the online assessment are required to do so in the presence of an MRCVS (or a DVM for overseas students), a doctor or a lawyer. Both the candidate and invigilator will be required to sign the disclaimer and give their professional membership number before taking the online assessment. Any false certification, including the impersonation of another MRCVS, may be reported to the RCVS for investigation as potential professional misconduct.

Once you are successful you will be able to download a certificate of achievement.

If you are are unsuccessful with your online assessment you will have an opportunity for two retakes. There is a one week study period before a resit and the exam can’t be accessed in this time. If you are still unsuccessful you will have to take the full OCQ(V) and your status will be revoked by APHA in the interim.


You will be asked to provide evidence of relevant CPD you have undertaken to support this field of work. You will be expected to have completed at least ten hours relevant CPD within the revalidation period – this can include the three hours spent on the revalidation course and any additional time spent completing case logs and certification exercises for the revalidation course (no more than 1 hour per exercise).

CPD should be recorded on your Personal Training Dashboard and you may start updating it now and do this as you go along, rather than wait for revalidation to begin. Whilst the CPD should be relevant to this OCQ(V) - SX it is possible to use the same CPD for other OCQ(V)s. Please highlight which of your OCQ(V)s each CPD applies to. 

After taking the online exam you will be asked to confirm ‘I have undertaken at least ten hours CPD in this area, relevant to my OCQ(V) - SX OV responsibilities, in the past five years and have completed my CPD record on my Personal Training Dashboard.’ If you do not tick this statement you will not be automatically revalidated until you do. 

The type of activities that would count as relevant CPD for SX are:

  • Reading the OV Instructions relevant to small animal and zoo exports on the APHA Vet Gateway
  • Reading the OV Instructions relevant to the Pet Travel Scheme on the APHA Vet Gateway
  • Reading information on policy changes provided via APHA Briefing Notes
  • Reading relevant articles in veterinary publications e.g. relating to exotic disease considerations/welfare in transport
  • Reading relevant articles in the OV section of Veterinary Practice magazine
  • Attending the annual OV Conference
  • Other relevant conferences and congresses or day courses
  • Mentoring new OVs in this area of work
  • CPD provided by pharmaceutical companies e.g. parasitic control
  • Case discussions with colleagues

Case Logs

You are required to provide three examples of your use of small animal export export skills. To do this you must complete any combination of the following (three in total):

  • A description of an export which went ahead successfully.
  • An example of when you provided advice and guidance to a client on a proposed export
  • Complete certification exercises 

The certification exercises can be found at the end of the revalidation course and there is a practice example in the course.

If you choose to complete case logs they must include evidence of how you implemented the principles of certification.

If your export work involves regular repetitious examples, please try and ensure that you describe cases where there was some specific issue or problem, including details of where you needed to use problem-solving skills or research in order to complete the certification process.

Where possible include reflection upon communications and feedback from your colleagues, clients or APHA and again record how you have learnt from this and made appropriate changes for future practice.

The case log does not need to contain a lot of words, bullet points are fine.

You should also use the principles described by the RCVS in the Code to Professional Conduct - clinical governance for the individual vet and the practice team as guidance.

For further support and guidance please go to the relevant section of your Personal Training Dashboard and download the guidance notes. These will also be found in the revalidation course.

It is advisable to prepare evidence for your case logs, in advance, by recording particularly interesting cases.  

Internal Verification (IV)

Once you have passed the online exam and ticked all the declaration boxes to confirm compliance and completion of your case logs and CPD record, your revalidation will proceed automatically and you will be able to download new certificates of authorisation. However there will be a process of internal verification of the CPD record & case logs by the awarding body, ESVPS. ESVPS will sample 10% of CPD records and case logs within one month of completion of all revalidation requirements. If your CPD record or case log is in the sample chosen and does not meet the required standard, you will be contacted by ESVPS and offered an opportunity to update it to a satisfactory condition. If it is updated satisfactorily within one month then no further action is required. However, if it is not updated satisfactorily within the required time this will be reported to APHA who will then review your case and may suspend or revoke your OV status. Please note the ultimate jurisdiction lies with APHA.

Final Declarations

Once you have successfully passed the online examination you will asked to confirm the declarations below:

I confirm that:

  1. I have undertaken at least ten hours CPD in this area, relevant to my OCQ(V) - SX OV responsibilities, in the past five years and have completed my CPD record on my Personal Training Dashboard
  2. I have uploaded three representative cases/certification exercises in my field of work and understand that this case log may be subject to internal verification within one month of my completing revalidation
  3. I consider that my knowledge of my legal and professional responsibilities is current  
  4. I have accessed the latest version of the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct and refreshed my knowledge of the following sections: Clinical Governance and Certification
  5. I have accessed the OV Instructions within the last year
  6. I have checked that my personal contact details, including unique email address, are up to date and that I have been receiving OV communications
  7. My signature is uploaded, is clear and correct. (You can check your signature by downloading a certificate of authorisation. If you need to update your signature you can replace the one you originally uploaded) 


If you are considering completing a PgC then you should complete the full OCQ(V) - SX instead of the revalidation course.

Revalidation Fee

£99 + Vat

Please see the Revalidation page for further information.

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