Revalidation and grandfather rights - Veterinary Practice
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Revalidation and grandfather rights

Improve International answers questions on companion animal and small animal exports revalidation for OVs with grandfather rights

OVs who have grandfather rights to complete small animal export certification are due to revalidate their qualifications in 2019. The deadline for enrolment for Companion Animal (CA) and Small Animal Exports (SX) revalidation is 31 March 2019 and APHA have extended the date for completion of these revalidations to 30 April 2019. Improve International have answered some commonly asked questions regarding the requirements.

I have grandfather rights to four small animal OCQ(V)s. Do I have to revalidate all of them?

No. When you claimed your grandfather rights, APHA awarded you all the small animal qualifications that you were entitled to hold. Now is the time to decide which ones you need.

The options are:

  • Companion Animal (CA), or
  • the combination of Essential Skills (ES), Exports General (EX) and Small Animal Exports (SX).

How do I decide if revalidating the OCQ(V) CA will cover all the export work I do?

The OCQ(V) CA entitles you to complete pet passports and export certificates for companion animals as listed below:

  • Export of pet dogs, cats, ferrets, small mammals (guinea pigs, mice, rabbits, etc)
  • Export of pet birds; these are all birds (excluding poultry and pigeons) that are accompanied by their owner and are not intended to be sold or transferred to another owner
  • Export of pets from breeding establishments and rescue centres as a commercial exercise
  • Export of more than five pets for shows or competitions
  • Export of more than five pets not intended for shows or competitions (ie travelling with their owner on holiday)

Export can be to the EU or countries outside the EU. If you only do companion animal work and the OCQ(V) CA covers all the export work that you will be asked to do, you do not require Essential Skills.

Which exports can I complete if I revalidate the combination of ES, EX and SX?

You need this combination of qualifications if your export certification work is for commercial organisations. This combination of qualifications covers everything in CA plus the following:

  • Commercial export of small laboratory animals including all primates
  • Commercial export of zoo animals including primates, carnivores, etc (except zoo ungulates (hoofed animals), which fall under UX)
  • Zoo birds
  • Bees
  • Exports to the EU or outside of the EU

You may also choose to complete the combination of ES, EX and SX if you already hold ES and EX for another export qualification such as Avian Exports (AX).

I don’t want to change my revalidation due date in the future. I understand there is a two-month window for resetting my next revalidation date. Do I have to wait for this window to open before I enrol on the revalidation course?

You can enrol on the revalidation courses and start at any time. Your next revalidation date is set from when you complete the declarations at the end of each revalidation. There is a window during which the declarations can be signed without bringing the next revalidation date forward. If you sign the declaration within the two-month window, your next revalidation due date will be taken from the end of the window. So for revalidations which have a due date of 31 March 2019, the window for signing the declarations and resetting the next date to 31 March 2024 is 1 February to 31 March 2019.

The date for completing the CA and SX revalidations has been extended to 30 April 2019. This has extended the window for completing the revalidation by an additional month to three months. If you sign the declaration within the three month window, your next revalidation due date will be taken from the end of the window. So for revalidations which have a due date of 30 April 2019, the window for signing the declarations and resetting the next date to 30 April 2024 is 1 February to 30 April 2019.

This means that you can do the work in good time and then choose either to complete the declarations and bring your next revalidation date forward or to wait until the window opens and complete the declarations between 1 February and 31 March 2019.

I am worried that I might forget to return to the course to complete the declarations. Will I get reminders?

Provided your email address is correct on the OV database, you will receive revalidation reminders. These reminders will continue until you have completed the declarations

I haven’t been receiving any OV email communications. Why is this?

If you are not receiving OV communications to your personal email address, please log in to the OV database and check your details are correct. If they are correct, check your spam folder and if the emails are going there, change the settings to make a trusted sender.

I haven’t completed many exports recently and am concerned that I won’t be able to fulfil the case log requirements. Is there an alternative?

You can complete certification exercises as an alternative to case logs. You will find these at the end of the course. There is an example activity within each course so you know what is expected in these exercises. Note that case logs are not required for ES and EX.

I am not confident using a computer and am concerned that I will find it difficult to navigate the online course. Is there an alternative?

There is no alternative but the Improve International team are happy to help. Please feel free to call 0330 202 0380 for support.

Will the content of the courses change in light of EU Exit?

The content of the courses is under constant review by the APHA and will be updated when required. In the interim, OVs will be notified of all updates through OV briefing notes and technical notices. This information will be added to the courses as it is published.

Will I need to pay to get the new information?

Once you are enrolled on a revalidation course you will continue to have access to the course material even when you have completed your revalidation. You will be able to return to the course to view any updates at no extra cost. New content will be highlighted and dated.

I have enrolled on the wrong course. What should I do?

If you have enrolled on the wrong course, please contact Improve International by calling 0330 202 0380 or emailing

Can I ask for my revalidation date to be postponed?

If you are unable to complete the revalidation because you are away from work for a prolonged period and you would like to apply to have an extension to your revalidation period, please email the APHA OV team ( with your request.

Can I write case logs when I only issue pet passports and have not completed any export certificates?

Case logs should be relevant to the export work that you do and pet passports are as relevant as completing export certificates. Also, there is now the option to complete certification exercises instead of writing case logs if you prefer to do this.

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