Summary: AMTRA CPD
All AMTRA RAMAs (Registered Animal Medicines Advisors / SQPs) need to get a certain number of CPD points in each two year period. If they don’t, they lose their AMTRA registration.
With a few exceptions, CPD must be accredited by AMTRA in advance. We will award a number of points and an AMTRA accreditation reference number.
To get your CPD accredited, complete the accreditation application form and send to AMTRA. More details in 2.2 and 2.3.
CPD must be sufficiently relevant to the RAMA role of advising on and supply POM-VPS and NFA-VPS medicines, or more broadly in supporting animal health particularly in areas included in the qualification syllabus. The more “core” the material is, the more points per hour it is likely to be awarded. More details in 2.5 and Section 4.
In general accredited CPD should not encourage use of a specific product. Some product information alongside the CPD may be fine, but the CPD should normally stand alone. More details in 2.6.
AMTRA will accredit webinars or other means of accessing seminar-like content online in the same way as a conventional face-to-face seminar provided that appropriate processes are in place to offer reasonable assurance that those claiming attendance did participate throughout. More details in 2.8 and 2.9.
After the event(s), or periodically in the case of CPD such as recorded webinars, AMTRA must be provided with details of confirmed attendees in a standard AMTRA Excel format. Additionally, a signed attendance sheet (or equivalent evidence of participation) should be available. More details in 2.12 and Section 3.
AMTRA encourages third parties to provide CPD for RAMAs – but all CPD must be accredited by AMTRA in advance in order for it to be counted against the CPD requirements for individual RAMAs.
- CPD Seminar Accreditation Application form (revised June 2020)
- Notes for CPD providers (revised April 2021) incorporating the Frequently Asked Questions, Guidance on the accreditation application form, and guidance on the Standard AMTRA format for provision of RAMA attendee information to AMTRA
- Excel workbook for providing CPD information to AMTRA - use in conjunction with the guidance in the "Notes for CPD providers".
Frequently Asked Questions
AMTRA encourages third parties to provide CPD for AMTRA RAMAs – but (with some limited exceptions – see below) all CPD must be accredited by AMTRA in advance in order for it to be counted against the CPD requirements for individual AMTRA RAMAs.
2.1 What has changed recently for CPD providers?
- A new CPD period started on 1 July 2021 and runs for two years (i.e. until 30 June 2023).
- There is one significant change to the CPD system for this CPD period:
- Farm RAMAs must gain 24 points from a range of farm CPD focussed on parasite control with resistance a key theme. At the start of the CPD period, four modules from AMTRA written and presented by Lesley Stubbings of SCOPS are the only available option (and are worth 24 CPD points).
- Additional material, including on cattle, will be added during the CPD period, so that RAMAs can make personal decisions about which CPD is most relevant to them – but AMTRA encourages all farm RAMAs to take all of the AMTRA enhanced farm CPD as we believe it is all valuable (and it all benefits from the extra points per hour).
- Initially the material will be AMTRA-initiated and hosted online by VBMS SQP Learning, but AMTRA will be open to considering applications for accreditation from third parties for CPD with a strong focus on resistance management. In deciding whether to accredit such material, the independence of the content will be important, as will the extent to which it adds to rather than replicates the existing accredited material.
- Other key elements remain unchanged:
- The scope of what can be accredited by AMTRA as CPD remains the same: all training or learning that is of benefit to an RAMA in the performance of their duties will generally be accredited (but see 2.5).
- Passing relevant Further Education or Higher Education courses is allowed to contribute towards an RAMA's points target at the rate of 1 point per educational credit.
Points targets for the full two-year CPD period remain unchanged:
Category Points needed R 80 G, EA and K 60 E and L 50 CA and JA 40 J, A and C 30
- Veterinary nurses and pharmacy professionals who are also RAMAs may meet 50% of their AMTRA CPD target through certified attendance at non-AMTRA-accredited events which are CPD for their other profession and which the individual asserts as relevant to their RAMA role.
2.2 How does the accreditation process work?
- You apply for accreditation in advance on the accreditation application form (version 7, June 2015 or subsequent).
- If the seminar or distance learning is accredited, then AMTRA will advise you of the number of points awarded. We aim to do this within two weeks, but it can occasionally take four weeks or longer and we urge applicants to apply as soon as possible.
- You must advise AMTRA at least 14 days in advance of the first occurrence of a seminar (location, date and time), and continue to advise AMTRA of further occurrences at least 14 days in advance.
- After the event(s), you provide AMTRA with the details of RAMAs who attended. This information must be in the standard AMTRA format (see 2.12).
2.3 How do I apply for accreditation?
Send AMTRA a completed accreditation application form – please use version 7 of the form, dated June 2020 (or subsequent). Since AMTRA must be notified at least two weeks in advance of any accredited events, then an application mus be submitted an absolute minimum of two weeks in advance.
However, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit much earlier. Processing of applications is subject to available resources in the AMTRA office and of our external advisors, both of which might be subject to delay due to holidays etc. Additionally, some applications are rejected and later accepted following amendments – it is therefore sensible to allow time for that process, otherwise a planned event may not be accredited. RAMAs planning to attend will want to be confident that AMTRA accreditation has been gained, and may also ask how many CPD points will be awarded. Since accreditation typically takes one to three weeks, applicants are encouraged to apply six weeks in advance.
Brief additional guidance on completion of the application form is provided in "Notes for CPD providers".
2.4 What if my seminar or distance learning has already been accredited in a previous CPD period?
Any content you have had accredited since July 2011 can continue to be used without further accreditation until we advise otherwise.
Section 4 of "Notes for CPD providers" includes some guidance on how many points per hour will be awarded to seminars. We will not be routinely reviewing already accredited material to give a fresh points award, but may do so at our discretion, and we will review material on request under the section 4 guidance.
2.5 What content will be accredited?
The AMTRA CPD Accreditation Panel will be looking for quality seminars relevant to the role of the RAMA.
CPD seminars will normally be awarded between 4 and 8 points per hour. In general:
- material core to the RAMA role of advising on POM-VPS and NFA-VPS medicines earns 8 points per hour
- material relevant to the RAMA role and to supporting good animal health, but less directly relevant to supply and advice of VPS medicines earns 6 points per hour
- material supportive of the RAMA role or relevant to the RAMA syllabus, but not core to the RAMA core, particularly where relevant to supporting good animal health and welfare, earns 4 points per hour
In section 4 of Notes for CPD providers we have provided examples of what may be awarded 4, 6 or 8 points. Where a longer event includes a number of sections, a mixture of the available ratings may be applied. Some events may have sections which are not regarded as accreditable CPD – points will then normally be awarded for the remainder of the event.
2.6 Inclusion of product information
It should be a starting assumption that accredited CPD should not encourage use of a specific product. However, there will be justifications for exceptions to that starting point (for example some of the unique vaccines, or focusing on administration technique for particular products), but it’s unlikely to be the case for big and complex product categories such as parasite control. Some product information alongside the CPD may be fine, but the CPD should normally stand alone.
Where product information is included which AMTRA considers to be overtly promotional, or is judged by the AMTRA Accreditation Panel not to be of the nature of CPD or in other ways not appropriate, the material will not be awarded points. AMTRA may, at its discretion, accredit the remaining parts of the material and adjust the points score accordingly. However, AMTRA may decide that the material as presented is such that accreditation is not appropriate overall.
The decision of AMTRA is final, but applicants may submit an amended application.
It may be appropriate, indeed can often be helpful, to include information on particular veterinary medicines where relevant and educational, and non-promotional. Normally overview of the full range of options available, including non-medicinal options, should be included, and may include named POM-V medicines where that is relevant to full knowledge of RAMAs (subject to the restrictions of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations on advertising). Interpretation of this paragraph will depend on the context, including the number of medicines available in a relevant market segment.
2.7 Responsible use
In prescribing any POM-VPS medicine, RAMAs are obliged by the Code of Practice to take into account the need for responsible use, and in the case of anthelmintics for sheep or cattle to follow the recommendations of SCOPS and COWS. Accredited CPD must not undermine these obligations and should seek, where practical, to support them.
2.8 What about webinars?
AMTRA will accredit webinars (whether live or recorded) or other means of accessing seminar-like content online in the same way as a conventional face-to-face seminar provided that appropriate processes are in place to offer reasonable assurance that those claiming attendance did participate throughout.
AMTRA is open to proposals for how to achieve this, but it could include one-to-one discussions for small live webinars, supervision by live videoconferencing, multiple-choice questions periodically (or solely at the end if the video is short), or a requirement frequently for user interaction (such as clicking “next”) to advance the presentation.
In general, it should not be possible to log in or press “play” or the like, and then return at the end of an extended period and claim credit for participation – MCQs at the end will not remove that expectation except possibly for short videos.
Where multiple-choice questions are used to test knowledge, ideally a bank of questions should be available, a subset of which is presented at random to each participant.
AMTRA would encourage any organisation proposing to invest in developing online systems that they hope will carry AMTRA CPD points to discuss them with AMTRA at an early stage.
For live webinars, including those held via Zoom, Teams, WebEx and the like, there should be an appropriate replacement for the signed register that would be taken at face-to-face events, to offer equivalent evidence, such as a screen shot of participants or a list of system-generated login times. As with face-to-face events, this evidence of participation should be retained for at least 12 months in case of query.
2.9 What about other distance learning?
In addition to webinars, other distance learning is accredited where supported by multiple-choice questions (“quizzes”) – for instance MCQs accompanying text in magazines, websites, leaflets; or video or audiovisual or interactive material online.
Normally each block of ten multiple-choice questions will be accredited with 1 CPD point.
There should normally be at least three answers per question (except for occasional true/false questions); questions/answers should not be deliberately misleading; and answers must require some thought and effort by the reader – the reader must learn from the article or audiovisual material: it should not simply be a ‘tick box’ exercise.
Additionally, an extra point may be awarded for relevant text of between 1000 and 2000 words, or 2 extra points for 2000-4000 words or 3 extra points for 4000-6000 words. Material longer than this should include additional multiple-choice questions.
Where supportive material is audiovisual or interactive, then the applicant should estimate and justify the duration of the learning. For material of extended duration such as recorded webinars, we would expect some means of offering reasonable assurance that the RAMA did participate, such as by requiring periodic interaction: see 2.8, above.
RAMAs must gain at least 80% in the multiple choice questions to be awarded the CPD points. The CPD organiser will be expected to mark the questions and submit the CPD points achieved to AMTRA on the standard Excel spreadsheet also used for seminars.
Where the material in question would be likely to have gained 6 or 4 points per hour as a seminar, then AMTRA may reduce the points award for distance learning: a 1500-word article with 10 MCQs might thus gain 2 points on a core-RAMA subject, but just 1 point on a subject less core to the RAMA role.
2.10 Why do I need to advise AMTRA 14 days in advance?
All CPD seminars (including webinars) must be open to random visits from an AMTRA CPD Assessor. AMTRA must therefore be advised at least 14 days in advance of any accredited event taking place. Such visits or participation are not charged by AMTRA, and must be facilitated free of charge to AMTRA.
Should any concerns arise from such visits, then AMTRA will discuss them with the CPD provider. The AMTRA Council has agreed that only in exceptional circumstances will an unsatisfactory audit result in points not being allocated to RAMAs for the seminar in question, but rather that the provider's accreditation for future events (including those in the very near future) may be withdrawn pending further consideration.
2.11 How do I advise AMTRA of dates of seminars?Please send:
- Agreed name of seminar including AMTRA accreditation reference number
- Date and time
to [email protected] as soon as possible and in any case 14 days before the event.
2.12 How do the points from attending get onto the RAMA's record?
Seminar providers must submit information on those attending to AMTRA in a format specified by AMTRA, to [email protected]. Provision of the information in this format is a condition of accreditation.
- the list of those attending must be provided in the standard AMTRA Excel format – details of the standard Excel format are provided in Section 3 of the "Notes for CPD Providers".
- a signed register of attendance (or some similar record) must be taken at the event and a scanned copy of this provided to AMTRA along with the Excel spreadsheet or retained for inspection for at least 12 months.
Providers should provide AMTRA with information on attendees or completers of distance learning as soon as possible. If information is missing after a month, AMTRA will direct enquiries from RAMAs back to the CPD provider in question.
AMTRA will endeavour to record information on RAMAs' records soon after receipt of this from the CPD provider, but occasionally it may take us up to 14 days.
2.13 Will AMTRA promote my seminar or distance learning?
AMTRA is very keen to make RAMAs aware of as many CPD options as possible.
CPD organisers may ask AMTRA to include their seminar(s) or provide information about their distance learning on the AMTRA website once accredited.
AMTRA may also, at the request of the CPD provider, choose to provide information about seminars or quizzes to RAMAs via email (which can include subsets such as geographically or type of RAMA qualification). AMTRA will also look favourably on requests to circulate printed material (at cost) on behalf of CPD providers. Provision of such information to RAMAs is at the discretion of AMTRA – the more notice is given, the more likely such assistance can be provided.
2.14 Can AMTRA help in any other way?
AMTRA will provide on request information to help CPD providers target their activities, such as information on numbers of RAMAs in particular areas, and numbers of RAMAs of the various types who have not yet met their CPD minimum targets.
AMTRA will not provide names and addresses of RAMAs to CPD providers, but as described in 2.13 above, we are happy to consider communicating on your behalf to RAMAs.