AMTRA RAMA(SQP) Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

All AMTRA RAMAs (SQPs) are required to undertake Continuing Professional Development. The amount of CPD required depends on the type of RAMA and on when the RAMA qualified. AMTRA will keep a record of CPD points accumulated by RAMAs, and those not achieving the required minimum will not be able to renew their RAMA registration unless they pass a fresh exam.

Frequently Asked Questions about The AMTRA CPD Scheme
Updated 7 March 2024
1. What is CPD? Why do I need to do it?

CPD is Continuing Professional Development. It is compulsory for all AMTRA RAMAs (Registered Animal Medicines Advisors / SQPs).

The whole purpose of CPD is to ensure that RAMAs keep themselves up to date, which is appropriate to a professional group of animal medicine advisors. Additionally, AMTRA is required by law to ensure that those on the AMTRA Register undertake CPD.

Most farm RAMAs are required to gain 24 enhanced/compulsory farm CPD points within their overall point target, by 30 June 2025. Those who qualified after 1 January 2022 and so didn’t have that requirement in Period 7 (i.e. by June 2023) must now meet this obligation. More details on this are in the page on the subject.

RAMAs are able to meet up to 30% of their points obligation from CPD that is not AMTRA-accredited, but which still supports the AMTRA RAMA role. See Question 17 on "self-reflective CPD" for more details.

In order to maintain their status, RAMAs must achieve a minimum number of CPD points during each AMTRA CPD period.

Currently each CPD period runs for two years. The current CPD period, "CPD period 8", runs from 1 July 2023 until 30 June 2025. Points must be earned during that period – points earned near the end of the period may not be added to your record until after 30 June 2025, but the important thing is to have earned them by 30 June 2025.

The same deadline applies to everyone, including those who qualify after the start of the CPD period.

During each CPD period, each person must earn a minimum number of CPD points. The number of points that each RAMA type will be required to obtain during each CPD period is indicated below.

Anyone who qualifies before the end of 2023 will need to get the full number of points shown. Those who become a RAMA in 2024 will need only achieve half the number of points given below by June 2025; those who become a RAMA in the first half of 2025 will have no formal CPD obligation for this period. (See also the following answers on full allocation of points, and on adding modules, for more details.)

Category
Species for which qualified
CPD Points
R All species 80
G Farm animals and equines only 60
K Farm and companion animals only 60
E Equines and companion animals only 50
L Farm animals only 50
J Equines only 30
C Companion animals only 30
A Avian only 30
CA Companion and avian only 40
JA Equine and avian only 40
EA Equine, companion and avian only 60

There is no maximum number of CPD points – everyone is encouraged to undertake as much CPD as they can

Additionally, most farm RAMAs must gain at least 24 points towards their enhanced/compulsory farm total – these points count towards the overall total too.

Those who qualify part-way through a CPD period should attain the following points:

  • Those who qualify with less than 6 months of the CPD period remaining (i.e. during the first half of 2025): no formal CPD obligation.
  • Those who qualify with more than 18 months of the CPD period remaining (i.e. by 31 December 2023 in the case of the current CPD period): full CPD points obligation.
  • Those who qualify part-way through the CPD period (i.e. during 2024): half the normal CPD points obligation.

Those absent due to maternity leave or long-term sick leave:

  • for 6 to 18 months in the current CPD Period then CPD points obligation is halved.
  • for more than 18 months in the current CPD Period, the CPD obligation is waived.

You may be required to produce appropriate documentary evidence of maternity leave or long-term sick leave. We cannot confirm any reduction in point target for maternity leave or long-term sick leave until you return to work – otherwise we don’t know how long you were absent.

Farm RAMAs who first qualify to join the AMTRA Register after 2023, or who gain the farm-animal element of their qualification after 2023, are not required to do the enhanced/compulsory farm CPD in this CPD period (though are encouraged to do so).

Farm RAMAs who gain a CPD points reduction due to maternity leave, long-term sick leave or other exceptional factors, are not required to do the enhanced/compulsory farm CPD in this CPD period (though are encouraged to do so).

Some people add additional species modules after they first become AMTRA qualified - this might be a career progression, or the other module exams may have been failed at the first attempt.

Additional CPD points are added to the total needed, consistent with the principle of half points or no points for part-way through the CPD period, as described in the previous two answers.

The number of CPD points required is best illustrated by an unusual example:

  • Chris passes the Base and Companion Animal modules in 2023, becomes a companion-animal RAMA (in the "C" category), and thus needs 30 CPD points.
  • She passes the Equine module in 2024 to become a RAMA in the "E" category: as that is between 6 and 18 months from the end of the CPD period, her additional points requirement is half of the difference between RAMAs in the "C" and "E" categories, i.e. an extra 10, making 40 in all.
  • Finally, she passes the Farm Animal module in early 2025: as that is less than 6 months from the end of the CPD period, there is no additional CPD points obligation, so the total required stays at 40.

From July 2025, her points requirement will be the full 80 for a RAMA in the "R" category for the following two years. It's not essential to understand this calculation - your personal points target is on every points update from AMTRA.

Anyone who did not meet their points target by the end of the previous CPD period (i.e. earned by 30 June 2025), will not be permitted to renew their AMTRA status for the following year (i.e. 2026). The points have to be earned by the deadline date, but as always there will a delay before they are added to your record – the requirement is to earn the points by the end of the CPD period, not have them on the record at that date.

AMTRA offers a "revalidation viva" to demonstrate ongoing competency for those who haven’t gained enough points by the deadline, but passing the assessment is challenging and relatively costly, so that option should not be relied upon.

The easiest way is to log in to your AMTRA record - on the AMTRA website just click 'Login' in the top right-hand corner. If you've forgotten your password, you can use the login page to request another password be sent to you.

CPD points earned are added to each person's records when they are received from the CPD provider. You are advised of the number of CPD points you have accumulated from time to time. If we have an email address for you then we will send you an update every time your record is updated – another good reason to ensure that we always have an up-to-date email address that will reach you directly – but if we only have a postal address for you, we will send you an update approximately every two months.

If you haven’t received a points update within the last two months, please contact us: perhaps we are sending it by email but you aren’t receiving it for some reason.

If there are points missing, please contact the organisation or company that provided the CPD - but do leave them six weeks after the event to advise AMTRA of points earned and for AMTRA to process the information received. Please don't contact AMTRA regarding missing points (unless it was an AMTRA event). If the points are wrong rather than simply missing, please email, fax or write to us with details of which points are wrong.

a) Attending AMTRA-accredited CPD seminars – the seminars need not be run by AMTRA (most aren't) but must be accredited by AMTRA in advance. Most CPD nowadays is done online, and webinars / online seminars, whether recorded or live, count in the same way as face-to-face seminars.

b) Distance learning supported by multiple choice quizzes – i.e. by reading or watching supportive material and answering sets of accredited questions, such as online or in magazines.

c) Self-reflective CPD – From mid-March 2024, RAMAs may meet up to 30% of their points obligation from CPD that is not AMTRA-accredited, but which still supports the AMTRA RAMA role, provided appropriate self-reflection is carried out via the facility on the AMTRA website. See Q17 on "self-reflective CPD" for more details.

d) Relevant Further Education or Higher Educational qualifications – RAMAs gaining a relevant FE or HE qualification within the CPD period may claim one CPD point for each academic credit. Evidence of the qualification will be required, and should be submitted along with the FE/HE CPD points claim form (available on the AMTRA website or from the AMTRA office).

See also Q16 if you are a vet nurse or pharmacy professional.

CPD seminars and other studies will be accredited and allocated points by AMTRA, taking input as needed from external experts to advise on the CPD seminars and studies submitted by third parties. The number of points allocated will be based on the duration and content of the seminar or study.

Only if the events or distance learning take place at least 12 months apart. This applies even if the two occasions are in different CPD periods – they must be more than 12 months apart.

However, you may gain points for similar topics from different CPD providers – for instance, both providers may be talking about equine parasitology, but the discussion and emphasis given will be different and the result is complementary, whereas there is much less additional benefit from hearing the same presentations twice in a short period.

Generally we will spot duplicates before they are added to your record, but if we spot them later we will remove the points and notify you – do not rely on duplicated points to reach your points target.

Accredited CPD organisers provide AMTRA with details (name & AMTRA number) of those who attended the whole seminar with the number of points accredited to the seminar, together with a signed attendance sheet or equivalent. Those marking distance-learning supported by multiple-choice questions provide AMTRA with the names & AMTRA numbers, together with the number of CPD points gained, of those answering the questions.

We also strongly recommend that everyone completing AMTRA-accredited CPD keeps a record of what they did (ideally including the AMTRA accreditation reference, if available) and when, and any evidence (certificate, email confirmation, etc). This may be helpful in resolving any discrepancies.

From mid-March 2024, RAMAs may meet up to 30% of their points obligation from CPD that is not AMTRA-accredited, but which still supports the AMTRA RAMA role, provided appropriate self-reflection is carried out via the facility on the AMTRA website. See Question 17 on "self-reflective CPD" for more details.

No – the whole purpose of CPD is to ensure that you keep up-to-date.

No – CPD is by its nature a post-qualification process. It would also be very difficult to differentiate between training to support the qualification and accreditable CPD, meaning that the majority of those qualifying would have enough CPD pointed accumulated for their first CPD period, something AMTRA does not wish to see.

AMTRA recognises that veterinary nurses and pharmacy professionals who are also AMTRA RAMAs/SQPs do undertake a significant amount of CPD through the obligations of their other profession, though much won't be directly relevant to the AMTRA role. VNs and pharmacy professionals are still required to undertake the same amount of AMTRA CPD as other RAMAs, but may earn 50% of their points requirement via certified attendance at non-AMTRA-accredited events which are CPD for the other profession and which the RAMA asserts as relevant to their RAMA role. Such individuals can at any time complete the Veterinary Nurse CPD claim form and return it to the AMTRA office.

RAMAs may claim up to 30% of their overall target from CPD which is not AMTRA-accredited but which supports the AMTRA RAMA role. Such CPD is subject to self-reflection, and must be claimed via the AMTRA website at amtra.org.uk/CPDreflections.

Such CPD must be recorded within 3 months of it taking place, and accompanied by appropriate "reflection" - usually a short summary with you describing what you learned, how you might change your prescribing or advice as a result, what further CPD/learning might be appropriate next, or other reactions to the CPD you wish to describe.

What you write needn't be complicated. A good starting point is sentences beginning with "I". Try saying it out loud first. It doesn't have to be long - two or three sentences on each aspect should be fine. Reflection is usually best completed immediately after the CPD while thoughts are fresh in your mind, and though we've allowed you up to three months, we recommend you do it much sooner than that.

A proportion of the self-reflective CPD claims will be examined by the AMTRA office, and we may call you to discuss what you've described.

You can reflect on a range of CPD including seminars, meetings, reading, teaching others, learning new skills.

AMTRA CPD points will be awarded at the rate of 4 points per hour of reflective CPD, but capped at 30% of your overall personal points target.