AMTRA RAMA(SQP) Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

All AMTRA RAMAs are required to undertake Continuing Professional Development. The amount of CPD required depends on the type of RAMA and on when the RAMA qualified. With the exception of small amounts of personal study, all CPD must be accredited by AMTRA in advance. 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 14 December 2020
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.

In the previous period (ending 30 June 2019) those farm RAMAs who qualified under the “old” (pre-April 2017) syllabus had to do a compulsory module on farm animal parasite control and resistance. That was a one-off requirement: there are no compulsory modules in the current (July 2019 to June 2021) CPD period.

In order to maintain AMTRA status, RAMAs have to 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 6”, runs from 1 July 2019 until 30 June 2021. 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 2021, but the important thing is to have earned them by 30 June 2021. The same deadline applies to all AMTRA RAMAs, including those who have qualified after the start of the CPD period.

During each CPD period, AMTRA RAMAs 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 in the second half of 2019 will still need to get the full number of points shown. Those who become RAMAs in 2020 will need only achieve half the number of points given below by June 2021; those who become RAMAs in the first half of 2021 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.)

RAMA Type
Modules Passed
Permissible Medicines
Points
R FAM + EQM + CAM All VPS Medicines 80
G FAM + EQM VPS – farm animals & equines 60
K FAM + CAM VPS – farm & companion animals 60
E EQM + CAM VPS – equines & companion animals only 50
L FAM VPS – farm animals only 50
J EQM VPS – equines only 30
C CAM VPS – companion animals only 30
A AVM VPS – avians only 30
CA CAM + AVM VPS – companion animals & avians 40
JA EQM + AVM VPS – equines & avians 40
EA CAM + EQM + AVM VPS – companion, equine & avian 60

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

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 (e.g. during the first half of 2021): no formal CPD obligation.
  • Those who qualify with more than 18 months of the CPD period remaining (i.e. by 31 December 2019 in the case of the current CPD period): full CPD points obligation.
  • Those who qualify part-way through the CPD period (e.g. during 2020): 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.

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 2019, becomes a companion-animal RAMA (in the "C" category), and thus needs 30 CPD points.
  • She passes the Equine module in 2020 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 2021: 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 2021, 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 does not meet their points target by the end of the CPD period (i.e. earned by 30 June 2021), will not be permitted to renew their AMTRA status for the following year (i.e. 2022). The points need 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. Live webinars (online seminars) count in the same way as ordinary 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. Recorded webinars (i.e. not shown live with scope for interaction) and other videos with accompanying multiple-choice questions are included in this category.

c) Personal study – this may be of AMTRA training modules, updated Code of Practice, magazine articles, IT expertise, etc. AMTRA recognises the increasing professionalism of its RAMAs and will accept a degree of selfcertification of this form of CPD. However, only 5 points may be allocated to personal study in any CPD period. RAMAs are required to maintain a record of this activity for inspection if required.

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 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 AMTRA Assessors and others 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.

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. RAMAs can each claim up to 5 CPD points for personal study in each CPD period. RAMAs should keep appropriate records as they may be asked for details of personal study following the close of the current CPD period.

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.

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 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.

Such individuals can at any time complete the application form (available from the AMTRA office or on the AMTRA website) and return it to the AMTRA office.

AMTRA recognises that veterinary nurses and pharmacy professionals who are also AMTRA RAMAs 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.

No, after careful thought we have decided not to extend the CPD period.

We know that the workload for many RAMAs has been intensive in 2020 and 2021 due to changes in work patterns, with some of you working remotely, and shortage of staff in some businesses. If you normally rely on face-to-face CPD, then the removal of that is a challenge, a different way of doing things that you may not like, but please embrace the opportunity – it means no travelling time or costs, a wider range of subject matter and methods of delivery.

If you are less comfortable with online CPD, perhaps with poor broadband or lack of computer equipment, then please think now about how you are going to gain your CPD, and don’t leave it till the last minute.

The AMTRA Council considered in June and December 2020 whether the extraordinary circumstances justified an extension to the CPD deadline, currently 30 June 2021. Council concluded that, while understanding the pressures faced, we would not extend the deadline.