News from AMTRA

Latest generation of RAMA talent recognised with AMTRA Awards during the AHDA 2024 Conference

AMTRA has recognised the latest generation of talent in the sector at its annual awards ceremony which was held during the AHDA conference in Birmingham on 22 January 2024.

AMTRA plays a vital role in the animal medicines industry and is dedicated to training RAMAs to deliver the highest standards in qualification, training, and CPD, resulting in skilled and knowledgeable RAMAs who are well informed and capable. Since 1986 AMTRA has trained over 25,000 RAMAs; this is a role that fills a specific need for animal owners around advice, prescription and supply of appropriate medicines. Keeping informed and engaging with relevant, structured CPD, guided by AMTRA helps to ensure RAMAs are always equipped with the right knowledge.

The 2024 AMTRA RAMA winners have been named as:

Winner of the top all species RAMA category and winner of the AHDA Cup is Melanie Griffin (28) from Warwickshire who is a Product Manager at Mole Valley Farmers. Melanie has been in this role for two and a half years and is responsible for the procurement and supplier relationship management of a portfolio of agricultural products for the Mole Valley Farmers and Mole Country Stores retail outlets right across the country. Prior to this, she was a Pig Nutritionist after graduating from Harper Adams University with a First-Class Honours Degree in Bioveterinary Science in 2018. Melanie says: “I qualified as a RAMA covering all species (R-SQP) in January 2023. I have always enjoyed learning about the fundamental science of how animals work, and I was interested to gain a more in-depth understanding of animal medicines and the conditions they are used to treat. Undertaking the AMTRA RAMA training has helped me to understand the needs of our farming customers and in turn, ensure that we have the products and/or services available through our network of stores to support them. In my role I have also been able to build stronger relationships with our suppliers by having a wider knowledge of the products they are offering.”

Winner of the Equine RAMA category is Sarah Cheadle, (33) from Surrey who is a student veterinary nurse. Sarah says: "I undertook my RAMA training through self-study from the material provided by AMTRA for equine and companion animals as these are the areas of greatest interest for myself. I started training as a RAMA when working in retail and this in part influenced me to change onto the veterinary nurse career path that I'm now on as I developed my interest in preventative healthcare. I found the training empowering, giving me a vast amount of knowledge and skills, which have transferred into my current role. I'd encourage anyone considering becoming a RAMA to go for it. The qualification has opened so many doors."

Winner of the Companion Animal category is Emily Maunder (30) from Lancashire, who began her career with Pets at Home just over two years ago as a Store Colleague. Emily says: “With my scientific background I knew I wanted to pursue the RAMA (SQP) route as soon as possible and this went hand in hand with becoming a Keyholder within my store. My role currently entails advising on the treatment and prevention of parasites within companion animals, particularly cats and dogs. Being a RAMA (SQP) has given me the opportunity to focus my general scientific knowledge onto practical solutions for owners and their pets. The knowledge gained allows me not only to supply the best medicines but also build trust with customers as I can talk with ease about their animals and advise where necessary.”

Winner of the Vet Nurse category is Hannah Simmons (44) from Middlesbrough. Hannah is a registered Vet Nurse with her own dog grooming salon. She says: “The RAMA course was very educational and was a good refresher as a vet nurse.”

Runners up:

All species category - Juliette Eatwell

Equine - Bethany Donnelly

Companion Animal - Hannah Lane-Such

Vet Nurse - Klaudia Wojcik

Stephen Dawson, AMTRA Chief Executive, says: “I not only offer huge congratulations to all of the 2024 winners and runners up, but also to every single person who has ever committed to the training that comes with being an AMTRA RAMA to drive excellence in the animal health industry.

“AMTRA has been training and supporting the people we today call Registered Animal Medicines Advisors (RAMAs) with their ongoing learning since 1986 and today, we are proud to manage the largest registration of RAMAs totaling over 6,000. Our history has equipped us with an ingrained knowledge and understanding of the sector and how it has evolved and continues to respond to the ever-changing world. We have always been focused on high standards in qualification, training and ongoing CPD. Since 1986, over 25,000 AMTRA RAMAs have qualified with us – bringing continued excellence to the profession – and we are proud to have been part of their journey.”

Hillary Cowley, AMTRA Deputy Chief Executive, says: "In the last 12 months alone we’ve managed 5,000 exams. That’s a huge amount of commitment from candidates, trainers and employers in getting ready for the exams, absorbing knowledge, and developing skills to support the nation’s animals and those who care for them. We are so pleased that through our awards we are able to celebrate and showcase the positive impact RAMAs make to the animal medicines industry and to the health and wellbeing of animals across the farming and companion animal and equine sectors."

To learn more about becoming an AMTRA RAMA visit: