News from AMTRA

AMTRA and Harper Adams University launches first of its kind ‘Diploma in Animal Medicines Advice’

AMTRA and Harper Adams University have announced a brand-new qualification; the ‘Diploma in Animal Medicines Advice’. This qualification is the first of its kind, being the only formal post-registration qualification for all registered RAMAs / SQPs of all categories.


The Diploma will allow candidates to build on their academic credits achieved during their SQP training, and develop additional skills and knowledge to further enhance their expertise. The course is set to run from January 2025 and comprises a range of modules for delegates to choose from:


·       Reflective Practitioner (focusing on personal and professional development)

·       Herd Health Planning

·       Advanced SQP Practice (focusing on laboratory techniques, pharmacology, and more)

·       Companion Animal Nutrition

·       Farm Animal Nutrition

·       Equine Nutrition


AMTRA chief executive Stephen Dawson, says: “We’re really excited to see this project reaching fruition – offering RAMAs, whether working in more traditional supply businesses, in veterinary practices, or somewhere else, the opportunity to add to their skills and qualifications, enhancing value to employers, customers, clients and their animals."


George Aspey, Lecturer at Harper Adams who will be one of the lecturers on the diploma course says: “Harper Adams University is passionate about the role and impact of SQPs/RAMAs, and we feel this is a very welcome addition to the portfolio of qualifications we can offer to the profession.  Virtually all regulatory bodies have some post registration qualification, so it is important that this now exists. We must remember that SQPs/RAMAs are regulated professionals who have an incredibly responsible job and the role across the animal medicines industry. They should rightly be proud of the service they deliver for the industry and this qualification is another tool which helps reinforce the quality of skills that they offer."


The infrastructure of the new diploma has been developed to ensure it supports both personal and professional development, as George explains: “During the development stage we sought feedback from employers and trainers to help shape the module structure. We have also made sure that the diploma supports RAMAs across all registration categories. The personal and professional modules are designed to draw on real experiences that RAMAs and SQPs have had, and it offers students flexibility to create a tailored qualification to support them and their employer. We haven’t created set pathways as such – instead there are a range of topics aligned to business needs; the only entry requirement is that they are a qualified RAMA. “


George continues: “In the first few days after we announced the new Diploma, we had over 50 enquiries which is a very encouraging sign indeed. RAMAs/SQPs have a responsibility to complete CPD to remain registered, and the diploma is a great way of furthering knowledge, remaining relevant, as well as contributing significantly to CPD requirements, potentially satisfying the entire AMTRA CPD requirement for a CPD period. The demands on the RAMA/SQP profession are always changing and evolving, so being at the forefront of the best knowledge, adapting to the changing needs of the industry and leading the way through ongoing education, is vital.”


Delivery of teaching will be a mixture of online distance learning, and optional attendance study days – there are no big and long exams. Modules will run based on demand. All modules are available as standalone topics should candidates wish to study them without completing the full qualification. To register interest or find out more, please contact [email protected]