OV appointments and training

Frequently asked questions

  1. How do I apply to become an OV?
  2. What happens following successful completion of my OV training course?
  3. How do I apply for refresher training?
  4. What happens following successful completion of my OV training course?
  5. What do I need to do if I am leaving my current Practice e.g. retirement or where OV status is no longer required?
  6. What do I do if I want to: (A) work permanently for more than one Practice or (B) carry out locum work at a Practice where my OV status will be utilised?
  7. What do I do if I have mislaid or damaged my pocket certificate?
  8. What do I do if I have mislaid or damaged my stamp?
  9. What do I do if my name changes during my appointment?
  10. What do I do if I need to carry out addtional OV duties?
  11. What do I need to do if I no longer use a panel?
  12. What do I need to do if my Practice details change?
  13. What do I need to do if my status within a Practice changes?
  14. What do I need to do if I am setting up a new Practice?
  15. What duties are Official Veterinarians authorised to carry out?
  16. What is a Supervised Visit?
  17. What rates are payable for TB Tests carried out, by OVs appointed to Panel 1a?


1. How do I apply to become an OV?

You must read the Terms and Conditions of Appointment document (OV13) complete an Application Form (OV01) and return by post to the OV Team (AHVLA).

If you are applying for appointment to panel 2 (Export certification of small animals only) there is a requirement to complete and submit pre-course work (OV15, OV16) prior to attending the classroom training session.

If you are applying for appointment to panel 1a (TB) there is a requirement to complete and submit pre-course work (OV07) prior to attending the classroom training session.

Your pre-course work must be completed and returned to the OV Team along with your application form before you can attend a panel 2 (Export certification of small animals only) or panel 1a) (TB) training course.


Please also read the Aims and Objectives of TB training.

Please note on receipt of a completed application form you will be added to the waiting list for training.  When the appropriate training course becomes available in your area you will be notified by the OV Team.

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2. What happens following successful completion of my OV training course?

At the end of the training event you will be asked to sign a form (OVb5) to confirm you have completed the course. This form will be submitted to the OV Team who will process your appointment. When this process has been completed you will receive your OV stamp, Pocket Certificate and accompanying documents.

You should expect to receive confirmation of your appointment within 10 working days of completing your training.  Please do not undertake OV duties until you receive this confirmation.

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3. How do I apply for refresher training?

If you have not used a panel you have been appointed to, for two or more years, then you will require refresher training prior to re-appointment. Please complete and return an application form (OV02 ) to the OV Team (AHVLA), by post, and re-familiarise yourself with the Terms and Conditions of Appointment document (OV01).

If you are applying for appointment to panel 2 (Export certification of small animals only) there is a requirement to complete and submit pre-course work (OV15, OV16) prior to attending the classroom training session.

If you are applying for appointment to panel 1a (TB) there is a requirement to complete and submit pre-course work (OV07) prior to attending the classroom training session.

Your pre-course work must be completed and returned to the OV Team along with your application form before you can attend a panel 2 (Export certification of small animals only) or panel 1a) (TB) training course.

Please also read the Aims and Objectives of TB training.

Please note on receipt of a completed application form you will be added to the waiting list for training.  When the appropriate training course becomes available in your area you will be notified by the OV Team.

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4. What do I need to do if I transfer to another Practice?

This is now a self service function.

The OV Team (AHVLA) will process the information you have submitted and a new pocket certificate will be issued.  Depending upon the panels you are appointed to you should expect to receive your updated documents within 10 working days of submitting your information.  The Pocket Certificate will be issued to you at your new Practice address.

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5. What do I need to do if I am leaving my current Practice e.g. retirement or where OV status is no longer required?

This is now a self service function.

The OV Team (AHVLA) will process the information you have submitted and complete the process to terminate your appointment as an OV.  Please ensure that your SP Stamp is returned to the OV Team and your Pocket Certificate is destroyed.

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6. What do I do if I want to:

(A) work permanently for more than one Practice or

(B) carry out locum work at a Practice where my OV status will be utilised?

This is now a self service function.

a) if you’re already appointed to a Practice to work as an OV and would like to work permanently for an additional Practice a secondary appointment is required. You will be required to confirm that the secondary Practice will take responsibility for the work you carry out whilst working for them. 

b) If you’re planning to use your OV status to carry out locum work you must be employed by that Practice for at least a month. You will be required to confirm that the Practice where you are working as a locum will take responsibility for the work you carry out whilst working for them.

When this information has been received and processed by the OV Team (AHVLA) you will receive a separate OV stamp and Pocket Certificate, for use at the second Practice, within 10 working days.  The Pocket Certificate and Stamp will be sent to you at the secondary Practice address.

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7. What do I do if I have mislaid or damaged my pocket certificate?

This is now a self service function.

When this information has been received and processed by the OV Team (AHVLA) a replacement Pocket Certificate will be created and issued within 10 working days of notification.  The replacement Pocket Certificate will be sent to you at your Practice address.

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8. What do I do if I have mislaid or damaged my stamp?

This is now a self service function.

If your stamp has been damaged please return it to the OV Team and complete the self service screens. On receipt of this information, and the damaged stamp, a replacement OV stamp will be issued within 10 working days.

If your stamp has been stolen or mislaid please complete the self service screens.  Please note, if the stamp has been stolen, you will need to contact your local Police Station for a Crime Reference Number before contacting the OV Team (AHVLA). A Lost Property Number is required for a mislaid stamp. This information will be required before a replacement OV stamp can be issued.

On receipt of this information the OV Team (AHVLA) will arrange for a replacement stamp to be issued within 10 working days.

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9. What do I do if my name changes during my appointment?

This is now a self service function. 

On receipt of the information a new Pocket Certificate will be produced and issued within 10 working days.  The Pocket Certificate will be issued to you at the Practice address.

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10. What do I do if I need to carry out additional OV duties?

You are required to attend the necessary training before being appointed to additional panels. Please complete and return an Application Form (OVb2a )to the OV Team (AHVLA) by post and re-familiarise yourself with the Terms and Conditions of Appointment document (OVb27).

Please note on receipt of a completed application form you will be added to the waiting list for training.  When the appropriate training course becomes available in your area you will be notified by the OV Team.

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11. What do I need to do if I no longer use a panel?

This is now a self service function.  

On receipt of this information a new Pocket Certificate will be produced and issued within 10 working days.  The Pocket Certificate will be sent to you at your Practice address.

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12.What do I need to do if my Practice details change?

If the details of a Practice change it is important that all information is updated accordingly for both the Practice and all OVs working for that Practice. The details of the change must be provided by e-mail to the OV Team (AHVLA). On receipt of the information the OV Team (AHVLA) will ensure all records are updated and new Pocket Certificates will be created and issued accordingly.

Updated Pocket Certificates will be issued to all OVs within the Practice if appropriate.

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13. What do I need to do if my status within a Practice changes?

Please contact the OV Team (AHVLA) via e-mail to provide the details of the change. Please include the date that the status change took place. If you are changing from an Assistant to a Partner we will require either a solicitor’s letter or a letter signed by all Partners within the Practice confirming the change of status. This letter can be included as a scanned document within the e-mail notification provided.

On receipt of this information AHVLA records will be updated and you will be notified when the update has been completed.

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14. What do I need to do if I am setting up a new Practice?

Please download  & complete the A/AP201, Ova7, Ova8 and Confidentiality Agreement new Practice set up forms. If your Practice will be TB testing please complete the SAM Declaration form OVb37. Please return these forms to the OV Appointments & Training team (AHVLA) by post.

On receipt of the completed documents your local AHVLA office will be notified and may wish to inspect your Practice before the set up process is completed. On receipt of confirmation that your Practice can be set up, from your local AHVLA office, the OV Appointments and Training Team (AHVLA) will complete the Practice set up process and notify you.

On completion of the Practice set up, the OV Team will ensure that all OV records, for that Practice, are created/updated accordingly and the relevant documentation issued.

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15. What duties are Official Veterinarians authorised to carry out?

OVs are authorised to undertake only those functions for which they are fully appointed. Each OV will be appointed and authorised to perform some or all of the duties in the panel or subpanels listed below:-
1a             Tuberculosis
1b             Brucellosis
1c             Anthrax
1d             Other notifiable diseases
1e             Market Inspections
1f             No longer required
1g             Export or import of equine animals
1h             Export of zoo animals
1i              Export of laboratory animals
1j              Export of farm animals
1k             Export of birds, poultry and hatching eggs
1l              Export of animal products (e.g. hides and skins) and materials (e.g. straw)(e.g. straw)
1m            Export of fish and fish products
1n             Export of semen and embryos
1o             Sheep Scab
1p             Export of cattle, sheep and pigs destined for fattening, production oproduction or slaughter to other EU Member States
1q             No longer required
1r              Bluetongue
1s             Turkey Salmonella (NCP)
2               Export certification of small animals only
3               Export certification of red meat (including furred game)
4               Export certification of white meat (including game birds)
5               Export certification of red/white meat products
6a             No longer allocated
6b             Special appointments as specified (e.g. export of laboratory animals or b animals or biirds by an employee of a university or similar establishmenestablishment, deer duties)
6c             Supervision of Imported Offal establishments
10             Contingency support to Local Disease Control Centres (LDCCs)

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16. What is a Supervised Visit?

Following training in panel 1a, (Tuberculosis), a Veterinary Officer from your local AHVLA Office will accompany you on a TB test to assess your competence in this area of work. Following your training please contact your local AHVLA office to arrange a Supervised Visit.  Arranging for these visits to take place is a joint responsibility between the Practice and your local AHVLA Office.

Please note that if the necessary supervised visit is not arranged within 6 months of appointment the OV Team (AHVLA) will consider withdrawing your appointment to Panel 1a.

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17. What rates are payable for TB Tests carried out, by OVs appointed to Panel 1a?

A schedule confirming all rates payable, for Tuberculosis testing, is available (OVa14).

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Sam OV support

For queries about using Sam or the initial registration process please contact the Sam support desk on:

0870 242 4996

ahvlasupport@uk.ibm.com