The VMD Code of Conduct for SQPs requires:
- All SQPs to undertake CPD
- For bodies registering SQPs (such as Vetpol) to operate a system to monitor CPD and ensure their registrants remain up to date
- Vetpol SQPs are required to accumulate a minimum number of CPD hours per year, relevant to their species qualification or to the job of being a SQP, in order to remain on the Vetpol register.
2. Details of completed CPD, along with time spent and a review of each CPD activity must be recorded in the Vetpol SQPs individual account on the app.vetpol.uk Learning Management System where progress will be checked and verified.
3. Vetpol SQPs are entitled to take a copy of this CPD record and show it to others such as potential employers.
4. The review field in the CPD record enables Vetpol to see evidence of study and its completion is mandatory for CPD to be included in the total. We suggest the following is included:
- The most useful thing learned and how this will be applied to the role as a SQP?
- Suggestions for improvement of the course or follow-up study.
- A score showing how likely the SQP is to recommend this course of study to other SQPs: 1-5 with 5 being most likely.
It is the SQPs responsibility to keep this record up to date in order to be able to claim the relevant number of CPD hours. Time for reflection is useful but we recommend completing the record within 48 hours of the CPD taking place.
5. The SQP is obliged to inform Vetpol at the earliest opportunity if the CPD requirement cannot be met because the SQP is unable to work due to exceptional circumstances, e.g. long-term sickness, maternity leave or career break. Vetpol will make arrangements in such circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
6. CPD hours may be acquired through non-accredited and accredited CPD; a minimum of 50% should be obtained through accredited sources.
7. Vetpol SQPs qualified in one species must complete a minimum of 3 hours of CPD per year.
For each additional species thereafter they must complete additional hours as below, per year to a maximum of 7 hours. This is a minimum requirement to stay on the SQP register; Vetpol encourages SQPs to go beyond the minimum.
|Number of species qualified||Minimum number of CPD hours required per year for SQP’s||RVN SQPs only*|
|1 – e.g. Companion Animal only||3||1.5|
|2 – e.g. Companion Animal and Equine||5||2.5|
|3 – e.g. Companion Animal, Equine and Farm||6||3|
|4 – e.g. Companion Animal, Equine, Farm and Avian||7||3.5|
*RVNs already have a considerable CPD commitment and much of their CPD overlaps with the role of being a SQP. Therefore, RVNs are required to fulfill half the SQP CPD requirement.
A year starts from when the SQP qualifies and joins the Vetpol register.
NOTE: Vetpol is changing the CPD year to align it with the Register year, ie from the current situation (described above) to the calendar year, January-December. The transition period will be completed by the end of 2023 and no SQPs will be penalised by the change; the new system will be simpler to understand and implement and has come about as a response requests by SQPs and their employers.
8. Vetpol encourages practical CPD e.g. work-shadowing, farm visits, or learning to administer medicines. All practical CPD must be certified by an external verifier (eg, a person senior to the SQP or the person providing the practical session) and recorded on a verifier form. It is the responsibility of the SQP to keep completed verification and supply it as evidence if requested.
9. Completing the required amount of CPD and recording it accurately is a requirement to remain on the Vetpol register. Failure to comply with this requirement could lead to removal from the register meaning you may no longer be able to work as a SQP.
Vetpol Ltd will therefore complete random checks from time-to-time. In cases of non-compliance, i.e. failure to complete the required amount of CPD or to flag up problems as described under section 4, the SQP will receive an email from Vetpol, offering the SQP the right to explain/defend their position, within 14 days of the email being sent.
Where a satisfactory response is received, the SQP will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, as deemed appropriate by Vetpol’s Directors.
Where a satisfactory response is not received within 14 days, the SQP will be notified that they are suspended from the register until further notice or that they have been removed.
Other SQP regulators and the VMD will be notified of any suspensions or removals so a suspension or removal from the Vetpol register means a suspension and removal from all SQP registers.
10. Vetpol is committed to maximising the availability of CDP for SQPs on its register and making it easy for SQPs to comply with their requirement. If SQPs have positive suggestions for improvement they are welcome via the support forum or contact form.
For more information, visit our page on CPD requirements
This policy was last reviewed August 2021.