A level five apprenticeship for Vet Techs, approved by the Government Agricultural and Environment app-rentice board, has been launched.
The qualification will enable the establishment of a standard skill level for all Vet Techs employed by UK veterinary practices, providing assurance to farmers and consumers that any Vet Tech visiting their farm is trained to carry out on-farm health related tasks to an exemplary standard.
Several veterinary practices have collaborated to launch the qualification, including VetPartners, XL Vets and independent farm veterinary practices.
VetPartners’ Natalie Parker, Head Vet Tech at LLM Farm Vets, explains how the qualification can be achieved.
“Due to the practical nature of the job, the apprenticeship is ideal as it is designed for people who are already employed by a vet practice as a Vet Tech and it will also help a vet practice thinking of setting up a Vet Tech service with full training.
“Eighty per cent of the learning is practical within the vet practice and farm-based, with the remaining 20 per cent a blend of online learning and two or three intensive sessions per year to be provided by the colleges and universities offering the qualification.
“This minimises the impact of travel to face-to-face training.
“The qualification takes two years to complete. Final assessments will be carried out independently by an end point assessor, involving vet observation of apprentices carrying out a range of tasks,” Natalie adds.
Harper Adams University is currently finalising its apprenticeship offer with a view to launching in autumn 2021.
Reaseheath College and The College of Animal Health and Welfare are also set to offer the qualification.
“The new standard will enable a career as a Vet Tech to be seen as a profession with a career path, and by making training opportunities available it should contribute to the roll-out of Vet Tech services at more farm practices.
“In turn, this can contribute to the improvement of animal health standards on UK farms, as tasks like vaccine administration can increasingly be carried out by trained animal health professionals who have the protocol put in place by a vet and the equipment to store medications at the correct temperature.”
Jon Reader, from Synergy Farm Health and part of the XLVets Vet Tech working group, commented that employing Vet Techs as part of the vet-led team is an integral part of the package offered to farmers.
“Farmers recognise the huge value that a skilled Vet Tech brings to their daily management by providing a trained person with the correct equipment, training and back up.
“The apprenticeship helps farmers and vets alike to ensure the health standards on our farms are second to none and never compromised,” he says.
“So far there has been a lot of interest in the qualification and the feedback from current Vet Techs is also very positive.
“By completing the qualification, even the most experienced Vet Techs will have the opportunity to understand more about new procedures and be better placed to explain things to our farm clients.
“For those already employed as a Vet Tech, we’re in the process of setting up an association of Vet Techs.
“If you’re interested in becoming a member, or to find out more about the qualification, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.”
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