New national qualification launched for vet techs

A level-five apprenticeship, approved by the government’s Agricultural and Environment apprentice board, has been launched for veterinary technicians.

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 is trained to carry out 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.

See also: Vet Tech services to be expanded

About the qualification

The apprenticeship is designed for people who are already employed by a vet practice as a vet tech. It will also help vet practices thinking of setting up a vet tech service with full training.

About 80% of the learning is practical, either within the vet practice or farm-based. The remaining 20% is a blend of online learning and two or three intensive sessions a year, to be provided by the colleges and universities offering the qualification.

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 qualification takes two years to complete. Final assessments will be carried out independently by an endpoint assessor, involving vet observation of apprentices carrying out a range of tasks.

“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,” said VetPartners’ Natalie Parker, head vet tech at LLM Farm Vets.

An association of vet techs is in the process of being set up for those already employed in the role.

If you are interested in becoming a member, or to find out more about the qualification, contact for more information.