Animal Health Professions Register

The Animal Health Professions Register (AHPR) aims to raise standards within animal health professions and provide a comprehensive register of appropriately qualified practitioners to enable the public and the veterinary profession to select the right treatment and a wellqualified practitioner for their animals.

The Review of Minor Procedures Project (as part of the Veterinary Surgeons Act) showed that the public and veterinary surgeons are confused by the wide number of qualifications held by people who provide health related services for animals, particularly those who offer services relating to the musculoskeletal system.

By registering with the AHPR you can demonstrate your dedication to maintaining high academic and practical skills and therefore ultimately improving animal health and welfare. The AHPR will represent you to important organisations, such as the Exemption Orders and Associates Working Party of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and DEFRA. The AHPR is also in communication with insurance companies to ensure they are aware of the professional nature of our registrants.

Membership of AHPR is open to those professions who provide services for the treatment of animals under veterinary referral and for the maintenance of health. Registrants are currently categorised into the following subgroups: Animal Chiropractic and Manipulation; Small Animal Hydrotherapy; Animal / Veterinary Physiotherapy; Animal Sports Therapy and Massage.

All AHPR registrants have achieved an industry-recognised appropriate standard of training through externally accredited courses or recognised prior learning (grandparenting), comply with Continuing Professional Development and hold appropriate insurance as required by the wider industry. Even when applying through the grandparenting route, potential registrants must be able to show they can meet the day one competency skills required by their subgroup. This means that everyone registered on the AHPR has shown they hold the skills necessary to entitle them to be on a professional register. The AHPR aims to raise standards in the animal health and welfare industry and provide clarity to animal owners and veterinary surgeons around the training and treatment type offered by its members.

The RCVS EOA Working Party has come to the conclusion that the EO for “physiotherapy” is too wide and requires amendment and this may lead to the restriction on the types of procedures people working under the EO currently carry out. The aim of the RCVS is to have a solid working proposal that they can put to DEFRA to make any necessary changes to either the Order or the Act when some parliamentary time can be found. However, at a meeting at the RCVS attended by members of AHPR earlier this year (January 2018) it was proposed that this could possibly be achieved in two years. The RCVS EOA Working Party have put forward a proposal to tackle this issue –

The accreditation model; where the RCVS would accredit an existing register based on the regulatory structures it already has in place. They would expect the organisation to “provide registration services, set the standards for education, develop a code of conduct, provide advice to practitioners and investigate concerns (including holding disciplinary hearings)” and as long as the register met the stip-ulated criteria the RCVS would accredit it.

The full regulation model; where the RCVS would regulate individuals (as they currently do with vets and vet nurses).

The RCVS EOA Working Party considers both models could be suitable going forwards. With the full regulation model being described as a “RCVS Associates” and accredited organisations as “RCVS Accredited”.

AHPR will offer you a register that will stand up to scrutiny by the RCVS and provide assurance to veterinary surgeons and animal owners that our registered members are well trained, professional, accountable and above all else have the welfare of the animals that they treat as their top priority. With the confidence of the “end users” that AHPR registrants are the people who can be trusted with their animals or their client’s animals then you will have an opportunity to increase your own client base.

The AHPR is unique in that it brings together a wide variety of allied animal health professionals providing different therapies that can complement each other in an animal’s treatment and wellbeing.

The decision to join the AHPR is up to the individual practitioner. Whilst remaining a member of your professional association is important, it is your choice as to whether you wish to be on a Register where all the registrants have attained the level of training required by their subgroup. We are delighted that we can now accept applications to the Animal Health Professions Register, for further details visit www.ahpr.org.uk If you have any questions that you would like us to answer please email us at: enquiries@ahpr.org.uk

Animal Therapy Magazine