An introduction to the ATT role

From early November 2020 non-vets have been able to undertake TB testing in cattle on behalf of a veterinary practice in England.  To be able to deliver this testing individuals must qualify as an Approved Tuberculin Tester, or ATT, and they must deliver the TB testing service via a veterinary practice and under the supervision of an Approved Veterinary Surgeon, or AVS.

 

In order to become an ATT, persons must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Hold a valid driving license and passport.
  • Hold at least 3 graded GCSEs or equivalent qualifications, in English, Maths, and a science or food production subject.
  • Have a clean criminal record.
  • Be approved by the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

 

There is also a need for at least six month’s cattle handling experience or alternatively three years of experience in a government job. An example would be working for a Local Authority providing certain inspection or authorisation activity.

 

Costs and next steps

*please note costs may be subject to change and the links for further information should be used to check current costs

 

A clear ‘Disclosure and Barring’ check

 

The initial DBS check costs around £23 and can take a couple of weeks to be returned. You can access these checks via the Governments web pages here: Disclosure and Barring Service – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) Once you have evidence that the DBS check has been successfully obtained you will need to find a veterinary practice to act as your training sponsor so that you can begin the practical training under their supervision. UK Farmcare can help with this if you don’t currently have any local contacts with a suitable livestock vet practice.

 

To study for the Approved TB Tester (ATT) course, you must first register on the Authority’s Animal Health Paraprofessional (AHP) database. This is done by visiting a website run by Improve International. The web pages for registration can be found here:

 

https://www.improve-ahp.com/registration/

 

Registration costs £59 plus VAT (£70.80) before you begin any training. However, it is a one-off payment that should last a lifetime.  At the time of registration you must have details of your employer who must confirm that all the necessary checks have been completed and that you fulfil all the eligibility requirements.

 

Enrolment on the training course to become an Approved TB Tester (ATT) costs £199 plus VAT (£238.80)  If you fail the exam, then there is a chance to re-sit the exam at a cost of £49 plus VAT (£58.80)  Having passed your online exam you are required to nominate an ‘Approved Veterinary Supervisor’ (AVS) from the practice that have employed you.  Once this process is complete you can then begin the practical training on farm where you will be taught all the practical skills required to TB test cattle safely, correctly and efficiently.  When you have completed the above requirements your AVS must sign you off on the database and you then become eligible for a Practical Assessment, which is the final part of your training.  The practical assessment phase costs a further £900 plus VAT (£1,080) because it involves two separate on-farm visits, on both day-one and day-two of a TB test.

 

If you fail the Practical Assessment you will be required to undertake further training under the direct and continuous supervision of your AVS before you can apply to retake it. There is a retake fee of £900 plus VAT. This must be paid at the time of booking. If you fail a second Practical Assessment you will be required to retake the full OCQ(AHP) – ATT online course. In such cases, the full enrolment fee of £199 plus VAT must be paid again in addition to a further Practical Assessment retake fee.

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