What is a Suitably Qualified Person (SQP)?

Posted by Wormers-direct on 16th Jan 2020

What is a Suitably Qualified Person (SQP)?

An SQP is a category of professionally qualified persons who are entitled to prescribe and/or supply certain veterinary medicinal products under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations.  It is the duty of an SQP to ensure that the statutory requirements in respect of the prescription and/or supply of certain veterinary medicinal products are respected.

That’s the official definition but what do we really do?

An SQP is an animal health advisor and in my case that is an E-SQP which means I can prescribe and supply for both equines and companion animals.

Why do we ask you so many questions?

First off, a very brief history of how where we are today came about.  Back in the mists of time it was rightly decided that all those supplying animal medicines should be registered and approved and as I was at that time supplying such items I was approved by “Grandfather rights” i.e. providing I stayed within the code of practice and operated from approved premises I was allowed to continue to ply my trade.  Sometime later the EU decided that the situation in the UK with regard to supplying such medicines was not good enough and steps were taken to remove all such rights and place all such supplies in the hands of the vets.  Naturally many of us in the industry were aghast at such a decision and after many negotiations and a concerted effort of cooperation from all interested parties, including BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association), we in the UK were allowed a concession to continue supplying, provided that all those personnel involved not only increased their knowledge by study and examination but under took Continued Professional Development (CPD).  During this process AMTRA (Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority) had been tasked to ensure that the marketing and distribution of animal medicines in the UK is undertaken in a responsible manner, by AMTRA qualified persons namely by SQPs (Suitably Qualified Person).  In our industry we are all regulated by the VMD (Veterinary Medicines Directorate).  The VMD is tasked by the government to regulate every element of the supply chain of animal medicines to ensure safety and fairness for all parties involved.  This responsibility is not taken lightly and there are many rules and regulations both in force and enforced to make sure that medicines are supplied in a responsible and safe method.  By these continuing efforts and ongoing liaison with all involved we in the UK have been able to enjoy not only a highly professional and specialised body of people to advise us, but a readily available supply of necessary medicines when and where we need them.  To enable us to continue to offer this service to the animal keepers of the UK our clients must bear with us when we interrogate them whenever they are in the market for such products.  It is our duty to ensure that the right products are used on the right animals at the right times and in the correct doses. In a nutshell that is why we ask you so many questions.

So when you next need expert advice on worming your horse or treating your pet for fleas or worms make sure you enlist the help and advice of an SQP (Suitably Qualified Person).

SH Wetherald E-SQP