First SQP qualifies with Vetpol’s online training course

Vetpol is celebrating the qualification of Reece Goldsmith, the first SQP candidate to graduate from a course run completely online.

Vetpol was appointed as an independent regulator of SQPs earlier this year, and is the first company in the UK to provide SQP training and exams in an entirely digital format. For many people, the flexibility of this online learning has been beneficial in light of the challenges of this year.

Vetpol’s Level 4 SQP qualification, which was developed in conjunction with LANTRA and is regulated by Ofqual, enables those qualifying to dispense VPS medicines.

The course involves four modules – companion animal, equine, farm and avian – and newly qualified SQP Reece Goldsmith passed the exams in all four.

First SQP qualifies with Vetpol online training course.

Reece, who is based at Shire Stables in Oxfordshire, describes how he got on with the training. “It’s a great course in a very easy to understand and read format,” he says. “I enjoyed the easy access to the course materials and being able to log in and see my progress.”

One of the main reasons why Reece chose the Vetpol course was the online learning. “In all honesty, if the course wasn’t online I most likely wouldn’t have done my SQP training,” he says. “I run a livery yard and a worm counting postal service, I just wouldn’t have had the time to go off and do study weeks and take more time off to do the exams.”

Vetpol originally chose to provide digital training for convenience in today’s busy world, aiming to help people study whenever and wherever was practical for them. However, given the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning has been much more useful than anticipated. “COVID-19 has changed our lives in so many ways, including disrupting a lot of face-to-face teaching,” says Caroline Johnson, Director of Vetpol. “Our fully online course will allow people to still gain the qualifications they need during these difficult times.”

“A key advantage of Vetpol’s course is that the exams are online as well as the teaching”, Caroline Johnson explains. “Our awarding body LANTRA offer online proctored exams, which mean they’re invigilated remotely,” she says. “This means that people don’t even need to travel for exams, which can be stressful enough, even without the added disturbance of a pandemic.”

Both students and qualified SQPs can make use of the Vetpol online support forum, which is run by experienced trainers, SQPs and animal health professionals.

Reece Goldsmith explains that this will be a reassurance after qualification. “It’s crammed with usual information,” he says. “It gives access to CPD and points you in the right direction for further information when you need it.”

SQPs have to be very effective communicators in order to address individual concerns, and Vetpol has made communication skills a big part of their courses to help people take a more proactive approach to recommendations. The courses are designed to give practical information that is easy to apply to working life.

Participants can take the courses at their own pace, and have a full two years from registration to pass their exams. Further information is available at:

Read more about Vetpol here.