The microchipping of dogs, cats and ferrets is now controlled by law.
According to The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 and article 10A of The Non-Commercial Movement of Pet Animals Order 2011, any person implanting microchips into dogs, cats and ferrets must fall into one of the following categories of persons:
- (a) they are a veterinary surgeon or a veterinary nurse acting under the direction of a veterinary surgeon,
- (b) they are a student of veterinary surgery or a student veterinary nurse and in either case are acting under the direction of a veterinary surgeon,
- (c) they have been satisfactorily assessed on a training course approved by the appropriate authority for that purpose, or
- (d) before the 29th December 2014 they received training on implantation which included practical experience of implanting a microchip.
Whilst there are no such requirements for rabbits it is obviously good practice for any animal to be microchipped by someone who can demonstrate that they have the necessary competence to carry out the procedure.
The VetSkill Level 3 Award in Implantation of Identification Microchips in Animals is recognised by DEFRA as an approved qualification for anyone wishing to implant microchips into animals. As of 17th March 2016 this qualification has also been approved by the Welsh Government for the purposes of regulation 9(1)(c) of The Microchipping of Dogs (Wales) Regulation 2015. Scottish Government approval was gained on 26th April 2016.
Please note the following as a matter of importance: The microchipping of any animal species other than dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets, is deemed an act of veterinary surgery and may only be undertaken by a veterinary surgeon. Learners must therefore not perform any action either during their training, or post-qualification, that may be interpreted as an act of veterinary surgery (as defined by The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966). This includes introducing a microchip into any species for which they have not been trained and assessed.
Qualification number: 601/6902/3
Guided Learning Hours: 9
Total Qualification Time: 12
How long will it take?
This level 3 award offers two credits and will usually be delivered as a one or two-day attended course (12 guided learning hours), along with some preparatory study.
On completion of this qualification you will:
- Understand the uses and benefits of animal microchip identification
- Understand the function of microchips and scanners
- Know the sites for microchip implantation in animals
- Be able to ensure safety of the animal and operator during the implantation process
- Be able to correctly assess the functionality of and implant microchips in animals
- Know how to advise animal owners about aftercare and maintenance following implantation
There are no formal or specific academic or learning entry requirements to undertake this programme.
However, you will need to have basic IT, literacy and numeracy skills.
You will be required to pass a short online multiple-choice exam and a practical test at a recognised centre, which involves microchipping an animal in order to achieve this qualification.
These centres offer the VetSkill Level 3 Award in Implantation of Identification Microchips in Animals.