Course overview


The VetSkill Level 4 Certificate for Suitably Qualified Persons (SQP) - Companion Animal is designed for the training and development of people working in the animal industry wishing to gain the necessary qualification to be able to prescribe veterinary medicines to companion animals.

Qualification number: 603/3953/6
Level: 4
Credits: 20
Guided Learning hours: 150
Total Qualification Time: 210

Course content

How long will it take?

This level 4 certificate offers 20 credits (150 guided learning hours) and will take approximately 12 months to achieve.

On completion of this qualification you will have achieved the following units:

  • Legislation and Professional Requirements
  • An Introduction to Companion Animal Anatomy, Physiology and Nutrition
  • Companion Animal Health, Disease and Parasite Management
  • Prescribing and Supplying Veterinary Medicines to Owners/Keepers of Companion Animals

Entry requirements


Learners undertaking this programme may already have completed a Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing and be an RCVS Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN), or a lay person with no prior veterinary related qualifications working in a position that requires them to prescribe and dispense POM-VPS and NFA-VPS medication to companion animals.

Employment or work experience within a Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) registered premises, a veterinary practice registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), or a retail pharmacy registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) will be beneficial in assisting preparation towards the final assessment.

The nature of both the learning and assessment required for the qualification is such that learners will require basic literacy and numeracy skills. It is for the centre to determine if an applicant meets these requirements, prior to the learner commencing the programme, through a process of initial assessment.

Course quals

Multiple choice online exam (MCQ) 

There will be 4 multiple choice online examination (MCQ) set and marked by VetSkill which will assess the knowledge elements of the qualification.

Written Assignment

The written assessment is made up of a series of four written assignments which will demonstrate application of theoretical knowledge gained throughout the programme of study.

Practical Assessment: Summative Licence to Practice Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs)

Once all other assessment have been passed, learners will undertake the practical assessment consisting of a series of two, 8 minute (this includes 2 minutes reading and preparation time) scenario based tasks which assess the skills elements of the qualification.

What where?


These centres offer the VetSkill Level 4 Certificate for Suitably Qualified Persons (SQP) - Companion Animal.



Download the Qualification Handbook.

To find out more on delivering the Certificate for Suitably Qualified Persons (SQP) - Companion Animal, visit our delivering our qualifications page.