THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF VETERINARY SURGEONS INTRODUCTION TO RCVS CERTIFICATE EXAMINATIONS CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION IN VETERINARY PUBLIC HEALTH (FOOD HYGIENE) This introduction and enclosures are intended to be helpful to you in understanding what will be involved in working towards an RCVS Certificate qualification. Candidates may gain experience for these Certificates at: a. an approved practice for their subject, or b. an approved centre Details of the experience requirements are given in the Specific Guidance Notes (Paper B2 enclosed). A list of all documents enclosed is attached to this letter. RCVS CERTIFICATES Enrolments for the current RCVS Certificates are no longer available. Candidates who enrolled by November 2007 will be allowed the full 5 year enrolment period in which to attempt the examination. STAGES INVOLVED, CLOSING DATES AND FEES 1. Final approval of experience. This application should be made by 1 November in the year preceding entry to the examination. Final approval grants permission to submit an examination entry. Form E2 should be used. There is no fee payable at this stage. 2. CPD Record Cards. Photocopies of CPD Record Cards covering the period of experience being offered should accompany Form E2. Copies of the card may be downloaded from www.rcvs.org.uk/cpd 3. Examination entry. An examination entry must be submitted on Form E3 by 1 March prior to the examination which is held once annually in the Summer. There is a fee payable at this stage. 4. Submitted work. Three Case Books, on the chosen elective subject either Orthopaedics OR Soft Tissue, one of which must involve a series of individual cases, form Section (a) of the examination should be submitted UNDER SEPARATE COVER by 1 March. You will be notified by 1 June whether or not you are permitted to proceed to Sections (b) and (c) of the examination. 5. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that all application Forms and fees, and work required to be submitted for the examination reach the RCVS by the relevant closing date. No late applications will be accepted. Use of the Post Office’s ‘Special Delivery’ service is recommended. The RCVS cannot accept responsibility for applications or submitted work lost or delayed in the post and proof of posting cannot be accepted as proof of delivery. 6. Reminders of closing dates are placed in RCVS News – the Newsletter of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons – which is published regularly throughout the year and sent to all members of the College. No other specific reminders are sent. 7. Fees are reviewed annually and are normally increased from 1 January. Current fees from 1 January 2009 are: Examination Entry Fee: £750.00 OTHER IMPORTANT POINTS TO NOTE 8. Those veterinary surgeons who submit an application for final approval of experience should allow sufficient time to produce the submitted work which forms part of the examination. You are urged to allow adequate time to study the syllabus, with the aid of the reading list and in consultation with your Adviser. 9. The joint State Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Public Health Board oversee the Certificate and Diploma in Veterinary Public Health (Food Hygiene). The Board consists of six veterinary surgeons. 10. All applications are considered by Board members either at the annual meeting or by correspondence as appropriate. Candidates will be advised of the outcome of their E2 applications, in writing, no later than mid-January. Candidates must NOT contact the Board secretary by telephone for this information. 11. The information pack for this subject is updated following the annual Board meeting, which normally takes place some 4 weeks after the closing date for enrolment. Updated information packs are available after 1 April in paper form or on the RCVS website: www.rcvs.org.uk/vet_surgeons/education/cert_dip.html April 2009 Certificate in Veterinary Public Health (Food Hygiene) Please view the general documents to obtain copies of: The stages of enrolment information. B.1: Guidance Notes for candidates on general requirements. H. Role of Advisers to Certificate Candidates. The following papers are enclosed: B.2: Specific Guidance Notes for the Certificate. These notes explain what is required in terms of experience and in terms of the content of the Certificate examinations. C: Syllabus and Commentary for the Certificate. E: Application Forms E.lA, E.2. E.1A - for specific details of practice E.2 - for final approval of experience and for permission to submit an entry to the examination F. List of Advisers – also refer to Lists of Certificate holders in Register of Members. A copy of the most recent Examination Question Paper is enclosed for your information. April 2009 B.2—2009 THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF VETERINARY SURGEONS CERTIFICATE IN VETERINARY PUBLIC HEALTH (FOOD HYGIENE) SPECIFIC GUIDANCE NOTES FOR CANDIDATES [These notes must be read in conjunction with the B1 General Guidance Notes to Candidates] MEMBERSHIP OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF VETERINARY SURGEONS 1. It is a requirement of the Veterinary Public Health and State Veterinary Medicine Board that ALL Candidates entering for the Certificate are Members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS). AIM/INTRODUCTION 2. The aim of the Certificate in Veterinary Public Health is to improve understanding in the field of food hygiene in order that the veterinary surgeon can provide a better service to the public and animals under his or her care. Approved Practice Route*: 3. Candidates following the approved practice route will not be permitted to enter for the examination until they have been Members of the College or held an approved veterinary qualification for at least three years. Candidates are required to offer experience in the subject over the equivalent of two years full time across the species but under a maximum of five years. 4. The Board has discretion to increase the requirements for experience for any candidate above the minimum specified if it is considered to benefit the candidate. 5. Experience accepted for the Certificate will count towards the experience required for the Diploma, at the discretion of the Board. 6. The experience offered to meet the requirement of the Byelaws must have been gained within the five years immediately before enrolment, or after enrolment. No period of experience can be offered to meet the requirements of more than one Certificate or Diploma, other than the exception described in paragraph 7 above. 7. For the purposes of this Certificate the definition of “approved practice” will include licensed full throughput abattoirs, or a group of low throughput abattoirs (provided that the workload makes up 50% of the average working week). The plants must be under the supervision of the Meat Hygiene Service or in the case of meat plants located in Northern Ireland, under the oversight of the Veterinary Service of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. In the case of Official Veterinary Surgeons in management roles, the headquarters or regional offices of the MHS, Food Standards Agency (FSA) or those in the Veterinary Public Health Branch posts in the headquarters or regional offices of the Veterinary Service of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will be considered as “approved practice”. FINAL APPROVAL OF EXPERIENCE 8. Together with a completed form E2 and completed CPD record cards covering the period of experience, candidates applying for Final Approval of Experience will also need to submit a 6 month diary of their experience in veterinary public health. 9. The diary should cover 26 working weeks, with an average of 2.5 days per week spent on public health work. Entries relating to any branch of practice where there is an element of public health are admissible, particularly where the candidate draws on his/her own perception of an episode with public health significance. Therefore, occasional entries reporting on a diagnosis of a zoonosis in small animal practice, or reading a paper in the latest veterinary journal describing welfare of sheep in transport are just as valid as experiences in a slaughterhouse. This provided that the candidate adds their own original thoughts to what has been read or observed, and relates matters to their own experiences. The majority of entries should, however, be related to work concerning the slaughtering industry. Brief descriptions of plants visited should also be included. 10. Candidates should note that the diary log will not be assessed by examiners as part of the formal examination, but will be used to confirm that they have amassed adequate experience in the field concerned to make them suitable candidates for the examination. THE EXAMINATION 11. The examination consists of three Sections: (a) Submitted work—3 case reports, K (b) TWO x 2 hour written papers, and (c) a clinical, oral, and practical examination SUBMITTED WORK FOR EXAMINATION Number and Format of Case Reports 12. Candidates are required to submit three case reports, in duplicate in the year of examination. Candidates are also asked to submit an electronic version of their submitted work. The electronic version should be Microsoft Office 2000 or XP compatible and should be submitted on a CD 13. The three case reports should reflect a broad interest across the range of the syllabus. 14. Candidates should seek advice from their Advisers on the choice and preparation of case reports. The RCVS Library and Information Service now holds some examples of case reports for a variety of subjects which can be consulted by candidates, although at the current time, there are no examples specific to Veterinary Public Health. 15. Each case report should be concise, and should follow a consistent format using clear headings. Candidates are expected to reflect critically on the cases they have handled. Each report should contain an introduction, presentation of the problem, description of how the problem was addressed, a summary of outcome and a critical evaluation of the candidate’s handling of the case. 16. A table should be included for each case showing the following: • Name of Plant and licence number • Type of Plant (red/white/farmed game/wild game, slaughter and/or cutting, cold store, other meat plants) • Species and sources (e.g. local farms (farm assured/organic), auction markets or dealers/buying groups • Usual means of delivery (i.e. large/small batches 1–3 cattle, 1–10 pigs, 1– 20 sheep batches) or average daily number of consignments • Weekly average throughput of each species (cutting plants and cold stores, tonnage) • Dates and hours of attendance • Admission of special categories, e.g. schedule 18/19 • Customer base e.g., local butchers, farmers markets, farm shops, own shop, supermarkets, wholesale markets, and export (specify countries). Alternatively, where candidates are not working as OVSs but, for example, are involved in advisory work or delivery of training it is expected that their visits to plants (while fewer than plant-based OVSs) will be as troubleshooters or auditors. As such, candidates would normally have responsibility for numerous locations and the plant profiles provided with case reports may be shortened to include plant name, number, and type only. 17. Candidates are encouraged to make full use of photographs/charts etc in their case reports. All photographic illustrations (black/white/colour) should be included if appropriate in the form of prints. Colour transparencies should not be used. 18. A suitable index sheet should also be included at the front of the binder. 19. The candidate’s name should appear on a separate title page, which is not bound in, so that it can be easily removed for the purposes of the examination. 20. Candidates are required to complete a Declaration covering their case reports confirming the total word count. A Declaration form is sent out to eligible candidates, normally in January before the 1 March exam entry deadline. This should be submitted with the case reports on a separate sheet that should not be bound in, so that it can be easily removed before the cases are sent to examiners for marking. Word Count 21. Case reports should average 1,500 words each (excluding appendices, tables, or references) with an overall total word count NOT TO EXCEED 4,500 WORDS. It is acknowledged that the length of reports may vary. 22. This word limit must be observed and candidates who exceed the word count will have their work returned unmarked, and will be unable to proceed to the remaining sections of the examination for the year in question. Candidates should state the word count on the front page of each report. Grading Scheme 23. The submitted work will be graded “Good Pass”, “Pass”, or “Fail”. 24. Certificate work that achieves a “Good Pass” may be held in the RCVS Library and used as an example for future candidates. WRITTEN EXAMINATION Format 25. There will be two written papers, each of 2 hours in length. Paper 1 will comprise 15 short answer questions, from which the candidate must answer 10. Paper 2 will be essay-based, and candidates will be allowed some choice of questions. Marks Scheme: Paper I—will be marked out of 50 marks Paper II—will be marked out of 50 marks Total Mark for this Section (b) = 100 marks CLINICAL, ORAL, AND PRACTICAL EXAMINATION Format 26. This part of the examination will take approximately 75 minutes for each candidate. 27. The oral examination may start with a discussion aimed at clarifying any points from the written examination or submitted work which the examiners wish to explore further, in order to ascertain the breadth and depth of the candidate’s knowledge and understanding. The candidate will be given every opportunity to correct factual errors made in the submitted work or the written exam. 28. There will then follow a period of open questioning from each of the examiners. The questions will be designed to explore the candidate’s practical problem solving skills and will be based upon common situations that a candidate may be expected to deal with in the course of his/her duties. Practical props such as microbiological reports, thermographs, and audit reports may be used. 29. The candidate will then be taken for a walk through part of a processing plant and asked to describe and comment. 30. The final part of the examination will consist of an examination of carcases and viscera in order to ascertain the candidate’s knowledge of the inspection process, basic pathology, and ability to come to rational decision/dispositions. The candidate will be expected to speak knowledgeably on and identify carcases’ species, sex, and, grade etc. Marks Scheme 31. Candidates will be given an overall mark for the clinical/oral/practical out of 100. TOTAL Mark for this Section (c) = 100 marks READING LIST 32. There is no set reading list for the Certificate in Veterinary Public Health (Food Hygiene). Candidates are expected to access the relevant literature for themselves and should make use of the RCVS Library and Information Service, the Meat Hygiene Service, the Veterinary Public Health Association, the American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians and Europeans sources such as the European College of Veterinary Public Health. ADVISERS 33. Candidates should consult the RCVS Register of Members for a suitably willing and qualified individual (someone holding a Certificate/ Diploma or equivalent) who is familiar with the RCVS Certificate or Diploma examination system and clinically active. An Adviser should be found before enrolment. 34. Alternatively, candidates should consult the list of contact names found in the information pack with a view to then being recommended an Adviser. 35. Candidates are strongly advised to keep in touch with their Advisers throughout their preparations for the examination. Candidates who seek guidance from Advisers benefit significantly in their preparation for and performance in the examination. It is the responsibility of the candidate to take the initiative in this regard. 36. Candidates should ensure that they copy the current information documents contained within this information pack for their respective Advisers, in particular, they should ensure that their Adviser receives a copy of the requirements on the submitted work (B2) and the Guidance Notes to Advisers. ATTENDANCE AT SHORT COURSES 37. The Board recommends that candidates attend short courses and seek information from the Meat Hygiene Service, the Veterinary Public Health Association and European sources such as the European College of Veterinary Public Health. The Board wishes to emphasise to candidates the benefits gained in attending appropriate courses and any other events that are relevant to the certificate and would be advantageous to the candidate’s studies. MEMBERSHIP OF VETERINARY ASSOCIATIONS/SOCIETIES 38. It is a requirement of the Board that candidates enrolling for the Certificate in Veterinary Public Health (Food Hygiene) are members of the Veterinary Public Health Association. Candidates are also encouraged to take up membership of the American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians and to make use of the reading lists they provide. ABBREVIATION FOR QUALIFICATION 39. Successful candidates are permitted to use the abbreviation “CertVPH(FH)” after their names, in the RCVS Register of Members, and on practice plate and stationery etc. Document originated: October 2003 Revised: Dec 2003/Mar 2004/March 2007 C ROYAL COLLEGE OF VETERINARY SURGEONS CERTIFICATE IN VETERINARY PUBLIC HEALTH (FOOD HYGIENE) SYLLABUS INTRODUCTION • This certificate is designed for those veterinary surgeons interested in working in aspects of food hygiene. • It incorporates and expands the previous RCVS certificate in Veterinary Public Health. • The new syllabus and new certificate recognises the fact that veterinary public health is more than meat inspection. • The written examination will be in the form of two papers, each of 2hrs duration. Paper 1, which will focus on Veterinary Public Health Paper 2a, which will concentrate on Food Hygiene • Candidates successfully completing the examination will receive a certificate in Veterinary Public Health (Food Hygiene) [CertVPH(FH)]. PAPER 1 ELEMENT: OVERVIEW • What is Public Health? • What is animal health and welfare? • The role of Government • The role of the private sector. • What sectors of the veterinary profession are involved? • Overview of Veterinary Public Health Legislation (e.g. HSE, Pet shops, Riding establishments etc.) ELEMENT: AGRICULTURE AND THE FOOD INDUSTRY. • The principles of modern systems of animal husbandry for the major meat- producing livestock species • The principles of modern systems of animal husbandry for dairy livestock • On-farm factors affecting fate and spread of food borne pathogens • Farming, farm wastes and the protection of the environment • Farm biosecurity • The importance of agriculture to the national economy. • Quality assurance- and HACCP-based systems as applied at farm level and food processing. • Collection, management and analysis of data at farms and its use in animal and public health. • Herd/Flock health schemes. • The role of Government in the protection of public and animal health. • The role of agencies such as the MHS, FSA, VLA, VMD, and PHLS in veterinary public health. Element: Basics of animal population medicine • Diagnosis, treatment and control of selected infectious diseases of farm animals • Epidemiology of zoonotic infections not causing disease in animals. • The role of farms in integrated food safety assurance and public health. • Zoonoses in, and/or via, companion animals • An appreciation of the principles of disease control and current legislation concerning general infectious disease control • Notifiable diseases and zoonoses • Principles of veterinary epidemiology • Principles of risk assessment • Principles of cleaning and disinfection on farms. • Record keeping, licensing, and movement controls • A comparison of the efficacy of private and public disease control measures. Element: Veterinary epidemiology • Collection of data, data analysis and hypothesis testing • Management of epidemics and the role of modelling • Cost benefit analysis • Specificity and sensitivity • Incidence and Prevalence Element: Animal welfare and its relation to food quality and safety • An appreciation of welfare codes and the five freedoms • Philosophical aspects of animal welfare including the animal liberation lobby. • Animal welfare problems on farms, markets, in transit and at abattoirs • EU and UK legislation on welfare • Enforcement of animal welfare legislation and role of private and state veterinary surgeons, police and voluntary organisations. • Role of Farm Animal Welfare Council Element: Contaminants of foodstuff of animal origin • Chemical contaminants (pesticides, heavy metals, PCBs/PHBs/dioxins) in foods of animal origin • Mycotoxins in foods of animal origin • Veterinary medicines in foods of animal origin, their surveillance/monitoring and controls (Veterinary Medicines Directorate- VMD, MHS, SVS and EU) • Integrated food safety assurance as applied to the food chain • Defining of maximum residue limits (MRLs) and the consequences of failure • Antibiotic resistance • Radio-nucleotides Paper 2a Element: Legislation as it affects food of animal origin • Food Safety Act 1990 • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 • European and international law for food safety • WASK. • Operating in a legislative framework • 12 principles of certification and the certification of fresh meat for either intra-community trade or to “third” countries. Element: Food industry operations • Slaughterhouse, cold store and cutting plant construction and design with reference to hygienic operation. • Dairy plant construction and design with reference to hygienic operation. • Handling and disposal of unfit meat and other slaughterhouse waste • Vermin and pest control • Water supply and testing • Cleaning and disinfection of equipment and the food-processing environment. • Training of personnel working in all aspects of the production and slaughter of animals and the preparation of fresh meat products • Licensing of slaughtermen Element: Occupational Health and zoonoses • Occupational diseases amongst abattoir workers and their prevention • Physical occupational risks • Companion and wildlife animal zoonoses Element: Food Hygiene and Process Controls • Influence of pre-slaughter management and handling of animals on the quality and safety of meat • Ante-mortem inspection goals and procedures • Methods of stunning and slaughter • Hygiene of dressing of slaughtered animals • Post mortem meat inspection • Principles of microbial risk assessment as applied to foods • Hygiene assessment system and HACCP • Microbiological sampling methods, plans and hygiene performance criteria at abattoirs • Basics of meat science, technology and quality assessment • Hygiene of non-meat foods (milk and dairy products, fish, honey) Element: Food microbiology and human population medicine • Types and general characteristics of micro-organisms associated with fresh foods. Basic typing and finger printing of micro-organisms • Laboratory organisation and accreditation • Behaviour of micro-organisms during meat preservation, processing and distribution • Microbial food spoilage • Food borne pathogens and epidemiology of food borne diseases • Principles of prevention of food borne diseases Originated: January 2003 E1A ROYAL COLLEGE OF VETERINARY SURGEONS Specialisation and Further Education CERTIFICATE IN VETERINARY PUBLIC HEALTH (FOOD HYGIENE) Details of the establishment in which experience is being gained to meet the requirements in the general and specific guidance notes for the Certificate in Veterinary Public Health (Food Hygiene): If more than one practice/establishment please photocopy this form and complete in respect of each such establishment. General Information (to be completed by all applicants) 1. Place of employment and address: 2. Date of commencement of employment (and date of leaving if you are no longer employed at this address): 3. Numbers of veterinary surgeons usually working in your place of employment: 4. Proportion of establishment time spent on work related to the Certificate syllabus: % 5. Proportion of your own time spent on work related to the Certificate syllabus: % PLEASE RETURN ORIGINAL FORM PLUS SIX CLEAR PHOTOCOPIES Name (block capitals):______________________________________ Signature: Date E1A ROYAL COLLEGE OF VETERINARY SURGEONS Specialisation and Further Education CERTIFICATE IN VETERINARY PUBLIC HEALTH (FOOD HYGIENE) Details of the establishment in which experience is being gained to meet the requirements in the general and specific guidance notes for the Certificate in Veterinary Public Health (Food Hygiene): If more than one practice/establishment please photocopy this form and complete in respect of each such establishment. General Information (to be completed by all applicants) 1. Place of employment and address: 2. Date of commencement of employment (and date of leaving if you are no longer employed at this address): 3. Numbers of veterinary surgeons usually working in your place of employment: 4. Proportion of establishment time spent on work related to the Certificate syllabus: % 5. Proportion of your own time spent on work related to the Certificate syllabus: % PLEASE RETURN ORIGINAL FORM PLUS SIX CLEAR PHOTOCOPIES Name (block capitals):______________________________________ Signature: Date F CERTIFICATE IN VETERINARY PUBLIC HEALTH (FOOD HYGINE) - ADVISERS Candidates should refer to the lists of Certificate holders published in Section 3 of the RCVS Register of Members. For ‘Role of Advisers’ see – Common Documents. THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF VETERINARY SURGEONS CERTIFICATE IN VETERINARY PUBLIC HEALTH (Food Hygiene) WEDNESDAY 25 JULY 2007 PAPER I (2 hours) Candidates are required to answer ALL TEN of the following questions on this paper. Allow 12 minutes per question. Illegible handwriting may result in examiners being unable to award marks for information which candidates intended to convey. _____________________________________________________________________________ 1. Describe briefly the current strategy for reducing bacterial contamination of meat. 2. The results of monitoring under the ZAP (Zoonosis Action Plan) Salmonella Scheme indicate that one of your pig clients’ herds has a high prevalence of Salmonella. What are the legal implications? Outline the measures you would recommend to reduce prevalence of infection on the farm. 3. Outline the requirements for handling materials in a full-throughput beef abattoir not intended to go for human consumption – i.e. by-products and wastes, (but excluding "Specified Risk Material"). 4. Describe, using examples, why ante-mortem inspection for both red meat animals and poultry is essential as part of a meat hygiene service. 5. No matter how hygienically meat is produced there is no such thing as zero risk of pathogens being present. LIST FOUR of the requirements for the growth of bacteria in food that are relevant to meat (both red and poultry meat). For each indicate ONE food for which that requirement is important. P.T.O. FOR QUESTIONS 6 - 10 6. Briefly describe the steps in a cleaning and disinfection protocol for a large red meat slaughterhouse. Discuss the methods available to a plant operator to check the efficiency of cleaning and disinfection. 7. What advice would you give to a farmer who is persistently having his finished beef cattle either condemned or down-graded at slaughterhouse post-mortem inspection because of Taenia saginata cysticercus? Describe briefly how you would go about determining the source of the infection? 8. LIST FIVE of the measures which can be employed to reduce the risk of the spread of Brucellosis once it is confirmed on a dairy farm. Select the most important of these and explain why. 9. LIST FOUR controls that can be applied in the poultry industry to reduce the risk of foodborne pathogens and indicate the likely level of control possible from each of the suggested controls. In your answer include any difference in effectiveness of these controls for Salmonella and Campylobacter. 10. How can effectiveness of stunning be assessed in: (a) red meat animals? and (b) poultry? Describe briefly your action(s) should you suspect inadequate or inappropriate stunning. ____________ THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF VETERINARY SURGEONS CERTIFICATE IN VETERINARY PUBLIC HEALTH (Food Hygiene) WEDNESDAY 25 JULY 2007 PAPER II (2 hours) Candidates are required to answer FOUR out of the following five questions on this paper. Allow 30 minutes per question. Illegible handwriting may result in examiners being unable to award marks for information which candidates intended to convey. _____________________________________________________________________________ 1. Food contamination may occur at any stage of the production chain. For the category of ready to eat food discuss how contamination may be prevented or controlled. 2. Veterinary Surgeons play an important role in protecting animal health, animal welfare, public health and the environment. Discuss the national needs in respect of an outbreak of infectious disease in animals that have significant implications for public health, including a description of how to ensure readiness and coordination of the effort to protect the country against infectious disease. 3. From a public health perspective discuss the risk of food being a vector of members of the Mycobacteria spp. Include in your answer the possible controls and discuss their effectiveness. 4. Describe the measures considered appropriate for reducing the risk, to both animal and public health, from Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) of animals. Include in your answer the use of TSE testing of cattle and sheep in the abattoir. 5. With the concern about antibiotic resistance there will be implications for the availability and use of antibiotics in animals. One of the defences will be from the veterinary profession adopting a policy of prudent use of antibiotics. Discuss the key issues relating to such a prudent use policy for the veterinary service.
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