The Allied Paraprofessional Committee is responsible for developing BEVA’s policies and relationships with those working in fields allied to equine veterinary medicine, including farriery, equine dental technicians, musculoskeletal paraprofessionals and veterinary nurses. The committee is made up of seven BEVA Council members (Vicki Nicholls, Renate Weller, Mark Bowen, Chris Johannson, Neil Townsend, Roly Owers and Nicky Jarvis) with Andrew Harrison co-opted for his musculoskeletal paraprofessional expertise.
Our BEVA members have repeatedly voiced their concerns over securing legislative change for paraprofessionals and therefore the Allied Paraprofessionals Committee has been working hard on your behalf to drive this process forwards. In 2016 BEVA hosted meetings with the relevant dental stakeholders (BEVA, BVDA, BAEDT and WWAED) in order to suggest a legal framework for regulation. This represented a major progression in a process that has been ongoing since 2001 and which has shown very little development since talks were stalled in 2009.
We have since achieved agreement in several areas:
1. Regulation is required to protect the horse, the owner and the dental care provider
2. Regulation should be clear and easy to interpret
3. Regulation should cover all equine dental procedures
Unfortunately the BREXIT vote has somewhat stalled further progress as DEFRA commit their time and resources towards the UK’s decision to leave the EU. BEVA however remains committed to developing a legal framework for safe provision of equine dental care in order to safeguard the welfare of the horses, owners and dental care providers. Our intention is to continue driving the process to fruition and secure legislative change as an exemption order under the VSA with a common overarching regulatory body.
We will update the membership if and when any further progress is made.
Although we will continue to support and encourage our members working with qualified equine dental technicians rather than unqualified “dentists” or “tooth raspers”, the BEVA Allied Paraprofessional Committee is also mindful that there is also a very high level of equine dental expertise within the veterinary profession. Advanced practitioners and veterinary specialists in equine dentistry can be identified using the RCVS Find a Vet service but we are keen to promote our members even further. To this end we are planning an equine dental campaign to promote the role of veterinary surgeons in this field and encourage continual improvements in the standard of UK equine veterinary care. We have recently updated the BEVA dental chart which is available in hard copy from the BEVA office and a downloadable electronic version (with space for your practice logo) will be available soon.
The RAMP (Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners) was established in September 2016 to endeavour to set a standard for musculoskeletal paraprofessional work in the veterinary sector. Initial registrations were limited to ACPAT physios and registered osteopaths and chiropractors, but the register is expected to open to new applications through a process of recognition of prior experiential learning (RPEL) later this spring. We will of course keep members up to date with progress here.
Finally we have overseen a restructure of the BEVA/BVDA Governance Committee which is responsible for maintaining standards of the BEVA/BVDA equine dental technicians examination. Work is ongoing to improve clarity and transparency of the examination process, particularly with reference to candidates with extenuating circumstances, and also clarity of the candidate guidelines. An educational sub-committee has also been set up to provide guidance on these matters. The first stage of the 2017 examination has already been completed (assessment of credentials) and we wish all of the 2017 candidates the best of luck for the forthcoming theory and practical components of the examination.