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Update to training requirements for local authority inspectors Published Date: 27/03/2023

In October 2022 the Government introduced improved training requirements for inspectors of the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

As set out in the statutory guidance, local authorities will be required to ensure that all inspectors hold either:

  • a formal veterinary qualification recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), together with a relevant RCVS continuing professional development record, or; 
  • a Level 3 certificate (or equivalent) granted by a body recognised and regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual). Their certificate must apply to that particular type of activity to count as qualified. The training must cover the application of the licensing conditions for all licensable activities and must contain a practical element.

Temporary provision was made to allow inspectors to continue to practice while they undertake training to meet these new standards until 31 March 2023. Inspectors must have evidence of at least one year of experience in licensing and inspecting animal activities businesses and be enrolled on a course leading to a Level 3 certificate qualification (or equivalent) to be granted by a body recognised and regulated by Ofqual, during this temporary period. The Local Government Animal Welfare Group can signpost officers to suitable training provision available*.

Following feedback, Defra have extended the deadline for inspectors to attain necessary qualifications from 31 March to 1 October 2023.

This means that inspectors currently enrolled on a suitable Level 3 course will be able to continue conducting inspections whilst they complete their studies, up until 1 October. It should be noted that this is a change to the statutory deadline; individuals must agree any changes to coursework deadlines with their training providers.

Any person who has not completed their qualification by 1 October will be unable to continue to conduct inspections. There will be no further extension to the 1 October 2023 deadline.

* The IoL's BTEC Level 3 Certificate for Animal Inspectors (SRF) is awarded by Pearsons, and meets the requirements of the statutory guidance.