Veterinary paraprofessionals (VPPs) play an important role in support of the effective delivery of national Veterinary Services (VS) to protect animal and public health in both the public and private sectors. They are called upon to provide a wide range of activities and services in the areas of animal health, veterinary public health and laboratory diagnosis in many countries, particularly those with insufficient numbers of veterinarians. Thus, their participation is essential to the performance of national VS.
However, the education and training of VPPs in the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH, founded as OIE) Member Countries vary considerably in both duration and quality. Additionally, national veterinary statutory bodies (VSB) or equivalent bodies typically have no mandate to recognise categories of VPPs, identify their prerogative and activities and define their training requirements for licensure or registration.
WOAH supports the participation of VPPs in the delivery of national VS and recognises the variety of roles that VPPs can play. In May 2018, the Competency Guidelines for Veterinary Paraprofessionals were developed to identify the likely range of activities that VPPs might be involved in and then to establish the required competencies necessary to ensure that the activities will be carried out properly. The Curricula Guidelines for Veterinary Paraprofessionals were developed in May 2019 as a companion document to provide guidance in identifying the curricula necessary to deliver the competencies that VPPs require to properly carry out the responsibilities expected of them according to the nature of their work, the extent of their training, and the prerogatives defined for them by the VSB or other regulatory body. Both Competency and Curricula Guidelines for VPPs can be applied by VSBs to improve recognition and definition of different categories of qualified VPPs; by training institutions for programme and curricula development; by VS and other potential employers for development of VPP job descriptions and requirements for training; by policy-makers to help develop human resource needs assessments and skill development for VPPs in the veterinary domain; and by VPPs themselves for self-assessments aimed at continuing education and career advancement.
WOAH Sub-regional Representation for South East Asia, with funding support from the Australian Government is organised the Sub-Regional Virtual Workshop on Veterinary Paraprofessional (VPP) Competencies and Trainings from 31 March to 1 April 2022. Participating were the representatives of each Members’ Veterinary Authority, VSB/VSB equivalent authority, VPP training institutions and VPP association in South-East Asia and Papua New Guinea. The workshop addressed the guidelines for VPPs and their application to the best interest of national VS.
The Sub-Regional Virtual Workshop on VPP competencies and trainings aimed to: