Our Qualification: NCAH Course


Background to the NOAH Certificate of Animal Health

All responsible animal medicines sales representatives need to be fully equipped to give support to the prescribers and sellers of animal medicines that they visit.  All NOAH member companies (and non-members participating in the NOAH Data Sheet Compendium) must ensure their staff are appropriately trained to do this.

It is a requirement of both NOAH membership and participation in the NOAH Compendium that all companies’ sales representatives involved in the direct technical selling of medicines (other than those on general sale i.e. AVM-GSL medicines) appear on the NCAH register and have taken the NOAH Certificate of Animal Health (NCAH) examination within two years of joining the industry.

The animal medicines industry has long recognised the need to train those people that work within it. Since 1974, NOAH’s Code of Practice for the Promotion of Animal Medicines has required staff to be trained.

In addition to manufacturing companies’ own training schemes for their sales teams, it was agreed that an independent industry qualification should be established to demonstrate to their customers, the regulatory authorities and the government that animal medicines were being sold in a responsible way.

In 1991, NOAH and AMTRA (the Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority) launched the qualification that was to become the NCAH as The Animal Medicine Manufacturers’ Sales Staff Register.

In 2010 the qualification came under the control of NOAH and was renamed the NCAH with the establishment of the NCAH register of qualified representatives.

Back to top…


Rules and fee structure for NOAH Certificate of Animal Health register

  1. All persons employed in the direct technical selling of veterinary medicines are required to pass the NCAH examination as detailed in clause 11.1 of the NOAH Code of Practice for the Promotion of Animal Medicines. Individuals who hold a degree in veterinary medicine and who are eligible to enter the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons register are not required to sit the examination to remain on the register. Holders of other relevant degrees will not receive exemptions from sitting the examination as a result of having these qualifications.
  2. In normal circumstances, representatives are required to attempt the examination within 2 years of joining the animal medicines industry. They must pass the examination within 3 years of joining the animal medicines industry.
  3. If a grandfather qualified representative allows their register entry to lapse by not paying the annual registration fee, they are not required to sit and pass the NCAH examination in order to re-join and remain on the NOAH register of representatives.
  4. If an individual who has passed the examination, or a grandfather qualified representative, allows their qualification to lapse, they will not be required to re-sit the examination in order to rejoin the register. They will be required to pay a ‘re-registration’ fee. This fee will be double the registration fee for the calendar year in question. This rule has been in force since 1 January 2012.
  5. NOAH will not release information to member companies on whether an individual has obtained the NCAH without first receiving from the individual written consent to this information being released. Data protection rules apply to the information NOAH holds in relation to the NCAH.
  6. Fee structure
    • Initial registration fee: £275. Covers entry on the register until the end of the calendar year in which the enrolment is made, the examination fee and the cost of the training manual.
    • Annual registration fee: payable by both students and representatives who have passed the examination. This fee is currently £51 per annum. Any changes to the fee will be advised in the re-registration document, sent out annually.

Examination re-sit fee: Should an individual fail the NCAH examination and wishes to re-sit the exam, a re-sit fee of £150 will be payable.

Back to top…


Registration with NOAH

To register for the NCAH, complete the NCAH enrolment form. On receipt you/they  will be entered on to the NCAH Register of representatives (with a ‘student’ status) once NOAH has received payment you/they will be sent the full training manual syllabus, and an (ID) Registered NCAH card, with the register entry number (the M number: needed when applying for the exam with Harper Adams).

Harper Adams University will also provide candidates with access to their Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) known as ‘The Learning Hub’. This interactive online resource will contain additional tools to assist with their studies.

Back to top…


Course and examinations

A new course and examination was launched in April 2016. The new course and examination is worth 15 academic credits consisting of one module (no optional modules, as was the case with the previous syllabus).  Candidates for any given examination date wishing to have external training (see below) will all attend the same module delivered at Harper Adams University and sit one written examination on the syllabus.

Back to top…


Optional training takes the form of professional short courses which take place at Harper Adams University. The dates of the training courses for 2018 are below. Attendance at a training course is not a mandatory requirement i.e. a candidate may choose to prepare for the examination entirely by self-study if they wish.

Back to top…


Assessment of the NCAH will be by way of a written examination which takes take place at Harper Adams University, Newport, Shropshire (see link to directions here). The pass mark is 40%, which candidates will be required to achieve in order to be awarded the NCAH.

Back to top…

Registering for professional short course module with Harper Adams

Each candidate will receive a hard copy of the entire training manual.

Candidates are required to complete a separate form to be sent to Harper Adams University to register for the course. If you require any help completing this form please contact Harper Adams University short courses office (details below).

The registration, payment and all arrangements for these courses are handled by the Short Courses office at Harper Adams University.

Queries can also be directed to Jenny Townsend (j.townsend@noah.co.uk ) or Donal Murphy (d.murphy@noah.co.uk ).

Back to top…

NCAH course and examination dates

The course and examination dates are as follows:

April 2018: 16-18 April for the course, with the examination on Thursday 3 May 2018

July 2018: 10-12 July for the course, with the examination on Tuesday 24 July 2018

September 2018: 17-19 September for the course, with the examination on Monday 1 October 2018

Back to top…

Enrolment and exam booking forms

Candidates are required to register with NOAH to receive a training manual and to be registered as students on the NCAH register. Please use this form and submit this to NOAH.

  • Booking form for course dates and examination dates

Candidates are required to register for courses and examinations with Harper Adams University. Please use this form to register. The deadline for registering for examinations is 1 month before the examination takes place. Please note that this form must be sent to Harper Adams University and not the NOAH office.

Contact details for Harper Adams University at the bottom of the page.

For more information on NCAH enrolment please contact Jenny Townsend at NOAH on 020 8367 3131, fax 020 8363 1155, or email j.townsend@noah.co.uk

Back to top…

Key contacts at Harper Adams University

In order to ensure any incoming queries or matters from staff or students involved with the NCAH course and exams get dealt with promptly please direct your enquiry to animalswd@harper-adams.ac.uk .

OR you can reach Harper Adams University Short Courses office on the following telephone numbers:

01952 815076
01952 815485
01952 815059
01952 815042

Back to top…

Press releases

27 June 2017 – Top students rewarded at NOAH’s first Members’ Day
26 May 2015 – ‘NCAH top students rewarded at NOAH dinner’
20 May 2014 – ‘NCAH prizes awarded at NOAH annual dinner’

2016 top students

Left to right Joanne Findlay; James Sheehy; Amy Collie, Donal Murphy (Head of Technical and Regulatory Affairs, NOAH); Harriet Keightley; Erin Carmichael and Holly Vezmar

Left to right Joanne Findlay; James Sheehy; Amy Collie, Donal Murphy (Head of Technical and Regulatory Affairs, NOAH); Harriet Keightley; Erin Carmichael and Holly Vezmar

Holly Vezmar, MSD Animal Health – top NCAH student 2016

Holly Vezmar, MSD Animal Health – top NCAH student 2016

Back to top…