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In 2021, the NOAH Certificate of Animal Health (NCAH) courses and examinations were hosted online by accreditation body Harper Adams University (HAU). Continuing the theme, NOAH held a virtual presentation on 13th April for the 2021 top students where the overall winner was revealed by NOAH Chair, Caitrina Oakes.

The NCAH qualification helps ensure that animal medicines representatives can provide accurate and ethical information to prescribers and sellers of animal medicines in compliance with the NOAH Code of Practice for the Promotion of Animal Medicines.

A total of 57 students took the exams in 2021. Overall first place went to Kamala Beasley formerly of Ceva Animal Health, second place went to Katherine Braker from Elanco and two students shared overall third place, Lucy Zimbler from Dechra and Jemma Stephenson from Boehringer.

Kamala said: ‘It’s a long time since I have been in education, so I found the NCAH qualification to be a real challenge at first but I’m glad the hard work paid off and I’m delighted to have been recognised as one of the top students for the November 2021 NCAH exam’.

Two examination sessions were held during the year: for the March exam two students tied with a joint top score; Lucy Zimbler from Dechra and Jemma Stephenson from Boehringer and two tied with second highest marks; Clare Shiel from Norbrook and Micky Blackburn from Boehringer.

In the November exam Kamala Beasley (formerly from Ceva Animal Health) came first with Katherine Braker from Elanco in second place.

Caitrina Oakes said: “The NCAH is a great asset to us as an industry and needs to be more widely known amongst our customers and by the world at large. It shows the professionalism and knowledge of our teams which has been even more important in the challenging environment that they have been working in in recent months.”

Dawn Howard, Chief Executive at NOAH said that the NCAH qualification demonstrates the expertise within the industry. She explained: “It provides a solid background in animal physiology, immunology and pharmacology, nutrition and animal disease control, as well as a full knowledge of the legal framework in which licensed veterinary medicines are regulated, promoted and sold.

“The NCAH is written into the rules for NOAH company membership and is a requirement of the NOAH Code of Practice for the Promotion of Animal Medicines. It is formally academically accredited by Harper Adams University, who also host both the training courses and examinations.

“In what has proved to be a very challenging year, we are happy that all the 2021 students rose to the challenge and achieved these great results with a new way of learning.. All our students, especially those we are recognising today, should be very proud of what they have achieved. We are pleased that we will be returning to face to face courses and exams in 2022’, she added.

Notes for Editors

  1. The National Office of Animal Health represents the UK animal health industry. Its aim is to promote the benefits of safe, effective, quality products and services for the health and welfare of all animals.

    For more information contact Jenny George-Town:  07518594525 Email:

    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.

    For more about the NCAH see

    For more on NOAH’s Code of Practice for the Promotion of Animal Medicines see

  2. Photo captions

    Photo 1:  NCAH top student 2021 Kamala Beasley

    Photo 2: Students, top left – right: Lucy Zimbler, Jemma Stephenson, Clare Shiel, Bottom left – right: Micky Blackburn, Kamala Beasley, Katherine Braker

  3. About the 2021 NCAH top students:

    March examination: joint top marks Lucy Zimbler from Dechra Veterinary Pharmaceuticals

    Lucy works as Territory Sales Manager for Dechra Veterinary Pharmaceuticals and covers the South West area. Dechra is known for its endocrine portfolio so in her role within the companion animal sector there are many discussions surrounding hyperadrenocorticism in dogs but otitis externa and inappetence in cats also figure highly in her day to day meetings.

    In Lucy’s spare time she is always at the yard – it is very much her happy place and is busily reschooling an ex-racehorse with the hope of eventing him later in the year. Lucy also enjoys reading, walking her dogs and being with her family.

    Lucy said ‘I really enjoyed studying for the qualification, I have a law degree and it was excellent to revisit some technical areas and understand how these apply to my current role. I love to learn new things but as I was not from a veterinary or scientific background I initially found the prospect of this exam quite daunting but the support provided by NOAH and Dechra made it enjoyable and achievable’.

    Jemma Stephenson from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health UK

    Jemma joined Boehringer Ingelheim as the Swine Specialist Representative for the North of England and Scotland. Boehringer’s swine department specialises in preventative disease management, providing vaccines for the critical diseases, knowledge and support services to help pig producers and veterinarians minimise disease transmission and maximise immune response.

    After graduating from Harper Adams University in 2014, Jemma worked as a swine nutritionist. Jemma enjoys being able to bring that experience and knowledge to her new role with Boehringer, adding a different perspective to herd health management and readily gets involved in all aspects of swine production from farm to fork, to support British pork production.

    Outside of work Jemma can either be found at the side of the rugby pitch or on her farm in south Yorkshire, with her 3 dogs and highland cattle keeping her busy.

    Jemma said of the NCAH qualification: “It is a great example of the commitment the UK animal health industry has to upholding high standards of animal health and welfare, across all species. I really enjoyed learning about all the legal aspects and marketing guidance to ensure the industry and the people working in it maintain professionalism and integrity. I enjoyed covering all species in the qualification as it’s interesting to learn and widens my knowledge areas.”

    March examination: joint second highest marks

    Clare Shiel from Norbrook

    Clare works with Norbrook as a Veterinary Account Manager throughout Northern Ireland, visiting both large and small animal practices. She loves the variety of her job: dealing with customers on a daily basis, providing solutions and knowing that their products help keep animals healthy and said that It is a privilege to work in the animal health industry, alongside some amazing professionals.

    Clare was delighted to achieve the NOAH certificate. She said: “I found the course content challenging and informative. It was a great opportunity to build on existing knowledge and explore some completely new subject areas.”

    Micky Blackburn from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health

    Micky is a Territory Manager for Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health looking after small animal veterinary practices in the South East of England. He has worked in both marketing and sales within the animal health industry since 2014.

    Micky said: “ I really enjoyed the NCAH qualification and am delighted to be one of the top students.  It was a great challenge and provided me with a broad and relevant range of knowledge that I can use in my day to day conversations with veterinary professionals.

    November Examination: top marks

    Kamala Beasley (formerly from Ceva Animal Health)

    At the time of taking the NCAH assessment Kamala was working for Ceva Animal Health as a Territory Development Manager in the companion animal team.  Her background was as an RVN in a small animal hospital so moving into the animal health industry was a logical step. Ceva has expertise in a number of disease areas and the portfolio included amongst other things a product package to support dogs with mitral valve disease which was of particular interest to Kamala as she has two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels who are sadly pre-disposed to developing heart disease at some point in their lives. Unfortunately the changes in the world due to COVID meant that Kamala’s time with Ceva was cut short but she is grateful for the learning and networking opportunities the role provided her with.

    Kamala said: “It’s a long time since I have been in education so I found the NCAH qualification to be a real challenge at first but I’m glad the hard work paid off and I’m delighted to have been recognised as one of the top students for the November 2021 NCAH exam.

    November examination: second highest mark

    Katherine Braker from Elanco Animal Health

    Katherine joined the ruminant team at Elanco Animal Health 3 years ago as a Key Account Manager after previously working in the human medical sales industry. Her role involves looking after their ruminant portfolio of POM-V and POM-VPS products. Katherine largely focusses on their cattle brands but have been getting more involved with the sheep side this year too! Elanco’s products span many disease areas such as worming, coccidiosis, fly control, fluke and ketosis. Katherine loves working within the food animal industry and helping farmers improve production and health/welfare of their animals. A lot of her time is spent on dairy farms working with vets and farmers to improve transition management and minimize ketosis. Katherine also recently joined the Mental Health First Aider team which is very close to her heart.

    Outside of work she can often be found with her horses, walking in the countryside or supporting her partner with his boxing events! Katherine has always loved animals regardless of species so passing her NOAH exam means a lot as it allows her to continue working in an industry that she loves and hope to be in for many years.

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