Top students rewarded at NOAH’s first Members’ Day

Students who gained the highest scores in the NOAH Certificate of Animal Health (NCAH) examinations in 2016 have been recognised at NOAH’s first ever Members’ Day, held at ZSL Regents Park.

Overall first prize went to Holly Vezmar, who works for MSD Animal Health as a Ruminant Account Manager covering Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire.

Holly Vezmar, MSD Animal Health – top NCAH student 2016

Holly Vezmar, MSD Animal Health – top NCAH student 2016

The NCAH qualification is designed to enable animal medicines representatives to provide support to the prescribers and sellers of animal medicines they visit. It provides a solid background in animal physiology, immunology and pharmacology, nutrition and animal disease control, as well as full knowledge of the legal framework in which licensed veterinary medicines are regulated, promoted and sold.

It is formally academically accredited by Harper Adams University, who also host both the training courses and examinations.

Holly said of the NCAH qualification: ‘It means a lot to me; it has given me a key insight into the veterinary industry and has greatly helped me with my role’.

This year, for the first time, two students tied for overall second place. These were Erin Carmichael from Merial and Harriet Keightley from Ceva Animal Health.

Erin said: ‘The NOAH qualification has given me confidence and credibility as a Territory Manager. It has enabled me to consolidate my knowledge from my veterinary bioscience degree, whilst providing valuable insight into the animal health industry, including my roles and responsibilities in relation to the Code of Practice’.

Harriet said: ‘The NCAH qualification demonstrates that our industry has trained professionals working within it who have high standards of knowledge and strong ethics’. Three NCAH examinations were held in 2016, in April, July and September.

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

For the April exam Amy Collie from Ceva Animal Health was joint first with Toyah Parker from Bayer plc with James Sheehy from Elanco Animal Health in second place.

For the July examination first place went to Holly Vezmar and second place went to Erin Carmichael from Merial Animal Health.

For the September examination first place went to Harriet Keightley from Ceva Animal Health and second place went to Joanne Findlay from Zoetis.

Notes for Editors

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

  2. For more information contact Donal Murphy or Jenny Townsend: 020 8367 3131. Email: j.townsend@noah.co.uk

  3. 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.

  4. For more about the NCAH see https://www.noah.co.uk/about/our-qualification-ncah-course/

  5. About the NCAH Top Students for 2016

    April 2016

    Joint 1st Place in April exam: Amy Collie – Ceva Animal Health.

    Amy began her time in the industry in 2013 with Alstoe Animal Health, which was purchased first by Sogeval and then Ceva in 2014. She has been the companion animal territory manager covering Scotland for Ceva since 2014 and last year was promoted to the role of Senior Territory Manager.

    Prior to working in the animal health industry, Amy worked as a medical rep for the pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca, during which time she gained a distinction in the industry ABPI exam. She has also completed her PGCE in Secondary Science and spent 6 years teaching A-level Biology in the Midlands and South West. Amy’s most interesting role was that of Education Manager at Dartmoor Zoo in Devon, where she taught a wide range of biological related topics to students from nursery schools to under-graduates.

    Amy said of the NCAH course: ‘Performing well in the industry exam is a reflection of the way that everyone in my company supports each other’.

    Outside of work Amy has 3 primary school aged children, 2 dogs, 2 cats and enjoys running.

    Joint 1st Place in April exam: Toyah Parker, Bayer plc

    Toyah has been with Bayer for 2 and half years working previously for Norbrook and Nutravet.

    Both Toyah’s parents are vets in a large mixed practice in Cornwall which was a wonderful environment to be raised in and has bonded her very closely with the industry. Toyah has always worked in the small animal sector.

    Her focus at Bayer has been working with parasiticides and anti-infectives.

    Outside of work Toyah is keen on fitness and is taking part in her 8th Tough Mudder this year, a Novice Strong Woman competition and the Superhuman Games in Bristol.

    2nd place in April exam: James Sheehy, Elanco

    James is a Key Account Manager for Elanco, responsible for managing the swine accounts (veterinary, feed mill and producer) across the UK, focusing on their enteric and respiratory portfolio. Prior to this he has worked for Elanco as a companion animal Territory Manager across the Midlands, Staffordshire and Shropshire, with their product range in parasiticides, orthopaedics, dermatology and cardiology.

    At university he achieved a First Class Business degree and wanted to work in a technical based sales role, so was pleased to take the opportunity to move into the animal health industry.

    James said of the NCAH course: ‘As someone without a veterinary/science based education, the NCAH course provided me with a much deeper understanding of animal physiology, immunology, pharmacology and animal disease control, which in turn has given me the confidence and ability to have in-depth conversations with the vets and nurses. 

    ‘I built up a strong rapport with the other account managers on the same course as me, and am very grateful to them and of course Elanco for their help and support throughout the course’.

    July 2016

    1st place overall and 1st place in July exam: Holly Vezmar, MSD Animal Health

    Holly Vezmar works for MSD Animal Health as a ruminant account manager covering Cheshire, Shropshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Primarily Holly promotes vaccines for both sheep and cattle with prevention of disease being a key focus of her role.  Working with large animal practices her overall aim is to improve animal productivity, health and welfare and promote the responsible use of antibiotics. Holly has a particular interest in young stock management and flock health.

    Holly said of the NCAH qualification: ‘It means a lot to me; it has given me a key insight into the veterinary industry and has greatly helped me with my role’.

    Music is a big part of Holly’s life and she loves to go to gigs, concerts and festivals and has a keen interest in running and travelling is a passion of hers.

    Joint 2nd place overall and 2nd place in the July exam: Erin Carmichael, Merial Animal Health

    Erin joined Merial as a Territory Manager in 2015, shortly after graduating from the University of Glasgow with an honours degree in Veterinary Bioscience. As part of the Pets Team she covers Central Scotland and Northern England, with her main product focus being small animal parasiticides and vaccines.

    This is Erin’s first industry role, but with her bioscience background and sales experience from several years in retail, she feels this job has been a natural fit for her.

    Erin said of the NCAH qualification: ‘The NOAH qualification has given me confidence and credibility as a Territory Manager. It has enabled me to consolidate my knowledge from my veterinary bioscience degree, whilst providing valuable insight into the animal health industry, including my roles and responsibilities in relation to the Code of Practice.’ 

    September 2016

    Joint 2nd place overall and 1st place in the September exam: Harriet Keightley, Ceva Animal Health

    After graduating from Hartpury with 2.1 BSc Hons degree in Equine Sports Science, Harriet was determined to forge her career within animal health. After a time in recruitment she joined Ceva as a Companion Animal and Equine Territory Manager and last year was promoted to National Key Account Manager.

    Harriet works in a range of areas from cardio-nephrology to behaviour. At work Harriet is normally being closely followed around by her trusted companion, Beatrix (her beautiful Springer dog).

    Harriet said of the NCAH qualification: ‘The NCAH qualification demonstrates that our industry has trained professionals working within it who have high standards of knowledge and strong ethics’. 

    Harriet has grown up with a love of animals and in her spare time she rides her home-bred mare, Belle and explores the scenic Oxfordshire countryside with her fiancé Mark and Bea (usually trying out a pub lunch on route!)

    2nd in the September exam: Joanne Findlay, Zoetis

    Joanne started working in a veterinary practice in 1990 and qualified as a veterinary nurse in 1994.

    Having spent 9 years in practice she moved into a sales and marketing role for a pet insurance company and then to Hills Pet Nutrition progressing to Field Sales Manager for the North of England.  Joanne originally joined Zoetis to provide temporary sales cover for a maternity leave and stayed to do a variety of short term roles before taking a permanent role as Senior Account Manager on the companion animal team. Geographically she covers Yorkshire, Humberside, & Lincolnshire working with an extensive product portfolio including vaccines, parasitology & dermatology products.

    Joanne said of the NCAH qualification: ‘Studying for the NCAH qualification gave me the opportunity to revisit my knowledge from my days as a veterinary nurse and gain additional knowledge in other areas that I was not as familiar with.  Whilst studying for the qualification was extremely hard I thoroughly enjoyed the course at Harper Adams and learnt a lot from it. It was a long time since I’d taken any formal examinations so that in itself was a steep hurdle to overcome but I did it and I’m thrilled to have achieved the qualification’.

    Outside of work Joanne lives in a small village in West Yorkshire where she enjoys spending time with her husband and son as well as their two Border Terriers.