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Antibiotic Guardian challenge for UK veterinary professionals

13 February 2024

We are urging veterinary professionals to help establish the UK as a world leader in fighting antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by learning practical techniques to foster responsible antibiotic use.

We're setting every companion animal and equine veterinary practice in the country a challenge of building a team of Antibiotic Guardians —individuals who have completed CPD courses that teach the skills to encourage responsible antimicrobial use.

Any member of the veterinary team can complete CPD modules on the RCVS Knowledge Learn platform and be awarded an Antibiotic Guardian certificate at one of four levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum.

There are modules that relate specifically to companion animals, equine, small mammals, avians, and exotics, so practitioners can select options that apply directly to their area of clinical practice.

The learning materials are suitable for all members of the team, and work towards Antibiotic Guardian status counts towards mandatory annual CPD hours. Certificates can be downloaded and attached to a 1CPD record.

Practices should strive to have at least one team member who has completed sufficient modules to be awarded Gold Antibiotic Guardian status. This will give them the practical knowledge to start making a positive difference in the fight against AMR.

Antibiotic Guardians will learn how to change mindsets and perceptions on antibiotic use for the better, how to manage specific conditions appropriately with and without antibiotics and discover ways to introduce effective stewardship measures into their daily work.

Fergus Allerton, RCVS Knowledge Clinical Lead for Medicines, said: “AMR is a complex global issue that everyone must work together to tackle. Our CPD course on responsible antibiotic use was created by veterinary professionals, for veterinary professionals, and will help you to learn all the stewardship essentials.

“Becoming an Antibiotic Guardian will give you the skills and the confidence to make responsible decisions when using antibiotics, and help your colleagues do the same. If every veterinary practice in the UK has just one Gold Antibiotic Guardian, this will prompt important conversations among colleagues and translate into meaningful changes in our prescribing habits. Together we can make a real difference.”

Antibiotic Guardians is currently a companion animal and equine initiative. Veterinary professionals who work with farm animals are encouraged to join our Farm Vet Champions programme, which provides free learning materials relating to antimicrobial use in farm practice.

You can register and access all courses for free via our Learn platform.

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