Professional Certificate
in Animal Health:

Aquaculture (PCAHA)

FOR VETERINARIANS (VPCAHA)
FOR NON-VETERINARIANS (PCAHA)
wvepah_aquaculture
In collaboration with the WOAH 
and the Université de Montréal

Training programs and certifications for professionals.

The World Veterinary Education in Production Animal Health (WVEPAH) Professional Certificate in Animal Health: Aquaculture is awarded in accordance with the Université de Montréal’s requirements and standards.

The Certificate program provides structured training for veterinarians and non-veterinary professionals who are seeking to enhance their skills and expertise in the field of aquaculture and health. A structured educational program allows participants to reach the international standard in all aspects of this specialization, in accordance with the requirements of the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).


Veterinarians can formalize their skills by obtaining the ‘Veterinary Professional Certificate in Animal Health: Aquaculture (VPCAHA) diploma, which furthers their continuing professional development in this field and provides an official recognition of the holder’s skills and expertise.

Non-veterinarians can formalize their skills by obtaining the ‘Professional Certificate in Animal Health: Aquaculture (PCAHA) diploma, which furthers their continuing professional development in this field and provides an official recognition of the holder’s skills and expertise.

The certificate is recognized worldwide, and its official title is in English. Its holders have, de facto, the status of international expert in aquaculture health.

Veterinary and non-veterinary professionals receive, after each completed training session, a letter of ‘Attestation of Participation’. To qualify as having completed a training module, the student must have participated in at least 80 % of the online content.

Introduction

In several countries, certification of continuing education is organized at a national level. Generally, the experience gained and the collection of a certain number of credits during the participation in officially recognized courses are taken into consideration, in accordance with the European and international systems – ECTS or continuing education credits. However, in many countries, this official recognition is lacking.

It is clear that the acquisition of a particular expertise and skills in a given field can be greatly supported by comprehensive training programs associated with a quality control protocol vouched for by a University diploma.

The WVEPAH offers an international, postgraduate education by recruiting some of the best specialists from around the world as course masters.

It is important to understand that the VPCAHA and PCAHA certifies that a successful participant has acquired a high level of specialist qualification in the areas of aquatic species welfare, production, and health. The certificate promotes the establishment of specialized skills in aquaculture.

The ‘Regulation’ module (Module I) of the certificate is taught under the supervision of the World Organisation for Animal Health. It is also validated by the WOAH.



program objectives
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Provide structured formal training to professionals who are looking to deepen their expertise in the areas of aquatic species welfare, production, and health.
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Transmit the keys of a structured holistic approach to farm systems and diagnostics.
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Train participants to prepare and run farm in-depth audits.
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Train participants to recognize, diagnose and manage all common problems encountered in the practice of aquaculture.
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Enable participants to obtain skills to apply the ‘WOAH recommendations’ covered by the WOAH regulatory module and issued to veterinarians under the authority of national veterinary services.
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Promote long-lasting continuing professional development.
program length
The minimum time required for the WVEPAH certificate program is 1 year and it must not exceed 5 years. Through their studies in the different modules (Online, on site, and clinical case preparation), participants accumulate the required number of European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits or continuing education credits to apply for the final exam.


Applicants with a university degree in veterinary medicine or animal science or other equivalent degree, working in the aquaculture sector for at least three years can enrol in the WVEPAH program. After each module, they will receive an ‘Attestation of Participation’ (subject to achieving specific standards), but only veterinarians are able to take the Certificate examination to obtain the diploma validated by the WOAH. Another certification process is also available for non-veterinarians (see below).


Certification
At At the end of each module, veterinary and non-veterinary participants can validate their acquired knowledge by means of a multiple-choice exam. After validation of both a ‘General’ and a ‘Specialized’ module:
Veterinary candidates must present 25 clinical cases. A model example is provided to students to help them structure their case reports.

Veterinarians not having access to clinical cases can provide briefs as described below.

Non-veterinarians must present 3 different briefs about aqua health issues depending on the student’s expertise (e.g., nutritional deficiencies; the microenvironment, welfare; economics; genetics; physiology; farm management). Each brief: 20-25 pages double-spaced (5000 to 6500 words), excluding figures and tables and the reference section. All topics must a priori be approved by the branch coordinator.

These two options (clinical cases or briefs) represent 50% of the final grade.

The examination committee evaluates the scores obtained by the candidate from the multiple-choice exam and the clinical cases or briefs. If the candidate succeeds, the committee issues the ‘Veterinary Professional Certificate in Animal Health: Aquaculture or the 'Professional Certificate in Animal Health: Aquaculture, depending on the candidate’s professional qualifications.

The WOAH then officially validates the ‘regulatory’ part of the diploma. The passing grade for all evaluations is 60%. Cf. “VALIDATION OF ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE”


program contents


The The VPCAHA and PCAHA programs, once validated by an exam, provide training credits: ECTS or continuing education credits. The official language of the VPCAHA and PCAHA programs is English.

For both programs, the principle is “Everyone receives the same teaching and takes the same exam”.

modular courses
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General Module I covers disciplines common to all aquaculture species through a comprehensive approach: Pathology, Nutrition, Epidemiology, Biosecurity, Applied Immunology, Vaccinology, Antibiotherapy, Genetics, Animal Welfare etc. It includes the regulatory module taught by the WOAH.
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‘Specialized‘ Module II courses. More information will be available soon.
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The modules are complementary and independent of each other. It is strongly recommended that participants attend a Module I course first, however they can be followed by the participants in the order that best suits them according to their needs and the course schedule. Both modules are offered in a hybrid format. Usually, the online courses are available at least 4 months before the residential one-week session.
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Between modules, distance learning is provided through the private WVEPAH Facebook group and e-Learning, which allow participants to continue working by exchanging and discussing their own cases and by the supply of information by course masters. This participation in distance learning activities is mandatory to validate and then maintain the validity of the certification.
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Participants have access to the module content from the moment of their registration (pre-recorded videos and equivalent PDF document), which allows them to start to improve their knowledge in all the disciplines of the module. The teaching consists of a theoretical part and the study of real cases brought by the course masters and participants. Practical work: autopsies, laboratory, interpretation etc., as well as site visits, also play a large part when it is possible to deliver the course face-to-face.
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The intensive courses focus on the deepening or renewal of knowledge on a particular topic.
Validation of acquired knowledge
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In order to validate the work undertaken on the course, an exam is compulsory.
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The Université de Montréal and the WVEPAH decide the dates of the VPCAHA and PCAHA final exams and their duration.
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Candidates are informed of the exam dates at least one month in advance.
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The exam that follows each module is a multiple-choice exam, with 50 questions.
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The passing grade is 60%, i.e. 30/50 (average required between the exams of the two modules). An average of less than 60% between the two modules, or a grade inferior to 50% in any one module would lead to the student failing the course.
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Participants will be given an opportunity to retake a failed exam, at an additional cost to the participant.
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The exam results count for 50% of the final mark necessary to obtain the Certificate.
Practical Activities
The participants are expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the courses of the WVEPAH in their daily practical work in the field of poultry production and pathology. This activity is recorded in the form of 25 clinical cases or relevant audits.
Clinical cases
Case logs and reports:
During the program, candidates – having completed a general and a specialized module – are asked to gather 25 well-documented clinical cases or audits. The WVEPAH provides students with a model for reporting their clinical cases in a relatively uniform way. They must, alongside other elements, include case identification, history and situation, clinical examination results, laboratory results, differential diagnosis, diagnosis and prognosis, measures taken and their results. At least 60% of the clinical cases/audits must be related to the completed specialized module.


The candidate must demonstrate an overall knowledge of the subject. (minimum 5000 words). Generally, a case report should be complete with references and appendices.

Each report will be examined by one member of the exam committee and the average final grade for the reports must be 30 or more out of 50.

The final individual grade for the clinical cases is the average of all the clinical case grades. If this average is less than 30, the candidate will be invited to submit a revised version of the failed report(s) or to submit additional cases within 6 months of the date of notification.

Published cases can be submitted. Scientific publications are automatically accepted.

The clinical case reports must be written in English. If they are in another language, they must be accompanied by a certified English translation.




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