Exotic Animal Practice

Distance Learning Programme

Feel equipped to understand and treat the more varied cases and species

Exotic pets often fill veterinary surgeons with dread as they come through the surgery door. This programme will assist you in consolidating your knowledge of exotic medicine and surgery and help you to develop an informed clinical approach to exotic patients.

The programme has been designed to provide up to date knowledge across a range of different zoological and exotic species, from the initial examination and diagnostic sample collection to sedation and anaesthesia, diagnostic imaging and the workup and treatment of common diseases seen in those species. The programme will cover the latest techniques and therapeutic options for exotic animals and give you knowledge and skills that you can take back into practice with you.

At the end of your programme, you can choose to attend three practical attendance modules which will cover small mammal surgery, avian surgery and endoscopy. For those completing the full Exotic Distance Learning Programme, you can purchase these modules at an exclusive price.

Providing a logical approach to even the most complex cases, this programme will provide the basis for renewed clinical enthusiasm and satisfaction.

The programme can also be undertaken as an attendance course, giving you the flexibility to decide the right learning approach for you, you can find out more here.

About this programme:

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14 varied modules

Covering key exotic animal subjects delivered over 2 years

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3 optional practical modules

You can choose to attend 3 optional practical modules at the end of your programme, covering small mammal surgery, avian surgery and endoscopy

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Support and guidance from a Module Tutor who is recognised in their subject field

The specialist in the subject area will provide online support during each module and will be available to answer all your questions

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Multiple learning processes

Presentations, written notes, interactive quizzes and exercises which test your knowledge as you work

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Discussion forum

A discussion forum for conversation, debate and sharing cases with your peers and Module Tutors

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Course Director

Simon Girling BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS, oversees the programme ensuring the latest Exotic Animal content

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Four sessions per month

Each module consists of four sessions spread over one month. Sessions comprise separate lessons and case-based studies to work through at your own pace

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100% online

Giving you access 24/7 via our world-leading Learning Management System

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Regular assessments

Pre-module and post-module assessments encourage you to reflect on your learning and evaluate your progress

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Dedicated Programme Tutor

A dedicated Programme Tutor who will support you every step of the way

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Interactive and engaging modules

Which allow you to absorb the learning materials in an online environment

Exotic Animal introduction

Professor Simon Girling BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS

A brief introduction to this programme – watch the video!

Programme Details:

Module summary
  1. Clinical Pathology
  2. Therapeutics and Immunisation
  3. Principles of Anaesthesia, Emergency and Critical Care Medicine
  4. The Biology, Nutrition, Husbandry and Diseases of other Pets and Invertebrates
  5. Current Concepts in Surgery
  6. Avian Medicine and Surgery
  7. The Biology, Nutrition, Husbandry and Common Diseases of Mice, Rats, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, Chinchillas, Degus and Gerbils
  8. The Biology, Nutrition, Husbandry and Common Diseases of Rabbits
  9. The Biology, Nutrition, Husbandry and Common Diseases of Ferrets and Fish
  10. Diagnostic Imaging
  11. Reptile Medicine and Surgery
  12. Wildlife Medicine 
  13. Primate Biology and Medicine
  14. Zoo Animal Management

Optional three practical attendance modules which can be taken at the end of the programme:

  1. Small Mammal Surgery
  2. Avian Surgery
  3. Endoscopy
Qualifications

The Exotic Animal Practice Distance Learning Programme offers you a comprehensive range of structured learning with the ultimate flexibility to access the training that you want whilst working around your busy practice life.

You can choose to let the Programme give you new knowledge and skills to take back to practice or you can work towards a recognised qualification.

General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert)

By attending the full online structured programme and the successful completion of the International School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ISVPS) assessments including an exam you can gain the GPCert awarded by ISVPS.

Only registered veterinary surgeons who have been qualified for a minimum of one year can apply to undertake a General Practitioner Certificate.

Postgraduate Certificate (PgC)

A route to a PgC in Exotic Animal Practice is available through our partnership with Harper Adams University (HAU).

The PgC is a recognised higher education qualification demonstrating that you have achieved the required standard within a designated subject. The qualification represents Masters Level 7 within the Quality Assurance Agency’s framework for higher and further education.

For GPCert and PgC fees please see our pricing table in the ‘Pricing’ tab above.

RCVS Advanced Practitioner Status

After completing your Postgraduate Certificate you can apply for the RCVS Advanced Practitioner Status. This is subject to meeting all of the other entry requirements set out by the RCVS in the Applicant Guidance Notes. You will also need to provide evidence of Key Professional Skills knowledge to the RCVS when applying for the Advanced Practitioner Status.

Benefits

Benefits for you:

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Progress your career and achieve academic recognition

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Develop a logical approach to cases and problem solving
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Grow your small animal caseload and revenue stream
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Increase your skills, knowledge and confidence in dealing with more complex cases

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Recognised programmes for application to the RCVS Advanced Practitioner Status

Benefits for your clients:

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Accelerated diagnosis
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Improve animal care

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Increase in treatment options
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Reassure your client that their pet is in safe hands

Benefits for your practice:

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Increase practice revenues

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Improve productivity

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Reduce external referrals and increased practice capabilities

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Transfer knowledge and skills within practice

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Demonstrate your commitment to enhancing practice standards

Why study with us?
  • Established in 1998 by a group of veterinary surgeons providing the highest quality training programmes
  • Now operating in 20 countries worldwide and various locations in the UK
  • Originators of modular CPD for veterinary professionals and still a company which is run by vets
  • More than 20,000 veterinarians have benefited from our modular training
  • We use world-class speakers to deliver the academic syllabus whilst ensuring content is relevant to practice
  • Our practical training facilities are purpose-built and contain the latest technology
  • Postgraduate programmes accredited by the International School of Veterinary Studies (ISVPS) and validated by Harper Adams University (HAU)

Tutors:

Charly Pignon

DVM, Dipl. ECZM
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Prof. Simon Girling

BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS
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Prof. Stephen Divers

BVetMed, DZooMed, DECZM(Herp), DECZM(ZHM), DACZM, FRCVS
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Richard A. Saunders

BSc (Hons) BVSc FRSB CBiol DZooMed (Mammalian) DipECZM(ZHM) MRCVS  RCVS Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (Mammalian) European Specialist in Zoological Medicine (ZHM)
Clinical Pathology
1 Jul 2021 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand how to collect diagnostic samples including sampling sites and blood volumes, faecal, urine and bone marrow samples
  • Interpret haematological and biochemical profiles based on knowledge of normal values and the changes which occur in disease processes
  • Evaluate bone marrow samples
  • Describe how to collect and evaluate cytological samples
  • Appreciate microbiological investigation of exotic animals

Speaker: Prof. Simon Girling BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS
Therapeutics and Immunisation
1 Sep 2021 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Revise the correct storage, dispensing and labelling of medicines
  • Understand the pharmacokinetics, potential interactions and adverse effects of common therapeutic agents including anaesthetics, anti-inflammatories, analgesics, anti- microbials and anti-parasitics.
  • Describe what immunisation options exist for exotic patients
  • Delivery of drugs to exotic pets and zoo animals

Speaker: Prof. Simon Girling BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS
Principles of Anaesthesia, Analgesia and Emergency and Critical Care
1 Oct 2021 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Identify the type of fluid replacement required
  • Calculate fluid requirements
  • Appreciate different administration techniques and cannulation techniques
  • Select appropriate agents for the restraint, pre-medication, induction and maintenance of anaesthesia
  • Monitor anaesthesia
  • Apply knowledge of emergency and resuscitation techniques in anaesthesia to clinical situations if required
  • Understand the basic principles of emergency and critical care medicine of exotic pets

Speaker: Prof. Simon Girling BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS
Biology, Nutrition, Husbandry and Diseases of Other Pets and Invertebrates
1 Nov 2021 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Review the husbandry and diseases of small pet marsupials such as sugar gliders, wallabies and opossums and how to treat them
  • Outline the husbandry and diseases of pet skunks and how to treat them
  • Describe the husbandry and diseases of Procyonids such as the raccoon, coatimundi and kinkajou and how to treat them
  • Explain the husbandry and diseases of Herpestids such as the dwarf mongoose and meerkat and how to treat them
  • Understand the husbandry and diseases of Asiatic short clawed otters and how to treat them
  • Review the husbandry and diseases of African pygmy hedgehogs and how to treat them
  • Detail the husbandry and diseases of Prairie dogs and how to treat them
  • Increase your knowledge on the husbandry and common conditions affecting pet amphibians and how to treat them
  • Outline the husbandry and diseases of commonly kept invertebrates and how to treat them

Speaker: Prof. Simon Girling BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS
Current Concepts in Surgery
3 Jan 2022 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand basic surgical techniques, surgical neutering and coelomic surgery
  • Use knowledge gained to implant microchips
  • Apply knowledge gained to performing various oesophagostomy techniques
  • Describe how to repair shell and beak defects
  • Explain the use of radiosurgery in exotics
  • Approach the orthopaedic patient and understand the common fracture types in different species, the principles of internal and external fracture repair and muscle tendon adhesions

Speaker: Prof. Stephen Divers BVetMed, DZooMed, DECZM(Herp), DECZM(ZHM), DACZM, FRCVS
Avian Medicine and Surgery
1 Feb 2022 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Explain the investigation and treatment of gastro-intestinal diseases in birds
  • Investigate and treat diseases of the upper and lower airways including the nares, sinuses, and infections such as Chlamydophilosis and Aspergillosis
  • Approach beak and feather disease and feather plucking
  • Understand urogenital tract disease including excessive egg laying, egg binding, cloacal disease and orchitis
  • Manage trauma cases including fractures

Speaker: Prof. Simon Girling BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS
Biology, Nutrition, Husbandry and Common Diseases of Mice, Rats, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, Chinchillas, Degus and Gerbils
1 Mar 2022 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Describe the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of common skin diseases including ectoparasitic, bacterial, viral, fungal and endocrine disorders
  • Understand diseases affecting the gastro-intestinal tract including Tyzzer’s disease, wet tail, dental malocclusions and coccidiosis
  • Transform your approach to the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory disorders
  • Approach the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine conditions
  • Develop your understanding the diseases which affect the reproductive and urinary tracts
  • Appreciate conditions which affect the CNS
  • Understand sebaceous gland dermatitis, reproductive and adrenal gland disease affecting the skin and behavioural induced skin disease in gerbils

Speaker: Richard A. Saunders BSc (Hons) BVSc FRSB CBiol DZooMed (Mammalian) DipECZM(ZHM) MRCVS  RCVS Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (Mammalian) European Specialist in Zoological Medicine (ZHM)
Biology, Nutrition, Husbandry and Common Diseases of Rabbits
1 Apr 2022 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Diagnose and treat dermatological diseases
  • Investigate and treat gastrointestinal diseases including motility disturbances, mucoid enteropathy and diarrhoea
  • Formulate a treatment plan for dental disease including overgrown teeth and traumatic injuries to teeth, treatment of abscesses and caries
  • Be familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory tract disease including Pasteurellosis
  • Understand conditions affecting the musculoskeletal and nervous systems including vestibular disease
  • Investigate and treat reproductive and urinary tract diseases
  • Describe common infectious diseases such as E cuniculi, myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease

Speaker: Richard A. Saunders BSc (Hons) BVSc FRSB CBiol DZooMed (Mammalian) DipECZM(ZHM) MRCVS  RCVS Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (Mammalian) European Specialist in Zoological Medicine (ZHM)
Biology, Nutrition, Husbandry and Diseases of Ferrets and Fish
1 May 2022 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Diagnose and treat ectoparasitic, bacterial, fungal, viral and neoplastic skin disease in ferrets
  • Investigate and treat diseases affecting the gastrointestinal, respiratory and urogenital systems in ferrets
  • Understand infectious diseases in ferrets such as distemper, tuberculosis, Aleutian disease and human influenza
  • Assess disease patterns, environmental factors and fish husbandry and apply these to quarantine and disease prevention strategies
  • Perform clinical examinations and have a knowledge of anaesthesia, medication and therapeutics with respect to fish
  • Diagnose and treat common skin diseases, ocular disorders, respiratory and internal disease and have an understanding of the principles of fish surgery

Speaker: Prof. Simon Girling BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS
Diagnostic Imaging
1 Jun 2022 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Appreciate the value of imaging techniques in mammals, reptiles and avian species including:
    • Review radiography and radiology of soft tissues and the skeleton
    • Revise contrast media techniques
    • Describe ultrasonography and echocardiography of exotic patients
    • Become familiar with the principles of endoscopy including the respiratory, gastrointestinal and reproductive tracts

Speaker: Charly Pignon DVM, Dipl. ECZM
Reptile Medicine and Surgery
1 Jul 2022 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Formulate an approach to the sick reptile including post hibernation anorexia and hypocalcaemic collapse
  • Diagnose and treat dermatological conditions including dysecdysis, scale rot and abscesses and metabolic, nutritional and infectious bone and shell disorders
  • Diagnose and treat common gastroenterological disorders including mouth rot, vomiting and regurgitation and liver disease
  • Approach respiratory and cardiovascular disease including pneumonia and lungworm
  • Investigate respiratory tract and reproductive disease
  • Understand the common infectious diseases of reptiles

Speaker: Prof. Simon Girling BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS
Wildlife Medicine
1 Sep 2022 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Formulate an approach to the restraint, anaesthesia and trauma management of wild birds and mammals
  • Diagnose and manage common disorders of the following wildlife species: the red fox, badger, hedgehog, bats, deer, small mustelids (Weasels, Stoat, Polecat, Pine Martens), otter, wild cats, squirrels, wild lagomorphs, seals, rodents, wild birds, reptiles and amphibians
  • Approach rehabilitation of wildlife
  • Understand the zoonotic diseases which affect particular species of wildlife

Speaker: Prof. Simon Girling BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS
Primate Biology and Medicine
1 Oct 2022 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Diagnose, treat and prevent ectoparasitic, bacterial, viral, fungal and neoplastic skin diseases
  • Understand gastrointestinal disease including bacterial gastroenteritis, gastric dilation, diarrhoea and dental caries
  • Appreciate diseases affecting the cardio-respiratory system
  • Describe metabolic/ nutritional bone disease, musculoskeletal and neurological disease, arthritis and limb fractures
  • Investigate and treat infectious diseases
  • Diagnose and treat diseases of the urogenital tract including endometrial, ovarian and mammary disease

Speaker: Prof. Simon Girling BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS
Zoo Animal Management
1 Nov 2022 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Approach the routine health-care management and common disease problems of zoo animals
  • Review how to restrain zoo animals
  • Understand drug delivery systems, immobilisation and anaesthetic regimes

Speaker: Prof. Simon Girling BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS

At the end of your Exotic Animal Practice Distance Learning Programme, you can choose to book the three optional attendance practical modules, delivered by Stephen Divers BVetMed DZooMed DECZM(Herp) DECZM(ZHM) DACZM FRCVS details below. These modules will be delivered at our state-of-the-art training venue using the latest equipment and capped to a maximum of 12 delegates. For those wanting to book the full Exotic Animal Practice Programme, these modules will be at an exclusive price. You can book these at a later date by contacting your Programme Tutor, however, we will also be opening these up to our wider veterinary community so please let us know as soon as possible, so we can guarantee you a place!

Entry Requirements

Initial registration for the Optional Practical Attendance Modules is open on a first come first serve basis to delegates booking onto the Exotic Animal Practice Distance Learning Programme until 1st December 2021. Any bookings made thereafter will be subject to review and acceptance. Improve International have the right to refuse a booking if it does not meet the entry requirements stated above. Please contact us for further information.

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Small Mammal Surgery
October 2022 | Swindon
  1. Discuss pre-operative and anaesthetic planning to minimise patient morbidity and mortality
  2. Appreciate the important components of exotic animal surgical instrumentation, patient positioning/preparation, and surgeon ergonomics
  3. Perform the following surgical procedures on cadavers;
  4. Interosseous catheterisation
  5. Endotracheal intubation
  6. Incisor extraction
  7. Ovariohysterectomy
  8. Orchidectomy
  9. Cystotomy
  10. Gastrotomy, enterotomy
  11. Appreciate and plan post-operative care and re-evaluation to minimise patient morbidity and mortality

Speaker: Prof. Stephen Divers BVetMed, DZooMed, DECZM(Herp), DECZM(ZHM), DACZM, FRCVS
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Avian Surgery
October 2022 | Swindon
  1. Discuss pre-operative and anaesthetic planning to minimise patient morbidity and mortality
  2. Appreciate the important components of exotic animal surgical instrumentation, patient positioning/preparation, and surgeon ergonomics
  3. Perform the following surgical procedures on cadavers;
  • Intravenous and interosseous catheterisation
  • Endotracheal intubation
  • Ingluviotomy and crop biopsy
  • Left lateral coeliotomy and salpingohysterectomy
  • Ventral coeliotomy and cloacopexy
  • Cloacoplasty
  • Tibiotarsal and/or humeral fracture repair

4. Appreciate and plan post-operative care and re-evaluation to minimise patient morbidity and mortality


Speaker: Prof. Stephen Divers BVetMed, DZooMed, DECZM(Herp), DECZM(ZHM), DACZM, FRCVS
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Endoscopy
October 2022 | Swindon

1. Explain how endoscopy equipment works and is put together

2. Review the basic endosurgical procedures

3. Perform the following procedures on cadavers;

  • Otoscopy
  • Stomatoscopy
  • Laryngotracheoscopy

4. Laparoscopy and;

  • Liver biopsy
  • Ovariectomy
  • Cystoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Coelioscopy (left)
  • Exploration and evaluation
  • Liver, kidney, lung and spleen biopsy
  • Coelioscopy (right)
  • Exploration and evaluation
  • Pancreatic biopsy
  • Cloacoscopy

Speaker: Prof. Stephen Divers BVetMed, DZooMed, DECZM(Herp), DECZM(ZHM), DACZM, FRCVS

Exotic Animal Practice Distance Learning Pricing

Payment Option Initial
Payment
Remaining
Balance
Total
Payable
GPCert Programme£995.00£5,250.00£6,245.00
PgC Programme£995.00£7,250.00£8,245.00
Monthly Payment Options

Optional Practical Attendance Modules

Payment Option Total Payable
Full Price £1,595.00
Payment Option Initial
Payment
Remaining
Balance
Total
Payable
GPCert Programme£995.00£5,500.00£6,495.00
PgC Programme£995.00£7,500.00£8,495.00
Monthly Payment Options

Optional Practical Attendance Modules

Payment Option Total Payable
Full Price £1,595.00
All prices exclude VAT

Interested in just taking the online modules without the certification? Talk to a member of our team.

Programme prices include ISVPS registration and examination fees. PgC option also includes Harper Adams University registration and assessment fees.
Payment Terms & Conditions
 
Registration Information

Distance Learning

Who can enrol on the Distance Learning programmes?
What does the GPCert consist of?
What qualifications are needed for taking the programme if coming from another non-European country?
What does the PgC consist of?
When is the learning content available for each module?
Is the PgC programme recognised by other countries?
Can I do the GPCert and the PgC at the same time?
What additional learning resources are available?
How can I track my progress in the programme?
Do I have to access the programme via a specific browser?
Does the Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) programme differ from the GPCert?
When do the exams take place?
Which modules do I choose for the PgC and when do I have to choose them?
How many hours per week will I have to spend on the programme?
Is the General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert) all online?
How do I submit my case report for the GPCert?
How do I register for the GPCert and/or the PgC?
What do the case logs for the case diary consist of?
Can I defer a module?
If coming from a non-European country – how would face-to-face module attendance work for the PgC?
Exotic Animal Practice Distance Learning
1 Jul 2021 – 30 Nov 2022
14 Online Modules
3 Optional Practical Attendance Modules
Richard A. Saunders, Prof. Simon Girling, Charly Pignon, Prof. Stephen Divers
GPCert or PgC
See the pricing tab – pay as you learn options available

BOOK NOW:

Please see entry requirements on the Optional Practical Attendance Modules page
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I had a really good experience with the online platform. The speaker has been excellent, and the sessions were very interactive.

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