1 November 1996

Pesticide course is sound BASIS for qualification

By Charles Abel

FARMERS are to get their own version of the BASIS pesticide awareness qualification which has become a benchmark in the crop advice industry.

The move was announced by BASIS chief executive, Barrie Orme, earlier this week as the organisation celebrated its 18th anniversary.

"The new initiative is designed to plug the gap between the NPTC qualification for sprayer operators and the full BASIS certificate for those who sell, supply and advise on pesticides," said Mr Orme.

It will let farm decision-makers better understand legal obligations and will include key aspects of integrated crop management. A two-day training programme will be offered by agricultural colleges, training groups and agencies.

"Over recent years we have seen a growing trend for farmers and farm managers to take part in BASIS certification training and become fully BASIS qualified. However, we recognise that not all farmers want, or indeed need, to go this far. This new training initiative better meets their needs," said Mr Orme.

Most of the 50-100 farmer participants in the full BASIS scheme have come from management companies like Velcourt and Sentry. But several forward looking farmers keen to demonstrate best practices have also qualified, added BASIS board member Keith Dawson of CSC Crop Protection in Scotland.

The crop protection management course will cover legislation, the need for pest control, understanding how pesticides work, risk assessment and application techniques. Certificates will be awarded to those candidates who successfully complete the examination at the end of the training.

BASIS also announced a new venture with Linking Environ-ment and Farming (LEAF) – an independent certificate to demonstrate an understanding of integrated crop management. "The new certificate will be aimed primarily at advisers keen to get to grips with the principles of ICM, although there is no reason why interested farmers and farm managers should not take advantage of the training package as well," said Mr Orme.

&#8226 BASIS storekeeper of the year, Gary Woodward, p58.n


BASIS FOR FARMERS


&#8226 Pesticide awareness training.

&#8226 Leads to BASIS certificate.

&#8226 Two-day training courses through colleges, training groups and agencies.

&#8226 Course cost typically £60 plus examination fee of £30.

&#8226 One hour multi-choice and short answer test.