A professional register for sheep advisers is being launched by the National Sheep Association (NSA) and Basis.
The Register of Sheep Advisers (Rosa) is the first of its kind in the grazed livestock sector and has been developed to demonstrate to farmers that advisers have suitable qualifications.
Phil Stocker, chief executive of the NSA, said the register has been born out of necessity following the UK’s departure from the EU.
“With the agricultural transition plan clearly showing there will be a reduction in the basic payment scheme (BPS) over the next seven years, it will bring farmers’ minds sharply into focus to increase the efficiency and profitability of enterprises.”
He said the register will ensure there is a network of advisers capable of supporting farmers through this transition, whichever direction they take, as well as providing guidance on future support schemes and policy.
The Basis-accredited register will not only set a benchmark for the industry but also equip the next generation of advisers with the range of skills needed for the future, he added.
Advisers must apply to register and their application will be assessed by the NSA and independent sheep consultant Liz Genever, who has been integral in the scheme’s development.
It will then be looked over by a steering group, currently being invited, and advisers will be awarded one of two types of membership (see box below).
Successful applicants will have to collect CPD points, by attending events and carrying out training, to qualify for the second year of membership.
The plan is to have a map available on the Rosa website where farmers will be able to find an adviser with the specific skills required near them.
Those interested in becoming a member can sign up at www.sheepadvisers.co.uk when the register launches on 1 June.
More about the scheme
Who is eligible to apply?
Anyone working with sheep farmers can apply, such as nutritionists, vets, suitably qualified persons (SQPs), consultants, reps, technical specialists and environmental advisers.
There are two types of membership – full membership for experienced advisers and associate membership for those starting their career in the industry. Membership costs £75/year.
What are the benefits?
The register will demonstrate professional status.
Registered advisers will receive quarterly newsletters full of technical resources and gain access to a wide range of training.