BASIS supports new industry apprenticeship standard

Written by John Swire

A new agricultural and horticultural apprenticeship standard, the Agriculture/ Horticulture Professional Adviser Standard (AHPA), has been launched and is being supported by BASIS through their role as an independent end-point assessment organisation (EPAO).

Designed to support anyone looking to develop a career as a crop production adviser, the AHPA incorporates the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection and/or the FACTS Certificate as key parts of the Standard.

It has come about following industry-wide consultation under the guidance of the Institute of Apprenticeships.

Discussing the new standard, BASIS head of business development, Greg Hopkinson, says AHPA is a great training framework for anyone looking to develop the knowledge and skills required as an adviser in crop production.

“This is a great opportunity for those working in the sector to undertake training in-house with an employer, or via an external training provider,” says Mr Hopkinson.

“Typically, the AHPA lasts up to 30 months and cover the key knowledge, skills and behaviours the apprentice will require in their day-to-day work.

“It encompasses practical issues such as recording software and crop walking, as well as precision farming, environmental aspects and soil management. In addition, there is a range of ‘soft’ skills such as interpersonal behaviour and communication, health and safety and even driving skills,” he adds.

“By the end of the scheme, an apprentice will have gained the relevant understanding and built up a portfolio to evidence what has been achieved over the period. The final step is the End Point Assessment (EPA) which is conducted by BASIS Registration, as an independent assessor.”

Commenting on the launch, BASIS chief executive Stephen Jacob, says this is a great development for the industry that has great scope to help new entrants start a career.

“AHPA is an exciting step forward in raising professional standards and ensuring advisers working in agriculture and horticulture are well-equipped for the rapidly changing demands of the industry,” says Mr Jacobs.

“We look forward to supporting candidates in the next step in their career.”

Full details of the apprenticeship can be found at:

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Could a ‘Meat Tax’ be on the cards in the UK?

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Written by Richard Halleron from Agriland

The latest machination coming from the so-called ‘opinion formers’, who seem to have the ear of government advisors in London, is the introduction of a ‘Meat Tax’ at consumer level.

This approach, it is argued, would have the combined impact of reducing meat consumption levels (I can really see the health benefits coming through now), while also helping to reduce the overall carbon footprint of production agriculture.

What absolute drivel! In my opinion, none of this makes sense at any level. This is a scurrilous and unfounded attack on livestock farming in this part of the world.

Yet, it has to be taken seriously. I make this point because economists at Rothamsted Research have already crunched the numbers where the introduction of a ‘UK...