In future, there will be two grades of membership. The well-established FACTS Qualified Adviser (FQA) grade remains. This is for those who regularly give crop nutrition advice on farms and holdings. FQA status is achieved by completion of the FACTS exam, then passing the Nutrient Management Planning (NMP) module and achieving the requisite CPD points each year.
The new grade is ‘FACTS Subscriber’ which is suited to those who do not give third party advice, which would include farmers who only make their own crop nutrition decisions.
“The new grade is a way for those with an involvement in crop nutrition that does not directly involve giving advice to access the FACTS information service which is a unique feature not offered by other professional development schemes,” says FACTS Committee Chairman Geoff Dodgson. “Overall, we have simplified the route to gaining FQA status and created a robust route to membership.
FQAs receive an identity card to satisfy the needs of assurance schemes where they give advice on farms. FACTS subscribers do not.
Other changes will include a reduction in the permitted time between passing the FACTS examination and passing the NMP course and on-line test.
“The changes will not come fully into force until 2016,” says Geoff.
“This is to ensure there is sufficient time for FACTS members, and particularly FACTS trainers, to understand and adapt to the changes.” Further details will be circulated to FACTS members in the near future.