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Latest News

Find out what's new in BASIS and our various schemes, and keep up to date with current industry developments. Or, select a date in the news archive to search through previous articles.

New Boy Pete Leading PROMPT’s Local Authority Mission

LOCAL government expert Pete Newbrook has joined the committee of professional register BASIS PROMPT.

The 59-year-old, who celebrates 40 years in pest control this month, has agreed to help steer the work of the organisation and will play a key role in plans to increase its influence at local authority level.
Indeed, his first task as part of the committee has been to oversee production of a leaflet being issued to every council in the UK.
It spells out the benefits of membership and the value of ensuring any sub-contractors have achieved PROMPT status.
Pete, Pest Control Manager for Wirral Council, said: “One of the initial aims is to get more local authorities to recognise the benefits of PROMPT and registered technicians.

“I’ve learned that councils do things very differently to private firms as they’re run by politicians and not managers.
“So it’s important to get the right messages across to the right people and I’ll be using my experience to hopefully make that happen.”
The leaflet explains the qualifications needed to achieve PROMPT status, the advantages of CPD and reveals how local authorities qualify for preferential rates.

Pete added: “There’s no place for poor quality pest control anymore and authorities have a duty to ensure both in-house technicians and sub-contractors are up to the task.

“By insisting on membership of BASIS PROMPT, councils can rest assured they’re employing qualified professionals rather than cowboys.”

Pete has been in local authority pest control since joining Wirral Council as a trainee in 1977. He was a district technician for more than 20 years before becoming deputy manager and finally manager in 2008.
He has specialised in zero harm to the environment and non-target species pest control along with techniques for the minimum release of pesticides during treatments for 10 years.
He is a consultant and examiner in pest control for the Royal Society of Public Health and delivers presentations and post-qualification training in the region.
Stephen Jacob, chief executive of PROMPT, said: “Peter has vast experience of local authority pest control so I’m sure his contribution will prove particularly important to us.
“Each of our committee members has a different area of expertise and we hope that leads to a stronger, more robust organisation that has a positive impact on behalf of its members.”

The document is available to view at

https://www.basis-reg.co.uk/Schemes/PROMPT/Local-Authorities

 

PROMPT App Fit for the Future

A MOBILE app for pest technicians has been given a fresh lease of life.

The free facility, which makes it quick and easy to monitor CPD points, was developed by professional register BASIS PROMPT last year.

Now it has been rebuilt to ensure it’s fit for the future.
Stephen Jacob, chief executive of PROMPT, said: “We came up with the idea of a mobile app for pest controllers some time ago and our first version was quite popular.
“There were, however, one or two technical problems for which we were unable to find a satisfactory solution.
“We’ve now rebuilt it from scratch to make sure it works consistently well and that we’re able to add further developments in future.
“The app has been in testing for several weeks and we’re confident it’s now extremely robust and up to the task.”
One of the main advantages of the app, which also acts as a digital ID card, is its ability to keep PROMPT members up to date with their CPD tally, according to Mr Jacob.
“Technicians and managers who attend events or training courses will be able to access their membership details through the app, which means recording their number at events will be easier,” he said.
 “Personal information is contained on their phone and CPD points will be registered. The running total is updated automatically so they’re able to monitor their progress in real time.”
The redeveloped app enables users to remain logged in even when they close it down.
Additional features will be added during the summer including a CPD breakdown which will provide users with a list of courses, exhibitions or seminars attended and points gained along with a list of upcoming events.
Future developments could include Geolocation, which would provide users with notifications of forthcoming events near them and reminders of other key diary dates.
Type www.basis-app.co.uk into the internet browser on your phone. Once the homepage is visible, save to home screen and the app will appear.

Independent Audits for Rodenticide Point of Sale Controls are ‘Significant for Stewardship Success’

PLANS for independent auditing of rodenticide point of sale controls have been announced jointly by BASIS Registration and the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use.

The BASIS Stores Inspection Scheme, which already uses independent assessors to ensure compliance with regulations for the storage and distribution of professional pesticides, is set to be extended by the two organisations.
Lindsay Smith-Boam, Logistics Manager at BASIS, says the creation of an audit process specifically for rodenticides will be significant in ensuring the success of the UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime.
“Applying controls at the point of sale, such as checking distribution staff are aware of the regulations and best practice requirements, is an important part of stewardship,” she said.
“For distributors already operating within the long-established Stores Inspection Scheme, the fact it will now cover rodenticides too should be seen as good news.
“It will provide further evidence that the entire supply chain is controlling availability of these products, as a result enabling continued access to them without further restriction.
“Those who have not been involved with BASIS before can rest assured that our experience will help their business meet stewardship requirements.”
Audits will apply to all supply routes - trade and retail, premises and internet – with the first audit cycle conducted by BASIS between February and November 2018.
Rupert Broome, CRRU UK Point of Sale Work Group leader, says: “Any company or outlet selling professional use rodenticides must have passed a BASIS Point of Sale audit for rodenticide stewardship compliance by November 30, 2018.
“This is a planned progression from proof of competence checks on rodenticide purchasers, which were rolled out in October, 2016.”
CRRU UK and BASIS will advise the supply chain of the precise audit process, and the requirements that have to be met, during July to December this year.
Failure to comply with any aspect of the stewardship regime may lead to the company concerned being reported to HSE, Trading Standards and any other relevant body.
It may also lead to cancellation of the authorisation for sale of the product concerned.
BASIS is now looking to add new recruits to its assessment team which conducts annual store audits throughout the UK.
Self-employed applicants must have a good knowledge of the pesticide industry, be available for around 15-25 days a year and have the use of a car.

Anyone wishing to be considered should send their CV along with a covering email to lindsay@basis-reg.co.uk or call the stores department on (01335) 340851 for further information.

1000th Candidate Les Harris Marks Milestone for Key Training Course

A TRAINING course set up to deliver a key qualification on the use of rodenticides has notched up a major milestone in double-quick time.

The BASIS/Killgerm Principles of Rodent Control course was launched 18 months ago in line with the requirements of the UK Rodenticide Stewardship regime.
And Les Harris, of the Enserve Group, was this week named as the 1,000th candidate to achieve certification.
The course, delivered by Killgerm, is aimed at anyone carrying out rodent pest management and its success demonstrates widespread willingness to upskill according to Stephen Jacob, chief executive of PROMPT.
He said: “The fact that 1,000 people have taken the course in just 18 months illustrates the success of the course.
“It shows how pest technicians, farmers and others are prepared to learn during a time of stewardship and displays far-reaching commitment to comply with the new laws on the purchase and use of anticoagulant rodenticides.
“That can only be good news for the sectors in which our members work.”
The one-day classroom-based course provides a thorough understanding of rodents and their management within public health operations and contains useful advice along with practical demonstrations.
Certification acts as proof of compliance with requirements laid down by CRRU UK and leads to free associate membership of the PROMPT professional register – the vehicle for Continuing Professional Development within the pest control industry.
Les, from Leeds, has been a pest technician for less than three months after switching careers from water management.
The 43-year-old took the course in nearby Ossett and said: “I was enrolled on the course by Enserve to improve my overall knowledge.
“But the qualification also enables me to use rodenticides under the parameters of the UK stewardship regime and that will be vitally important.
“It was well-run and particularly informative – I really enjoyed it.”
The course contains eight modules: Rodent and non-target biology and behaviour, reasons for control, signs of infestation, legislation, non-chemical treatments, chemical treatments, risk assessments and environmental impact.
Robin Moss, head of technical services at Killgerm, said: “We realised after the introduction of the CRRU Rodenticide Stewardship regime in 2015 that we needed to ensure as many people as possible had access to a qualification which enables them to purchase and apply professional use rodenticides in line with the requirements.
“We’ve worked hard with BASIS to deliver an independently-accredited certification which promotes the key values and principles of safe and effective rodent control.
“We’ve been running the course on a monthly basis throughout the UK since January, 2016 and are delighted to hear the 1,000th candidate has attained their certification.”
For further information and to find a course, visit www.basis-reg.co.uk/Exams-and-Courses

PROMPT Vows to Listen to Members

PROFESSIONAL register BASIS PROMPT has promised to adapt and evolve in an effort to deliver maximum value to members.

Initial results from its first-ever membership survey are painting a positive picture of an organisation which delivers independent proof of professional credentials.
And chief executive Stephen Jacob insists feedback from the study will be used to ensure the register remains effective and relevant.
More than 300 members have so far taken part in the survey, launched at PestEx in March.
Almost a third reported membership has helped them gain more business and some 85 per cent feel affiliation delivers value for money.
Over three-quarters of respondents are satisfied with the support they receive from PROMPT, which acts as the vehicle for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) within the industry, and as many as 90 per cent would recommend CPD to colleagues.
But almost 60 per cent of respondents so far feel the organisation should do more to raise the profile of the pest control profession as a whole.
Mr Jacob said: “The survey is helping us to engage with our members and find out what we’re doing well, where we can improve and what more they’d like to see.
“Feedback so far indicates people are starting to see PROMPT as an independent champion of the industry.
“But we know we can do even better and listening to the people that matter will ensure we move forward in the right direction.”
The number of controllers affiliated to PROMPT soared past the 4,000 barrier for the first time last year.
A new-look stand-alone website is already in the pipeline, a revised version of the mobile PROMPT app is being launched this summer and the renewal of a campaign to raise the profile of the initiative is expected to deliver further benefits to members.
Mr Jacob added: “We’ve received strong feedback so far and much of it has been positive.
“We’re already improving direct communication by sending out regular newsletters and will ensure we remain in touch with our members.
“If we could raise our profile in the public domain too, consumers might become more aware of what we stand for and that would benefit our members.
“It’s certainly something we’ll look into in the coming months.”
The survey will remain available, both digitally and in print, until at least the end of the year.

Visit www.basis-reg.co.uk/Schemes/PROMPT

Barrie Orme Shield Winner 2016

Sally Morris, an agronomist with Farmacy has been awarded the prestigious Barrie Orme Shield for being the top performing student in the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection in 2016.

Sally grew up on the 350 acre, all arable family farm near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire where she developed a passion for crops and agronomy. She gained a first class degree in crop science at Sutton Bonington, University of Nottingham in 2015. During her degree course she undertook eight months work in Australia. Shadowing agronomists ‘down under’ on such issues as drought tolerant and nitrogen efficient wheat and barley varieties reinforced Sally’s passion for arable farming and agronomy.

For the past two years she has participated in the Hutchinson Foundation, run by crop production specialists Hutchinsons. The Foundation has now trained some 60 future agronomists and gaining BASIS qualifications is part of the training.

“I see BASIS training as an essential stepping stone to building a career in agronomy,” says Sally. “The course provides an insight into the principles which underpin successful crop production.”

James Christian Illett was the BASIS accredited trainer who helped Sally through the course, which included a dissertation on a specialist topic. Her chosen topic was to examine the current options for slug control in oilseed rape.

“I recognised that effective slug control is one of the challenges that oilseed rape growers face nowadays and that challenge is being made harder by the increasing pressure to minimise pesticides entering water courses,” says Sally.

Sally returned to the family farm for her dissertation to undertake whole field trials on the current materials available for slug control. Her aim was to compare the efficacy and longevity of the two main options – metaldehyde and ferric oxide.

“Essentially, I set out to see if ferric phosphate is an effective alternative to metaldehyde,” she explains. “From my trials, I established they are equally effective. Therefore, ferric phosphate is a suitable alternative with a much better environmental profile that will reduce the risk of metaldehyde causing spikes in water sources.”

With the basic BASIS qualification under her belt, Sally has already gone on to take FACTS training on crop nutrition and, as we went to press, was eagerly awaiting the results of her FACTS examination.

“I really enjoyed the course. I find crop nutrition fascinating and also recognise that there is much more to learn about the topic.”

More training is high on Sally’s agenda and she is determined to achieve the BASIS Diploma, although she recognises that it will take three or four years.

“Sally is typical of the new breed of agronomists coming into the industry,” said Stephen Jacob, BASIS Chief Executive. “A real enthusiasm not just for learning, but also for developing practical skills that will help farmers to improved efficiency and enhance quality alongside environmental benefits.” 

Roll Out For New Environmental Risk Assessment

Over the last two seasons, many BASIS distributor companies have trialled or been introduced to a new joint initiative from BASIS and the Environment Agency.
This new, risk based approach via a proforma document, has now been accepted by the Environment Agency and is to be rolled out throughout all BASIS stores over this season becoming a compliance issue in 2018.

The Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) is to be completed by the qualified NSK at all registered sites and will mean that the EA will no longer visit your site every 5 years to re-approve it.  Initial inspections and approvals for new or altered sites will continue to be done by the EA to establish site sensitivity, check pollution prevention measures and ensure all drainage and site plans are complete.

A current Emergency Contingency Plan will also be needed along with the ERA to ensure compliance.  These documents will not need to be sent to the EA but will be checked and held by BASIS.

Completion of the ERA will help identify whether the storekeeper needs further Environment Agency advice and guidance or a re-inspection and where action could be taken to reduce environmental risk. 

Please note, the Environment Agency may still choose to visit your store irrespective of the outcome of your risk assessment, if they think it necessary.

For more information please speak to your Assessor during your annual audit or contact the Logistics department stores@basis-reg.co.uk

Soil and Water Management 1000th Candidate

The BASIS Soil and Water Management course goes from strength to strength and the 1000th successful candidate has recently gained the award which enables farmers, agronomists and other advisers to understand the importance of these subjects on topics ranging from reducing pesticide or nutrient loss to managing flood risk. 

The course was developed in conjunction with Silsoe (now Cranfield University) back in 2003. BASIS consultant Paul Singleton (then Managing Director of BASIS) recalls it was developed to meet an increasing need for advisers to look beyond the basics of crop protection and crop nutrition. It was a time when stewardship campaigns, such as The Voluntary Initiative, were becoming important to deliver a broader based protection to the environment, especially water quality. An aspect of farm management that has become more important, not less, over the intervening years. 

The course has proved popular with a broad range of participants. For some advisers with BASIS Crop Protection or FACTS qualifications it is a means of extending their knowledge and the service they deliver to clients. A significant number of farmers are included in the 1,000 successful candidates as they too recognise the important aspects which the course covers. 

The broad objective, according to the syllabus, is that ‘candidates will know the principles governing the maintenance of soil organic matter content, the maintenance of good soil structure and methods for the prevention of erosion by water and air. They must have knowledge of the legal and quasi legal requirements for the protection of soil and air and the maintenance of soil health and clean air.’ 

The course remains relevant as the debate on cultivations continues. Course delegates learn about equipment choice, timing and impact of operations and their potential effects on compaction and erosion. 

As well as candidates, the course is recognised and supported by a range of organisations with a keen interest in the issues of soil management and water protection. 

These Include Natural England and the 1,000th  successful candidate is Wayne Davies, a Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer working in Herefordshire in the River Wye catchment. Wayne decided to take the course partly to extend his own knowledge, but also because an increasing number of farmers he deals with had taken the course. 

“As it is a national qualification and very relevant to my work, the course really appealed to me,” said Wayne who studied for his qualification at Harper Adams University. 

Improving soil health is an essential element of Wayne’s role as a CSFO. 

“Improving soil health is often a vital step to achieving my key objectives of reducing the amount of nutrients, sediment and pesticides entering waterways. 

“The course provided me with just what I wanted to improve my understanding of some of the key issues in both managing soils and water in farmland.” 

Having secured his first BASIS qualification, Wayne is enthusiastic to undertake further training. 

“With so much of my work focused on crop nutrients, I am thinking of taking the FACTS course next,” he said. 

The Soil and Water Management Course has been developed and kept up to date to meet a specific need. However, BASIS Chief Executive Stephen Jacob pointed out that it is also one of the options for those looking to gain the higher qualification of the BASIS Diploma. 

“Whether a member of our Professional Register is primarily interested in crop protection or crop nutrition, this particular course will deliver knowledge that is relevant,” said Mr Jacob.

Fees Frozen for 10th Year in a Row

Membership fees for BASIS PROMPT have been frozen for the 10th year in a row.

More than 4,000 pest technicians are now signed up to the register, which has grown by more than 15 per cent since 2014.

But Stephen Jacob, chief executive, insists the growth of the organisation will not affect an important philosophy.

He said: “BASIS PROMPT has attracted a significant number of new members in a short period of time.

“But we’re not providing the service to make profit and every bit of money we receive from membership fees is used to deliver extra benefits, such as the mobile app we launched last year.

“The digitalisation of certificates for 2017 will reduce our administration costs and that means we can keep fees for next year the same as they’ve been for a decade.”

Fees will remain at £25 + VAT for members of the BPCA, NPTA or local authority controllers and £30 + VAT for non-affiliated technicians.

 

New Marketing and Technical Manager for PROMPT

THE appointment of a marketing and technical manager is set to deliver a further boost to BASIS PROMPT.

Lucy Cottingham will work with the whole of BASIS Registration – the non-profit organisation responsible for training, certification, auditing and standard-setting across a range of agricultural and related land-based industries.

A key part of her role will be to promote the work of PROMPT and its activities to a range of stakeholders, including record numbers of members, and provide technical expertise.

The 29-year-old joins BASIS from Frontier Agriculture, where she worked as an agronomist.

Already a member of the BASIS register, she’s a qualified advisor for FACTS – the body responsible for setting standards, training and accrediting the Continuing Professional Development of those providing nutrient management advice – and has gained the BASIS Diploma in Agronomy.

A graduate of the University of Exeter, she gained a Masters degree from Harper Adams College and is keen to gain the Graduate Diploma in Agronomy with Environmental Management.

Lucy said: “BASIS has been an important part of my career to date so I’m very much looking forward to being a part of the organisation.

“An important part of my job will be to help raise awareness of the register and its importance as a vehicle for professional competence within the pest control industry.”

Stephen Jacob, chief executive of BASIS PROMPT, said: “Lucy will have a key role in developing the profile of the organisation and the service we deliver to our members.

“She also brings practical expertise that’s so important to ensuring we continue the progress we’ve made so far.”

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BASIS Registration Ltd

St Monica's House, 39 Windmill Lane,
Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 1EY
T: 01335 343945
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E: help@basis-reg.co.uk


BASIS is a registered charity (No. 1077006) and a
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