Utilising new technologies, developing new skills and addressing new areas of interest are at the heart of the plans BASIS Registration has set out for the next year or two.
All aimed at improving the service and experience for existing members, while providing new offerings to meet the changed needs of the industry.
We are nearing the completion of a major digital project that has been in progress for the past three years.
A considerable amount of ‘back office’ work has been simplified and speeded up.
For instance, each of our exams involved a huge amount of paperwork that all had to be transported and uploaded onto our records.
Now, a vast amount of that paperwork has gone.
With direct entry of information and results into our registers, members will be able, in real time, to see their training records status, the continuing professional development (CPD) points they have accrued against their annual requirement and check their payment details.
Overall, we believe our new digital systems will improve the overall experience of dealing with BASIS.
Covid-19 accelerated our online training facilities and the launch of the BASIS Classroom.
The first few offerings were welcomed and used extensively.
Last year, more than 18,000 CPD courses were completed.
This has led to developing in-house skills to provide these training sessions which are available 24-7 to allow members to gain CPD points and update their knowledge.
The programme that will be rolled out over the coming year will include input from leading research and advisory organisations as well as, where relevant, commercial third parties.
This move augments existing in-person training, as much of the agronomy and related training needs to be delivered live in the field – a vital service delivered by BASIS approved trainers.
In the world of arable farming, minds are focused on the withdrawal of the Basic Payments Scheme and the increased emphasis on environmental benefits.
BASIS has long been involved in training and professional standards that focus on environmental management.
But now we will look to extend our offering in this sector with the launch of the BASIS Environmental Advisers Register (see Arable Farming, January 2022).
This new register reflects the increasing breadth of the BASIS offering.
It will be ideal for those involved in practical land and countryside management, as well as those in advisory roles, to develop skills and demonstrate their professional standards.
As the business of farming and land management becomes more holistic, we will be playing our part through collaboration with the Feed Adviser Register, operated by the Agricultural Industries Confederation.
The FAR Certificate in Animal Nutrition and the Environment will play a key part in bringing together whole farm nutrition planning including livestock, forage and crops.
And we will not ignore our own professional standing as a training body as we work to achieve accreditation under the Government’s Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation, commonly known as Ofqual.
More than 40 years ago, BASIS was formed to inspect and audit agrochemical stores.
Since then, we have moved on to raise the standards in crop protection and nutrition in agriculture and amenity settings, developed standards for professional pest controllers and now we are expanding into areas such as organic farming and environmental management.
And BASIS will continue evolving to meet the needs of the industries it serves.