The BASIS Classroom is set to take a significant step forward with the launch of a new system that will give BASIS members an improved experience and new, convenient ways to train.
The classroom, launched last year (Arable Farming, July 2020) has proved a hit with the BASIS membership during the pandemic.
Since the initial launch, some 17 unique courses have been on offer and have been taken up in large numbers.
BASIS members have completed nearly 20,000 courses and more than 35,000 CPD points have been awarded.
Now BASIS Registration, using its own resources, has developed a new classroom that will offer a number of benefits alongside an ability to gain CPD points.
“First, the new classroom is integrated into the new digital membership services,” says Tanya Kesterton, who was appointed this March to the newly created post of head of digital learning.
“Members can log in to one site to gain access to their membership details, CPD progress and access the new classroom.
After a learning session, which will usually include some form of assessment, CPD points are automatically added to the member’s entry on the professional register.”
As with any online learning facility, the classroom offers the convenience of participants being able to undertake learning and gain CPD points at a time that is convenient to them, their job and their lifestyle and at their own pace.
It also removes the time taken to travel to learning sessions.
Launched in mid-September this year, the new BASIS Classroom’s first offering will be a session on integrated pest management.
Existing courses will be moved from the old system to the new.
However, the aim is to develop learning sessions drawing on the expertise of independent third-party experts.
A session on non-native plant pests is already in the pipeline, being developed with Defra.
Experiences Greg Hopkinson, BASIS head of business development, who led the initial classroom project, says: “This development will allow us to provide our members with more online courses which offer unique interactive learning experiences, from a wider range of course providers, covering a broader range of relevant technical content.”
Despite the convenience of online training, the BASIS Classroom will not remove the need for third-party trainers and face-to-face tuition.
Mrs Kesterton says: “The BASIS modules are very practical and in-field learning will remain an important part of gaining the qualifications necessary to join the BASIS professional register and progress through the awards to diploma status.
“I hope as the classroom develops that we will see more ‘blended’ learning developed.
By that I mean in-field and online sessions complementing each other to benefit members’ learning and understanding.”
Stephen Jacob, BASIS chief executive, says: “The classroom has been developed as part of a major investment in digital technology by BASIS Registration.
I believe it will bring significant benefits to our membership.
“However, it will also benefit the broader industry by helping raise professional standards among advisers who are working to support farmers who face significant challenges in the next few years.”