Until now, entry onto the BASIS Professional Register could only be achieved through training and examination, which includes a test of practical knowledge in the field.
Over the years, a common cause of failure by examination candidates has been a lack of practical experience.
And today BASIS advises against entry to its examinations without gaining experience.
Trainee Membership has been designed to provide an initial steppingstone towards gaining a qualification that allows successful candidates to add Member of the BASIS Professional Register (MBPR) after their name.
It is a nationally recognised qualification that is a requisite for a successful career in agronomy and crop production.
So, what can those who sign up for the Trainee Membership Scheme status expect? First and foremost is broad access to the members’ area of the BASIS website from where a wide range of resources can be accessed, including the increasingly popular BASIS Classroom, podcasts and webinars.
Participation in these entitles the trainee to qualify for continuing professional development (CPD) points in the same way full members of the register do.
Similarly, through participation in third-party events such as conferences and exhibitions, trainees also gain CPD points which will be added to their personal account on the BASIS website
Over time trainees can see their progress across the CPD categories – crop protection, environment, application practice, plant nutrition, health and safety, personal development and the increasingly important area of integrated pest management.
Unlike professional register membership, trainees do not have an annual CPD target to meet.
However, there is an annual BASIS trainee of the year award for the individuals who collect the most CPD points in a 12-month period.
In addition, trainees will receive regular, topical updates from BASIS.
Alongside the formal learning potential, trainees can begin to build – or extend – their network of contacts with like-minded professionals including established practitioners.
BASIS will also be hosting seminars to provide guidance on how to develop careers in crop production and the pathways which can be taken to gain entry to the Professional Register and onwards to higher awards and the BASIS diploma.
Stephen Jacob, BASIS chief executive, says: “Over the years, BASIS has earned a strong reputation for helping our members gain our accredited qualifications and develop their knowledge base.
However, what has been missing is a way to help those aspiring to a career to get their first step on the career ladder until now.
“The new trainee level of membership fills that gap.
Those who sign up will receive full support to work towards membership of the Professional Register.
“They will also be showing a strong commitment to the industry and their future career.
It is a great way to demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment to current or future employers.
Trainee Membership is open to all ages, including those starting their career as well as those seeking a change in direction.
Membership costs £65 a year for which trainees are given a membership card and a unique number to access their learning account on the website