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15 Jun 2022

Volunteer with BASIS

As featured in Arable Farming Magazine

Volunteer with BASIS

by Arable Farming Magazine May issue

The search is on for volunteer examiners for BASIS crop protection courses.

Examinations conducted by experienced members of the BASIS Professional Register ensure trainees have gained both knowledge and an understanding of how to apply it in the field.

Now BASIS is looking for more volunteers to play their part as demand for examinations soars.

This spring has seen unprecedented demand for examinations as more people seek to build a career in agronomy, with the end of Covid-19 restrictions enabling in-person examinations to take place once more.

Sue Mason, examinations and training manager at BASIS, says that in the first four days of March alone there were requests for 13 examinations to be scheduled.

As each examination for the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection requires two examiners, the search is on for more volunteers.

There is also a need for more examiners in specialist areas, such as soil and water, FACTS, Nutrient Management Planning and specialist crops.

Any member of the professional register with several years experience in the relevant subject is eligible to help.

In return for giving up a day, examiners can gain four CPD points.

Anyone interested is welcome to attend and observe an examination or participate in ‘mock examinations which are held to help candidates and examiners prepare for the real thing.

A relatively new examiner is James Taylor, who is part of the small team at Agronomy Connection who passed his BASIS examination some seven years ago.

Practical experience Mr Taylor gained his formal education from Bishop Burton College and then gained practical experience, followed by his BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection through a distributor graduate training programme, prior to joining Agronomy Connection during its establishment two years ago.

Today he works within East and North Yorkshire, dealing with a range of combinable crops along with sugar beet, potatoes, and vining peas.

He welcomed the opportunity to become an examiner as a chance to ‘put something back into the industry.

I can still remember preparing for my BASIS exam, he says.

It was one of the most challenging moments of my life.

BASIS training and qualifications are the foundations for a rewarding career.

As an examiner, I want to do my bit to put new entrants young or old at ease and get onto the agronomy pathway.

I find it really rewarding to see enthusiastic people, whether they intend to be agronomists, farmers or farm managers, coming forward to play their part in advising to grow crops profitably and sustainably.

With examination numbers increasing, BASIS is looking for more qualified agronomists with several years of experience in the field to help.

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