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First cohort complete Graduate Diploma in Agronomy and Environmental Management

By Discover Telford, 19 September 2017, 16:30PM

Eleven students this week comprised the first cohort to graduate from the Graduate Diploma in Agronomy and Environmental Management, run by Harper Adams University in association with BASIS.

Harper Adams has accredited BASIS courses since 2008 and the Graduate Diploma was relaunched in 2015 as an academic award, at a level equivalent to the final year of an honours degree, which builds upon the more vocational BASIS Diploma.

Dr Andy Brooks, Senior Lecturer and short courses co-ordinator at the university, said: “Harper Adams has been collaborating with BASIS in one form or another since 1978 when we began providing training courses for people wishing to take BASIS exams. We have accredited BASIS courses since 2008 and we developed this Level 6 qualification to help agronomists further advance their careers.

‘’On behalf of Harper Adams University, I would like to congratulate the candidates on gaining this formal academic qualification which recognises the significant levels of professional experience they have gained and that will help further develop their careers within the crop protection industry.’’

Lucy Cottingham, BASIS Marketing and Technical Manager, was among the graduating cohort. She said: “The qualification provided candidates with a broad knowledge from the core modules, while allowing them to select from a suite of advanced modules to suit their desired expertise.
“I’ve really enjoyed working towards the qualification. Once I completed the Certificate in Crop Protection and FACTS, I had a desire to further increase my knowledge base and working towards the Graduate Diploma was the logical next step.’’

The Diploma graduates are:
• Debbie Wedge (Approved Trainer)
• Todd Jex (Agrii)
• Ben Chapman (Harlow Agricultural Merchants)
• Peter Waldock (Growing Earth)
• Shirley Loughrin (Tynedale Agronomy)
• Anthony Slade (Syngenta)
• Paul Carrott (Beeswax Dyson Farming)
• Ben Abell (Beeswax Dyson Farming)
• James Tempest (Gloag & Sons)
• Syed Shah (Agrii)
• Lucy Cottingham (BASIS)

Syed Shah employed by Agrii said: ‘’The Graduate Diploma will help me to improve soil health and soil biology, while providing me with the correct advice to our customers to contribute towards sustainable crop yields.’’

Training programmes managed by BASIS Registration Ltd provide certificates that are recognised by the agricultural, horticultural, amenity and related industries as fulfilling legal requirements or meeting the needs of Quality Assurance Schemes. Crop protection professionals generally begin their careers wit¬¬h the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection. Anyone who advises on the sale and use of agrochemicals is required by law to have gained this course which leads to membership on the BASIS Professional Register.

Members of the Register are required to undertake a certain amount of CPD every year in order to keep themselves up to date. They can do this in a number of ways, one of which is by taking additional, more specialised, courses.

Harper Adams currently accredits more than 40 BASIS courses, of which 26 can count towards the Graduate Diploma. The Graduate Diploma is open to people who are already employed in the crop protection sector, who are full members of the BASIS Professional Register and who have completed 120 credits from the suite of courses approved for the award. More information on the Graduate Diploma can be found at harper.ac.uk/agronomy.