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18 December 2018

Chief Exec viewpoint: Small pieces to make the big picture

Chief Exec viewpoint | PPC93 December 2018

In this Chief Exec viewpoint, I’d like to do some straight talking about BPCA Registered, CPD schemes, and the sticky issue of what ‘professional’ looks like.

Firstly, BPCA Registered, which is our new professional development framework developed by, with and for BPCA members.

The only criticisms I’ve heard to-date have been through unfortunate opinion pieces in other trade journals. It is clear to me that BPCA Registered exists because our Servicing members have asked for it, time and time again. We’re a membership organisation; our primary responsibility and accountability is to our members. It is not to trade mags, and certainly not to other organisations who don’t currently even have a CPD requirement.

Secondly, on CPD schemes – Basis is an organisation which provides a range of registration schemes for the agricultural sector. Basis stepped in to record CPD points for our industry by creating another register at the time that this was needed.

BPCA Registered is responding to the demands of the sector which has clearly outgrown the existing Basis Prompt CPD point collecting register.

BPCA Registered is currently only for BPCA members, and as members, you have a choice whether you move to use your new scheme or whether you stick with whichever CPD scheme you use. It is your business decision! As with every other profession, CPD is an integral element of what sets you apart as being a professional.

And that moves us onto the definition of ‘professional’ – we’re working at a European level with the Confederation of Pest Management Associations (CEPA) to define what a professional pest manager actually is. We want to get fellow European associations to support and adopt a single framework for this definition.

That framework has started with a definition being developed based on minimum training and minimum qualifications for professional pest controllers. At the European level, we’re also investigating an online competency assessment for professional pest controllers as well as defining a common approach to CPD. This work will not happen overnight, but it will happen.

Thankfully, BPCA members have little to worry about. I’m confident that what we have in place by way of training, qualification and CPD requirements will already meet the European requirements.

Being a professional pest controller goes hand-in-hand with quality management. I’ve been asked regularly if there’ll ever be an international quality standard for pest control. Well, that’s also being worked towards.

To get global companies firmly behind a quality standard it needs to be an International Standard (ISO) rather than a European Standard (EN) or a British Standard (BS). BS EN16636 is both a British Standard and a European Standard. Should we sit back and wait? Absolutely not.

The greater the uptake of the European Standard the greater the likelihood of the ISO status being granted.

So what is stopping that from happening? Basically, we need our fellow associations in North and South America and Asia to support the adoption of the standard, and this work has started with CEPA leading the way between these global associations. We’re also creating a formal global pest management coalition, and our thanks go to NPMA in the USA for leading this work.

While we have had notable achievements in getting the UK and European buyers of pest management services asking for BS EN16636, there is no doubt that the potential of getting ‘ISO16636’ will shift the whole debate about professional pest management to a different level. We have already been told that while global companies support BS EN16636, it is difficult for them to put a British or European standard in a global specification. Any global specification requires things that can be achieved globally. 

IAN ANDREW
BPCA Chief Executive
ian@bpca.org.uk

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Source: PPC93

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