Qualifications and Experience

Outsourced labour: recognised qualifications

Several organisations provide training and competence testing for some of the tasks performed by outsourced contractors. There are also trade associations for agricultural contractors that may provide some benefits for their customers.

Cattle foot trimming

The National Association of Cattle Foot Trimmers www.nacft.co.uk stipulates a Code of Conduct for its members in addition to providing a member database which includes details of training levels. Categories range from those who are self-taught up to trained members who hold certificates of competence and undergo frequent re-assessment.

The organisation also holds training days, with training and examination for competency in cattle foot trimming undertaken by NPTC.

Cattle ultrasound scanning

Cattle scanning operatives using rectal ultrasound scanning methods who are not trained veterinary surgeons require certification by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), which ensures they possess minimum standards of training and experience.

The department holds a list if approved scanning operatives which is accessible online.

Artificial inseminators

Similarly, The Veterinary Surgery (Artificial Insemination) Order 2007, requires DEFRA certification for non-veterinary personnel participating in artificial insemination techniques on dairy cattle. This means that anyone who is not a qualified vet must have attended a course approved by DEFRA before practicing invasive AI on dairy cows.

National companies

Several large organisations operating nationwide, particularly those offering Artificial Insemination/Fertility Management or selling bovine semen, will have a proven track record as well as guaranteeing staff members have adequate training, meeting statutory requirements.

Agricultural contractors

Contractors performing a variety of mechanically-based tasks will require appropriate certification for that task, for example Pesticide Application certificates for crop-spraying, and also the appropriate training for the safe use of machinery.

Some contractors may belong to a trade association such as the National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC)

There may be limited benefits to farms using contractors belonging to a trade association, such as

  • Possessing experience, expertise and training.
  • Being adequately insured.
  • Operating within association standards and Codes of Conduct.

Safe working practices verified by independent external assessors.

Related Links & Publications