BASIS and Harper Adams re-launch Graduate Diploma

Agronomists, farmers and company representatives will be able to achieve a qualification equivalent to a final year of an Honours degree, after BASIS and Harper Adams University re-launch the Graduate Diploma in Agronomy with Environmental Management.

Hundreds of people undertake BASIS training courses every year as part of their continuing professional development (CPD) across the agricultural, horticultural, amenity and related industries. The re-launch of the Graduate Diploma gives industry professionals the opportunity to achieve a relevant, formal and nationally recognised high level qualification that until recently was the preserve of university graduates.

Rob Simpson, Managing Director of BASIS said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to re-launch the Graduate Diploma with Harper Adams University. BASIS members are highly skilled professionals and it is important that those outside the industry are able to recognise this with a formal, university accredited qualification.”

Those who have already achieved the BASIS Diploma in Agronomy can ‘top up’ to the Graduate Diploma by successfully completing either another Advanced Module or Nutrient Management Planning to gain the additional 15 credits required.

Head of the Crop and Environment Sciences Department at Harper Adams, Dr Andy Wilcox, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for formal recognition of training within a subject area of key importance to the land based industries.”

Originally launched in 2008, seven people have already attained the Harper Adams Graduate Diploma.

Andrew Havergal, Senior Agronomist & Agronomy IT Manager for Frontier Agriculture, was one of the first students to receive the Graduate Diploma in Agronomy with Environmental Management in 2011.

He says: “Many agronomists, especially those who have been doing the job for a number of years, may have come into the industry without a formal university qualification. The Graduate Diploma recognises the effort and work required to become a fully-fledged agronomist with an educational qualification which is also very well-recognised within the crop protection industry.

“I’m pleased to have been one of the first to complete my Graduate Diploma and have since encouraged many others to do the same.”

There are two routes to the Graduate Diploma, guided by the date which candidates achieved qualifying modules. All qualifying modules must be taken within seven years of applying for the Graduate Diploma.

The direct route is open to those who have passed the required modules since November 2008 or within the last seven years (whichever is most recent). These candidates will automatically qualify for the Graduate Diploma.

The Experienced Practitioner Route has been developed to recognise that many in the industry have significant levels of experience built up over a number of years, but may have passed some of their required modules before November 2008. In these cases up to 80 credits will count from modules passed before November 2008 in the form of Accredited Prior Certificated Learning. The remaining 40 credits must be from approved courses passed in the last seven years or since November 2008 (whichever is most recent). The Experienced Practitioner Route Module required for this route provides proof of knowledge and is assessed by providing an annotated list of CPD undertaken for each BASIS module, an essay and viva voce.

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