Delivering value to members and the industry is at the core of the BASIS strategy as its new Chief Executive Stephen Jacob takes up his role.
Stephen, previously the organisation’s business development manager has been involved with helping the board of trustees develop a new strategy for the organisation as it enters its 25th year of administering the BASIS Professional Register.
“A quarter of century has seen significant growth and development,” says Stephen. “What began as a professional inspection scheme for pesticide stores has grown to an independent standards setting and auditing organisation for the UK agricultural industry and allied sectors.”
The sectors served are diverse, but at the heart of the schemes are some 5,700 members keen to develop and demonstrate professional standards. Thus the imperative is to focus on the value of membership.
“At present, we are developing the concepts for a new Membership committee. Some sectors, such as PROMPT the pest control register and FACTS have dedicated committees addressing their needs. However, we need a forum to interact more effectively with members on our Professional Register working in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and amenity.”
BASIS membership is a professionally recognised qualification and those who achieve it are entitled to use the letters MBPR after their name. However, the value that BASIS delivers to regulators and the wider food chain is not recognised as widely as it could be.
“In the past year or so we have begun talks with the likes of major retailers to explain why advice from BASIS members or FQAs (FACTS Qualified Advisers) delivers a significant level of assurance in the production of crops and protection of the environment.
The past couple of years have seen the business, which operates as a charity, renew its branding and increase its public relations activity.
“Central to moving forward is our digital presence,” says Stephen. “Our website has been updated to serve our members and our approved trainers better, as well as providing extensive information to a broader public.
“The database underpinning our operations runs to millions of data, highlighting the complexity of the memberships we serve today.
“We are also exploiting mobile phone technology and apps to increasingly automate registration, recording of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points, book training and examination sessions and much more.”
However, people still matter. Automation can remove some of the administrative drudgery, which frees the team based at Ashbourne in Derbyshire to interact more effectively with the Membership, those considering a BASIS qualification and the all-important training community that help educate and maintain the knowledge of agronomists and FQAs.
As BASIS celebrates the silver anniversary of the Professional Register and its trustees work with the new chief executive to develop a new strategy, Stephen is keen to hear from members.
“I want to know what members think and importantly I am open to constructive criticism that will help us improve our service and add value to the membership. The industry is constantly evolving and it is important that BASIS keeps abreast – if not ahead – of change.”
Anyone with views on BASIS can email Stephen – firstname.lastname@example.org