From 2019 all members of the National Pest Technicians Association (NPTA) will have to be members of a Continuing Professional Development scheme such as BASIS PROMPT.
Announcing the decision at the NPTA Annual General Meeting (AGM), held at NPTA House last night (13 December), chairman Adam Hawley made two key points.
Firstly that if the Rodenticide Stewardship Regime fails to reduce anticoagulant residues in non-target animals and he and other pest management industry leaders find themselves sitting in front of the Health & Safety Executive, the industry will be in a much stronger position to argue for the continued use of these products by professional pest controllers if it can demonstrate pest professionals have a clear willingness to learn.
He also pointed out that many members are already collecting CPD. However the Board has realised that some members will be new to the process hence the requirement will not come into force until 2019.
Left to right at the NPTA AGM: vice chairman Sabra Everett, chairman Adam Hawley and chief executive John Davison
There was some concern expressed from the floor at the meeting namely that NPTA will lose members by taking this step. And no doubt there will be some who decide to leave. Vice chairman Sabra Everett commented that there are benefits for individual pest controllers as being part of a CPD scheme helps them improve and demonstrates their professionalism.
There was also some debate about how the BASIS PROMPT system works and the time it takes to check and chase up points. This process is not helped by the PROMPT year finishing on 31 December – a particularly busy time of year.
Pest test points will be inputted before 31 December
At the 2015/16 AGM the NPTA Board reported that members had been canvassed by email but that so few responses had been received the Board did not feel it had a mandate to implement any change and decided to conduct further consultation. At every Roadshow in 2017 delegates have asked to make their views known. There has been a further round of consultation by email and the topic was again highlighted to all members in the AGM notice of meeting papers. Despite all this effort, the total number of ‘votes’ received was just 58. However, of these, a massive 90% (52) were in favour of the change.
Performance wise NPTA saw its membership rise to 1,051 for the year ended 31 March 2017, up from 1,012 in the previous year. Turnover and, more importantly, the surplus generated, were also up.
Not that NPTA is sitting on vast amounts of cash. The surplus generated is used to fund activities, such as the free Regional Roadshows which drew good crowds in 2016/17 and included high quality training sessions such as the ones on bed bugs delivered by expert and Pest Technical Advisory Board member, Clive Boase.
An additional part-time member of staff has been recruited so there are now 2.5 employees to support the work of the association – Julie Gillies, Donna Alvey and Maxine Kean who joined NPTA in June 2017. The meeting was reminded that all the directors give their time freely with those from local authorities using holiday entitlement to attend meetings.
Adam thanked the Board and the permanent staff for all their hard work and he confirmed the announcement made at the previous AGM that Barrie Sheard had stepped down from the Board in October 2016.
Barrie who was honoured with a lifetime membership in 2012 has been instrumental in the formation and development of NPTA. His involvement began way back in May 1994 when he joined the original ‘band of four’ who had set up the fledgling association in the previous year. He served as chairman for a number of years, stepping down in 2009.