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    Crop farmers reprieve after NRoSO extension
30/05/06

The NFU met with the National Register of Sprayer Operators and other stake-holders to agree a one-year extension to give early members the chance to register extra points and qualify for renewed membership status.

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Plant health adviser Neil Kift said: “The introduction of new training methods often involves significant development of systems and both users and trainers have struggled to meet the changing demands. Trainers didn’t apply for points for events that would have been valid, farmers didn’t realise they had to sign registers and registers weren’t always returned meaning points didn’t go on farmers’ records.

“As a result many who joined the scheme, in the first year 2003, have, in effect, only had two years to collect points rather than the three envisaged. These members will be given the chance to pay for a one-off single year’s additional registration for NRoSO training to give them chance to collect the appropriate points.”

“Finally members are urged to check carefully the points credited to their NRoSO annual statement to ensure this includes points from all relevant course and events. In the event of any discrepancy members should contact the course organiser or the NRoSO to facilitate the submission of relevant evidence of attendance.”

The scheme has made other responsive changes to meet the needs of members including rolling over extra points collected during the first three years and changing the weighting of points required for fulfilling membership.

Notes:

1.The NRoSO was set up to provide a scheme for farmers to demonstrate the continuing training they receive regarding pesticide applications and crop protection.

2.The NRoSO operates on a three yearly basis and during that time members have to achieve 30 points through training and other activities. Membership is renewable at the end of each three-year block (subject to conditions)

3.Difficulties obtaining points in the first year of the NRoSO training scheme were due to a lack of awareness on the part of the trainers of how and when to obtain points for events, a lack of awareness of how to register lists of attendees at events and a failure to understand what needed to be done to register yourself at an event.

4.This is a one-off extension which only applies to those who joined the scheme in the first year in 2003.

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