Hartpury College Supports Dairy Industry Accreditation Awards

As the need for recognised industry standards increases at every level within the food sector, the MEA (Milking Equipment Association) has developed the Parlour Safe accreditation scheme, to ensure a high, and consistent, level of parlour maintenance and testing is carried out on UK dairy farms.

The scheme, which is run in association with Reaseheath College in Cheshire and Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, has had huge support from the industry, with parlour businesses acknowledging the importance of an industry accreditation.

The latest graduates of the Parlour Safe Acreditation scheme recently completed the first Category 2 course at Hartpury College

The latest graduates of the Parlour Safe Acreditation scheme recently completed the first Category 2 course at Hartpury College

The latest graduates from this scheme recently completed the first Category 2 course at Hartpury College. All with previous experience in parlour engineering, this group of eight technicians have now been accredited with the Parlour Safe Intermediate Category 2, recognising their deeper understanding of, for example, regulatory body requirements; hygiene and cleaning; the implications of cow flow and parlour design; parlour testing and maintenance; animal health and animal psychology.

“The content of the course illustrates the increasing need for a wider understanding of dairy farm management. There are so many factors that influence the efficiency of a milking parlour, and these engineers are now well equipped to discuss these with their clients and consider how they can improve their systems,” says Ian Coleman, Hartpury College.

“With milking equipment getting more and more sophisticated, it’s also important that farmers have the reassurance that they’re working with properly trained individuals and this accreditation offers that.”

“Parlour Safe offers the full complement of independent training accreditation,” adds Ruth Bailey, Chief Executive, MEA. “The courses cover all levels of skill, experience and required learning. Knowing their technician has an industry recognised accreditation gives farmers the confidence that they will carry out equipment installation, servicing, repair and after-sales support to the highest standards.

The MEA was founded in 2007 and came from a re-structuring of the former Milking Machine Manufacturers Association [MMMA]. It was considered by the manufacturers that there was a need to expand the Association to include dealers and suppliers of all types of milking equipment and systems rather than just include manufacturers.

The MEA is the only independent organisation dedicated to representing the interests of milking equipment manufacturers, distributors and suppliers and has developed this professional career path to ensure standards and competencies are maintained throughout the industry.

The objective of the Parlour Safe Scheme is to provide a common means of benchmarking, monitoring and assessing the competence of technicians and others employed within the milking equipment sector. The scheme also provides encouragement and recognition for both employers and technicians and other employees who voluntarily commit to continual professional development in pursuit of technical support excellence.

All technicians registered at Parlour Safe Cat 2 and above are highly skilled professionals. Those registered at Cat 3 and 4 are also recognised by the landbased engineering sector’s professional body, IAgrE, and can be registered as Engineering Technicians (EngTech) with the Engineering Council. This is optional at both Advanced (category 3) and Master Technician (Category 4) levels.


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