The second graduates of a new milking machinery technician’s course have completed their qualification – with eight students from across the country becoming the second to hold the new Parlour Safe certification.
The MEA (Milking Equipment Association) recently teamed up with Reaseheath College in Cheshire and Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, to establish an industry-wide training programme – Parlour Safe – that’ll give dairy farmers confidence in the ability of the parlour professional on their farm.
The objective of the Parlour Safe scheme is to provide a common means of benchmarking and monitoring for assessing the competence of technicians and others employed within the milking equipment sector.Mike Cullen, Parlour Safe course leader at Reaseheath
“The objective of the Parlour Safe scheme is to provide a common means of benchmarking and monitoring for assessing the competence of technicians and others employed within the milking equipment sector,” says Mike Cullen, Parlour Safe course leader at Reaseheath.
“It’s an excellent way of ensuring that farmers know who is ensuring their dairy equipment is working efficiently and is correctly maintained by someone with a recognised technical qualification.”
The scheme acknowledges the varying levels of knowledge and experience within the industry, so has devised four categories of qualification, each one having specific pre-requisites and offering even those most experienced an opportunity to learn and share information.
Category 1 involves self-registration on line, category 2 is the standard qualification, category 3 advanced and category 4 Master.
The second grouping of eight students completed their Category 3 qualification, and included parlour technicians from McCaskie Agriculture, Dairyflow, Negus Chase, Fullwood South West, DeLaval and Lely.
Karl Randall from Lely says: “I think it’s important to develop and give input to other people in the industry and share knowledge to develop a way forward with the course.”
Those on the course found it invaluable, both in terms of looking at a holistic approach to the whole milking parlour, and to exchange ideas with fellow students.
“We are delighted with the success of the course so far and also with the interest which has been already shown in next year’s intake of delegates,” says Ruth Bailey, CEO of the Milking Equipment Association.
“With milking equipment getting more and more sophisticated, it’s crucial that we set highest standards for our technicians, and that farmers have the reassurance that they’re working with properly qualified individuals.
“A category 3 Parlour Safe technician can be professionally registered with the Engineering Council, after which he is able to use the initials ‘EngTech’ after his name, signifying that he has met the necessary competence and commitment standards.”
The second eight students to complete the Reaseheath category 3 course were:
Gary Edwards from Shropshire
Allan Sanderson from Cumbria
Chris Roskilly from Clackmannanshire
Dave Stobo from Lanarkshire
Philip Bridges from Kent
Keven Gough from Leicestershire
Stephen Knight from Cornwall
Karl Randall from Worcestershire