Parlour Safe, the Milking Equipment Association’s (MEA) industry training scheme for engineers and technicians, has been approved by the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE), in recognition of its professional quality and the standard of its training.
Parlour Safe has seen increasing demand in recent years, as dairy farmers seek to work with professionally accredited technicians to maximise parlour efficiencies. The MEA has worked closely with the industry and with Reaseheath and Hartpury Colleges to create a categorised, modular course structure that offers the latest practical and technical information on all aspects of parlour management, from dynamic testing and cow welfare, to health and safety and building design.
Comprising four categories, depending on knowledge and experience, Parlour Safe gives individuals a recognised industry accreditation with now both Category 3 and Category 4 awarded with IAgrE approval. This gives qualifying individuals the opportunity to join IAgrE and register as Engineering Technicians (EngTech) with the Engineering Council.
Commenting on this latest development, Ruth Bailey, Chief Executive, MEA, says, “I am thrilled for everyone involved with Parlour Safe that it has once again received this prestigious status from the IAgrE, which acknowledges the expertise and technical abilities of milking machine engineers and technicians.
“As we continue to work to attract new recruits into the industry, having a training structure that offers personal development and a rewarding career is vitally important. With the approval by IAgrE of the possibility for EngTech registration, the Parlour Safe accreditation now opens up a vast network of new opportunities for our members, from broadening their contacts within the industry and attending conferences and meetings, to building their knowledge and meeting an extended team of experts for information, guidance and support.
“The IAgrE accreditation also gives dairy farmers an added confidence on the quality and expertise of a Parlour Safe engineer or technician. As we move forward I feel there is an increasing expectation for qualified professionals to be used on farms, and farmers now have assurance that a Parlour Safe qualified individual has been recognised by one of the most respected bodies in the industry.”
IAgrE CEO Alastair Taylor commented: “This approval puts Parlour Safe technicians at the same status as those working across many engineering and technology sectors, and after successful completion of Parlour Safe training and assessment, they will be able to gain full IAgrE membership and become registered as Engineering Technicians. The dairy industry should be proud that the technicians who install and maintain milking equipment have the same standing as those working in aviation and other complex sectors. We should celebrate our technicians’ achievements in this way. It is great news for our industry and the people who work in it. It really does raise the bar”
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.