A National Accreditation and Professional Development Program for Agriculture and Natural Resource Management

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This report describes the development and outcomes of a national accreditation pilot program for professionals working in agriculture, horticulture and natural resource management. This pilot program was developed by the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology (AIAST) with the support of the Cooperative Venture for Capacity Building Program.

This report has been written for the stakeholders of this pilot project and for those interested in the accreditation and recognition of agricultural, horticultural and Natural Resource Management professionals.

There is currently no national certification or accreditation scheme which addresses questions of professional responsibility and competence for professionals working in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (NRM).

The ever increasing complexity in primary production and natural resource management has significantly increased the demand for specialist inputs from professionals engaged in these sectors. The critical issue today is the quality of these specialist inputs. At present there are no prescribed qualifications, no peer assessment and no requirement for ongoing professional development in most primary industry and environment sectors.

The Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology (AIAST) recognised the need for professionalism to be nurtured, developed and protected by a strong and credible national industry certification scheme.

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