Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Third Level Qualifications Recognition

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

216. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if persons who have attended Mountbellew Agriculture College in County Galway and are qualified in agriculture and environmental management level 7 and have an add-on course qualification in rural enterprise and environmental management, will be recognised as having the necessary qualifications to act as a planner under the new GLAS scheme; if not, the reason; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46903/14]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

In order to be approved as a GLAS Advisor, an advisor must also be approved as an advisor under the Farm Advisory System (FAS) operated by my Department. The Farm Advisory System is governed by EU Regulations, which requires that advisors are suitably qualified and regularly trained.

In determining the level of educational qualifications required to be a FAS/GLAS advisor, my Department must ensure that such qualifications are of an appropriate standard to meet the objectives and the requirements of the various schemes, and the associated governing legislation, on which advice is being provided. Advisors must be qualified to interpret soil tests, understand the requirements of all schemes and understand constraints of land management imposed by various land designations. Furthermore, advisors must be in a position to translate this knowledge into detailed management plans and also advice for farmers not only on the schemes requirements but also on their farm operations.

In order to ensure that advisors meet the requirements outlined above, my Department requires that all advisors must have attained a FETAC Level 8 Bachelor Degree in Agricultural Science/Land Management in Agriculture and must have taken soil science and an animal or crop production subject to a level 8 degree standard.

My Department undertook a detailed examination of the course content of the level 7 BSc in Agriculture and Environment Management with the add-on level 8 BSc in Rural Enterprise in Rural Enterprise and Environment Management provided by Mountbellew Agricultural College and determined that this course does not meet the level 8 educational qualification standard required to be approved as a FAS/GLAS advisor.

My Department has received a request to review this decision and this request is currently being examined. A decision on this review will be notified to Mountbellew Agricultural College as soon as possible.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.