“Mandatory” Training Terminology Gone, says NZBI
After a drawn-out process corresponding with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), New Zealand Beekeeping Inc (NZBI) say they have managed to get the terminology “mandatory” removed from training advice.
As detailed by Apiarist’s Advocate in March, the industry body raised concern that all beekeepers holding a Risk Management Programme (RMP) certification for their honey extraction or processing facilities that wanted to move to a less frequent auditing programme would be required to undergo training, according to advice issued by auditing body AsureQuality.
"NZ Beekeeping wishes to advise that both MPI and AsureQuality have now withdrawn the "mandatory" requirement around verification training for operators to move to one audit per year, that is moving from step 6 to step 7,” NZBI president Jane Lorimer says.
An industry group meeting to discuss assessment of competency of RMP operators and how it will be delivered, so verifiers are able to use this when determining if an operator should move to step 7, is expected to be staged. No date has been set.
“NZ Beekeeping’s advice remains the same – do not undertake the training unless you feel it would be beneficial to you and your business,” Lorimer says.
NZBI first flagged the issue of AsureQuality’s “mandatory” wording on February 11.
While the move to less regular RMP audits has long been a desire of both Apiculture New Zealand, who worked with MPI and AsureQuality on the change, and NZBI, the later has concerns that training imposed on RMP holders to move to step 7 will be overly onerous.