Grazing Land Management

ChemCert withdrawal from industry training prompts questions

Terry Sim, February 1, 2019

ChemCert CEO Brian Halse

MAJOR national chemical use training group ChemCert has declared it is unable to deliver accredited courses, enrol new students nor issue certification to those who have completed units.

A statement on the ChemCert website posted on January 31 apologised for the inconvenience, but said the group has been unable to deliver accredited courses since last 24 January, 2019.

“We are working on a solution with the government regulator, but unfortunately don’t have a specific time frame on that yet.”

ChemCert chief executive officer Brian Halse said he had “no comment on any level.” But on the Australian Government’s www.training.gov.au website, the ChemCert Training Group Pty Ltd’s registration period with the registration manager, the Australian Skills Quality Authority, is listed as expired as of 23 January this year.

Sheep Central contacted ASQA yesterday and today, but is yet to receive responses to its questions.

On his LinkedIn page, Mr Halse describes ChemCert as an industry based non-profit organisation established in 1999.

“As the peak accreditation body it works with all industry sectors throughout Australia for the training, up-skilling and industry accreditation for users of agricultural and veterinary (AgVet) chemicals,” he states.

ChemCert and ASQA silence prompts questions

Queensland spray application and drift management consultant Mary O’Brien said ChemCert had been a major well-known provider of chemical use accreditation. Although there were other training providers, she said the ChemCert development would affect all sectors of agriculture. This included livestock producers seeking chemical user permits for pest and weed control, grain and cotton producers, and contractors and companies needing certification for best management practice compliance under state legislation.

In February last year, Mary O’Brien posted on Twitter she had been trying since November 2017 to get ChemCert to return her calls about ChemCert not issuing certification to clients.

“Have farmers & contractors waiting almost 3 months for their accreditation & now spraying without chem ticket thanks to @ChemCert 💩

“I’m out of patience, Twitter shaming is my absolute last resort. #notgoodenough”

She told Sheep Central today some of her clients at that time received their ChemCert certification and “some of them never did.”

“Some of them asked for their money back and some of them got it.

“Some of them never got their money back because they did the two units and then were told for the third unit they weren’t going to get accreditation, because the trainer wasn’t competent to train in that third unit.”

A New South Wales wool grower who was completing his ChemCert certificate for the use of pesticides, herbicides and pest baits said ChemCert has offered him a refund or to hold his course work and progression in an online portal while the group’s training status was clarified.

“What do I do, do I seek the refund and have to go through the whole registration process again or do I wait what happens to them?”

The wool grower said he would prefer to stay in the ChemCert system, but he needed an explanation from the training group or regulator ASQA about the seriousness of the situation.

“Are they going to be deregistered permanently and therefore we ask for our money back or do we wait and hold and then continue on when the issue is resolved?

“How serious is the problem?” he asked.

“Is this issue so serious that the organisation is going to be closed down, therefore they call bankruptcy and none of us get our money back, or is there a possibility of the issues being resolved?”

Current and existing ChemCert students affected

The development has meant ChemCert is offering refunds to students or directing them to other training providers as it is unable to:

– book new students into face-to-face or online courses

– offer accredited courses to already enrolled students

– to train eLearning students nor award competency in accredited units.

ChemCert has said it is cannot produce accreditation certificates, statements of attainment and ChemCert cards for students who have completed a course

Face-to-face and online courses for which the training group said it is unable to accept enrolments for include:

  • AQF3 Chemical Accreditation
  • AQF2 Chemical Awareness
  • AQF4 Chemical Risk Management
  • Control Weeds
  • 1080VIC ChemCert is an industry based non-profit organisation established in 1999. It has been regarded as the peak accreditation body in the training, up-skilling and industry accreditation for users of agricultural and veterinary chemicals.

No explanation offered in full ChemCert website statement

ChemCert is currently unable to accept enrolments into the following courses (both face to face and online).

  • AQF3 Chemical Accreditation
  • AQF2 Chemical Awareness
  • AQF4 Chemical Risk Management
  • Control Weeds
  • 1080VIC

We apologise for any inconvenience, in the meantime other providers may be found on training.gov as that is a list of approved providers.

For new enquiring students:

ChemCert is currently unable to deliver accredited courses so unfortunately, we are unable to book you in for a course. We can take your details and the location you would like to book in for and if we get up and running again, we will contact you back.

Please contact enrol@chemcert.com.au for further enquiries.

For already enrolled face to face students:

ChemCert is currently unable to deliver accredited courses. We are working on a solution with the government regulator but unfortunately don’t have a specific time frame on that yet.

We will let you know the week before if your course will be cancelled or alternatively we can get a refund organised for you. We are hoping to get more clarity before your scheduled course date, so we haven’t cancelled your course yet but are also unable to give you any venue information.

Please contact enrol@chemcert.com.au with your decision.

For eLearning enrolled students:

ChemCert training group is unfortunately unable to deliver accredited training at this time. Due to this we are unable to train students nor award competency in accredited units.

We are working on a solution with the government regulator but unfortunately don’t have a specific time frame on that yet. We understand it will severely affect you as you are currently enrolled into our online course. We apologise for the inconvenience.

While we work towards getting some further clarity on our training status, we would like to offer you two options on how to proceed:

  1. We can provide a full refund to your account. These will be provided based on how your course fee was paid.
  • Credit cards (we will reverse the transaction on the card used to pay for your training)
  • Bank Transfers (please provide the following information)
    Account Name:
    Account Number:
    BSB:
  1. We can hold your course work and progression in the online portal, as we await clarity on our training status. We would let you know your new due date if we get up and running again.
    We sincerely apologise again for the situation you have been placed in and will let you know more information as soon as we can. Please contact elearning@chemcert.com.au with your decision.

People waiting on cards/documents:

You have recently completed a course with ChemCert and were awarded competency, however since last Thursday (24th of January, 2019) ChemCert is unable to deliver accredited courses. Due to this, we cannot produce your documentation (Certificate, Statement of attainment and ChemCert card).

We are working on a solution with the government regulator but unfortunately don’t have a specific time frame on that yet.

ChemCert is sorry for the inconvenience and we will send them out as soon as we can if we get up and running again. Alternatively we can offer you a full refund.

Apologies again and we will let you know more information as soon as we can.

Please contact enrol@chemcert.com.au with your decision.

 

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Comments

  1. Michael Schaefer, February 15, 2019

    AusChem has been delivering accredited Farm Chemical courses throughout Australia for nearly 30 years. Perhaps there are many people who didn’t know this, but there are over 31 RTOs and more than 60 trainers working to deliver these courses to meet farmer’s needs. Just visit us at http://www.auschemtraining.com.au, give us a call on 1300 131 250 or email us at office@auschemtraining.com.au

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