The recently announced ACRES Training Scheme is set to provide two types of training courses, delivered by DAFM-approved trainers, who will receive €90 per DAFM-validated attendee, subject to a maximum of 30.
As previously reported by That’s Farming, some 46,000 farmers have commenced their contracts under ACRES, and the purpose of this ACRES Training Scheme (ATS) is to increase farmer knowledge on the way in which ACRES actions are to implemented.
Participants in ACRES are required to attend a mandatory training course within their first year of participation in ACRES and will receive payment of €156 for attending.
Content of courses
- The mandatory ACRES Training course to be provided to ACRES participants in their first year of participation in ACRES must be designed to provide the following:
- An introduction to the green architecture model, the elements within it (conditionality, eco-schemes and ACRES) and how these elements interact with one another;
- An overview of the challenges to be addressed (environmental, climate and biodiversity);
- An overview of the agri-environment climate measure, its regulatory basis, the objectives of the scheme and funding;
- Information on the individual commitments as well as nutrient management, sustainable farming practices, record-keeping, delivery timelines, controls, inspections, and sanctions, and
- An overview of health and safety as part of good farm management.
- The voluntary ACRES Training course, which may be availed of by ACRES participants, in their third year of participation in ACRES, must be designed to provide:
- Management and aftercare actions;
- Updates to participants on issues that have arisen or have been identified in relation to compliance with specifications;
- Lessons learned to date on the implementation of the overall (ACRES) scheme, and
- Follow up on any issues identified at initial training and any developments on higher-level environmental issues.
Format of courses
Each training course comprises two training sessions – one in the morning and the other in the afternoon – on the day of delivery.
The course must be 6 hours duration and must be delivered between the hours of 9.00 am and 6.00 pm on any day during the week, except on Sunday, bank holidays or public holidays.
In-person training for one of the sessions, either morning or afternoon, must be delivered on a host farm.
The trainer may choose to deliver both training sessions on the host farm.
The host farm cannot be owned, farmed, or managed by the ACRES Trainer, according to the DAFM.