Turlough Guerin1, Daniel K.Y. Tan1,2, Guy Coleman1,2, Andrew Bishop1, Virginia Shaw1 and Mark Harding1
1 Ag Institute of Australia (AIA), P.O. Box 576, Crows Nest, NSW, 2 The University of Sydney, Sydney Institute of Agriculture, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
The Royal Commission into the Banking and Financial Services Sector has raised the need for good governance, including practical ethics, for advisors in the financial sector. It is only a matter of time before the same scrutiny is applied to advisors and consultants in other industries, including agriculture and natural resource management (NRM). An industry-wide Chartered Agricultural Scheme was launched on 28 November 2018, which places the agricultural sector in a strong position, providing an aspirational pathway for emerging professionals to build their capability to serve clients, i.e. growers, corporations, governments and other organisations in the sector. In addition, the scheme would enable agricultural professionals to be recognised for their contribution as industry leaders and place a greater industry focus on professionalism and ethics. The Chartered Agriculturalist (CAg) is such a scheme and it has been designed and developed by the Ag Institute of Australia (AIA). CAg has been designed to recognise individuals that demonstrate expertise, experience, technical certification, a practical knowledge of ethics, continued professional development (CPD), leadership and other professional skills in the agricultural industry. This scheme is open to AIA members and agricultural professionals who are members of organisations such as the Soil Science Society of Australia, Agronomy Society of Australia and Australian Society of Animal Production. The CAg scheme will help provide protection for, and maintain the reputation and service delivery capability of all professionals and advisors in the agricultural sector. It is an umbrella program enabling applicants to gain recognition for their routine CPD, formal qualifications and experience, which includes the investment agronomists make in their existing professional development as part of their everyday jobs. The program is designed to encourage agriculturalists to grow professionally.