Dairy industry accreditation boosting competitiveness

Latest Parlour Safe graduates bringing deeper understanding of dairy farm management


New graduates of an industry recognised accreditation are creating competitiveness within the dairy sector, while improving installation, maintenance, repairing and management standards of milking equipment. A total of 15 milking equipment engineers and technicians have achieved Parlour Safe accreditation in 2019, as the latest graduates to complete the training scheme, developed by the MEA (Milking Equipment Association).

The scheme, run in association with Reaseheath College in Cheshire and Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, has been developed to ensure a high and consistent levels of parlour installation, maintenance, testing and repairing is carried out on UK dairy farms.

The training covers all aspects of parlour maintenance and best practice, including health, safety and welfare; legislation and standards; the implications of parlour design; and parlour testing and maintenance. It also provides a deeper understanding of areas such as animal physiology and behaviour.

“With milking equipment getting more and more sophisticated, it is important that farmers, the milk processing industry and consumers have the reassurance that they are working with appropriately trained individuals,” explains Ian Coleman, Parlour Safe and land-based technology course leader at Hartpury College.

Mr Coleman adds, “The content of the course illustrates the need for a wider understanding of dairy maintenance and management. There are so many factors influencing the efficiency of a milking equipment. These latest graduating engineers are now well equipped to discuss these issues with their clients and consider how systems can be maximised or improved.”

Mike Cullen, the course leader for Category 3 candidates, and lecturer in agricultural engineering at Reaseheath College agrees. “It is pleasing to see the latest Parlour Safe graduates qualifying, and by taking the skills and experience they have learned back into the workplace, they will be increasing competitiveness and efficiencies within the units they operate in, while at the same time improving welfare and safety standards.

“The industry has been extremely supportive, with parlour businesses recognising the need for independent accreditation. We can only anticipate this will encourage more engineers and technicians wanting to enrol to be able to remain competitive and up-to-speed on latest development,” he adds.

The candidates included milking equipment engineers and technicians from around the country, with 6 qualifying at Hartpury College at Category 2, and 9 Category 3 graduates at Reaseheath. Both categories are run on a block release system over 2 years, and technicians must have been accredited at Category 2 for a minimum of 12 months before enrolling on to Category 3.

“Parlour Safe offers the full complement of independent training accreditation,” adds Ruth Bailey, chief executive, MEA. “Knowing the technician has an industry recognised accreditation gives the farmer the assurance that equipment installation, servicing, repair and after-sales support will be performed to the highest standards.

The 6 candidates achieving Parlour Safe Category 2 accreditation are:

  • Christopher Webster – DeLaval Ltd
  • Allan Parker – GD and M Dunglinson
  • Alan Hardwick – COARS (NE) Ltd
  • Charlie Higham – COARS Ltd
  • Daniel Davies – Shepherd Agri
  • Rob Slater – Elite Milking Systems

The 9 candidates achieving Parlour Safe Category 3 accreditation are:

  • Jim Brook – Lely
  • William Cheesebrough – GD & M Dunglinson
  • Peter Johnston – GD & M Dunglinson
  • Stuart Nordon- GD & M Dunglinson
  • Tony Melville- McCaskie
  • Robin Chalmers – McCaskie
  • James Westwood- GEA
  • Adam Gillen-Bussey- Negus Chase
  • Declan Casey – GEA

For more details or to book a place on the course, please contact Angela Barnatt at the MEA on ab@aea.uk.com, 01733 207602 or 08456 448748