Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of frequently asked questions from both participants and employers about the AgriFood ATP. Please click on a question to reveal its answer. If you have a query that is not answered on this page, then please contact us directly.
Participant Related FAQS:
As the ATP is higher level postgraduate study, do I need a degree to become part of it?
In short no, everyone who is interested in the ATP courses is welcome to take part as part of their continuing professional development (CPD). If you do want to undertake a University qualification (PG Cert, PG Dip, MSc) you will need to apply to the University to gain a place on the course. Your situation will be assessed on an individual basis so if you don’t have a degree, but have A levels or technical qualifications plus industrial experience you may be able to enrol on a course to suit your needs.
Where will the courses be held?
How much do courses cost, and how do I obtain a training bursary?
Course fees for individual modules can be found on the relevant course information page. The cost of a full postgraduate programme varies on a case-by-case basis, and is often more cost-effective than paying for its individual modules separately.
However, training bursaries are available to the majority of EU citizens and UK residents who are employed within a company or organisation in the UK that services or is part of the agrifood sector. To confirm your eligibility and claim your bursary for a course you are interested in, see the documents on our funding page. If you have further questions contact us.
What is the difference between continuing professional development and a credit bearing module?
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is on-going training and development that many professions are required to undertake as part of their continuing professional status. The IFST and BASIS operate industry recognised CPD programmes.
Undertaking CPD can involve attending training courses, reading journals or other self-directed study. To qualify as CPD a course or activity may sometimes need to be recognised by the professional body that is monitoring the CPD.
Usually it is up to the individual to keep a record of their CPD and send it to the professional organisation on an annual basis to allow the individual to maintain their professional membership or status. For a course to qualify as CPD it is not normally required to complete any assessment associated with a course (exam, assignment, presentation etc.)
However if the CPD you are taking is a University credit bearing module you can gain University credits if you complete and successfully pass the assessment associated with the course. This is what makes it a credit bearing module. This credit can then be carried towards a university qualification.
What is a credit?
All courses at Universities are grouped into chunks known as credits. In higher education these courses which are usually known as modules; are grouped in no less than 5 credit amounts. A credit is usually 10 learning hours. So a 10 credit module is 100 learning hours. Learning hours are all that a participant does on a course from reading, attending the course, e-learning, course work, assessments and exams. Only if you complete and pass the assessment associated with a course will you gain the credits. These credits can then build towards a higher award such as a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits).
How long does it take to get a Masters qualification?
It should take someone in work around three years to complete a Masters degree if they complete four short courses per year and then take around 6 months to research and write up their work based project. This has a credit value of 180 credits. If you decide to move job during your studies, it is possible to take your course with you. Equally if you decide to stop studying for personal or professional reasons, it is possible to gain a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) if you have successfully completed this amount of credits.
If I work in agronomy can I only do crops courses?
The idea of the AgriFood ATP courses is that they are flexible and relevant to industry. This means you can pick and choose across the crops, animals, food and nutrition and transferable skills courses to suit your own professional interests. The aim of the programme is to broaden professional people’s skills to include new areas of interest. It is possible to tailor a programme that is unique to your individual interests and development requirements.
Business & Employer Related FAQS:
What are the benefits to my business in being involved with AgriFood ATP?
Today’s food and farming sector is increasingly fast paced and competitive. Maintaining or gaining an advantage in the marketplace is in part based on an understanding of the technical and scientific developments that impact business. Whether it is coping with adverse weather conditions in the field or developing the products that health conscious consumers are looking for; the AgriFood ATP aims to address these and other specialist questions that business is dealing with on a daily basis.
Another challenge facing the food and farming sector is attracting and retaining high quality staff. A factor in staff retention is the opportunity for those staff to undertake continual professional development (CPD). The AgriFood ATP provides employees a highly flexible and rewarding way to undertake CPD. There are opportunities ranging from one-day training courses and short courses through to postgraduate qualifications and PhD. Businesses and their staff can decide jointly the most advantageous training programmes that suit both the business and the employee.
Finally one of the main obstacles in businesses sending staff on training courses is the cost of these courses. The AgriFood ATP is offering UK based businesses full training bursaries until the end of 2014. Whilst there still is the time in training involved, businesses will gain a financial benefit from the bursary to reinvest into their organisation.
What are the benefits to my business in one of my employees taking an AgriFood ATP course?
AgriFood ATP courses are designed in conjunction with business to make sure that current issues and topics are included as part of the course syllabus. See our About page.
Ideas and information taught on courses will include information that is readily transferable into business. The main mechanism whereby information is transferred to businesses is through the work based assessments that the majority of courses include. Delegates are encouraged to use a work related example as the basis for their project and to disseminate the results of their project to colleagues in the workplace.
How can my business become involved with the AgriFood ATP community?
One of the main objectives of the AgriFood ATP is to be fully engaged with the agrifood business community. We do this formally by including representatives from all parts of the agrifood industry on our committees and subject groups. We also hold an annual community based event. This year it was in September at Sutton Bonington. Please see our news and events page.
However we are always looking for informal input and comment relating to courses and the subjects that we offer and possibly new members of our subject subgroups. Please contact us with your thoughts via our contact page.
Is there a limit to the number of my staff that can attend an ATP course?
The short answer is no- in theory you can send as many of your staff as you would like to an AgriFood ATP course. However as part of the requirements of the bursary scheme we are operating is that courses are open to all businesses (see question below).
If there is a subject my business is particularly interested in, can I ask the AgriFood ATP to put a course on just for my business?
The answer to this is yes we can offer a “closed” or bespoke course but if it is exclusive to your business we are not able to offer the same bursary opportunities that we would for “open” courses.
However if you are happy to allow us to offer a course that you are particularly interested to a group of businesses we are able to offer the bursary scheme as with all our open courses. Please contact us with any queries.