NSIA Certification of Nutrient Management Planners
The need for on-farm Nutrient Management Planning (NMP) emerged as a key environmental and economic management tool for producers in Nova Scotia in the early 2000’s. The agriculture sector in Nova Scotia approached this issue by developing voluntary nutrient management programs rather than implementing regulations regarding nutrient use. Up until 2005, the Nova Scotia government, in collaboration with the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, encouraged the development and delivery of NMP’s by supporting the development of a model for nutrient management plans, training of nutrient management planners as well as support for the completion of nutrient management plans on over 300 farms in Nova Scotia. The intent of this program was to demonstrate the value of the nutrient management planning process to producers and to encourage on-farm adoption of this management tool.
In 2006, the Nova Scotia Institute of Agrologists (NSIA) petitioned for the adoption of a certification program and was tasked with the establishment and administration of a CNMP (Certified Nutrient Management Planners) designation. A NSIA-CNMP Committee with appropriate terms of reference was established to oversee this program. This advisory committee receives and reviews applications for CNMP designation and brings recommendations for action to the NSIA Council.
The requirements for the CNMP designation are: Certification Requirements
- All CNMPs must be Professional or Articling Agrologists.
- Successful completion of NMP Training Course
- Continuing education credits – To maintain their certification, CNMP will be required to complete 15 continuing education units (CEUs) every two years. The 15 credits will include 5 credits in Nutrient Management, 5 credits in Soil and Water Management and 5 credits in Professionalism. Credits will be earned for attendance at workshops, short-courses and meetings that have applied for CEUs credits in the three designated areas under the Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) program. The CCA criteria have been used to ensure a sufficient supply of credits, the efficient delivery of, and participation in, continuing education activities and to avoid duplication. It is anticipated the NSIA will seek CEU credits in Professionalism for its professional update activities.
- Participation in Provincial update meetings – For the practice of nutrient management planning to evolve in Nova Scotia there is a need to form a professional community that could provide expert opinion and guidance to the various research, delivery and public outreach elements of the program in Nova Scotia. Therefore all CNMPs are required to attend an annual professional update activity. The timing and location of this update meeting will be established by the Nutrient Management Committee well in advance and will publicized through the NSIA newsletter. CNMPs will have to apply annually to NSIA Council to be excused from attending update meetings.
- Successfully complete an apprentice with established NMP by completing two nutrient management plans and having them reviewed by a CNMP mentor. The Nutrient Management Committee will coordinate the assignment of mentors to new CNMP applicants. Mentors will be awarded CEU credits for their participation in the apprenticeship program. Individuals currently practicing NMP in Nova Scotia will not be required to complete the apprenticeship program but will be encouraged to act as mentors to new applicants.