The tool is called Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) learning and can be found on the Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) website.
The new modules compliment the program’s existing learning modules covering on‐farm food safety practices. The expansion supports producers in meeting the new biosecurity and animal welfare requirements which will form part of the LPA program as from October 1, 2017. From that date, producers renewing their LPA accreditation will also be required to undertake an assessment to test their knowledge of the practices required under LPA. However, those already LPA accredited need to nothing other than familiarizing themselves with the new inclusions as there are 220,000 Property Identification Codes (PIC) involved in LPA and it will be a gradual process taking up to three years to renew their accreditation.
After October 1, producers will be required to renewed their LPA accreditation once every three years. And once notified (either by email or post) producers will have two months in which to renew their existing accreditation.
A $60 (plus GST) fee will be charged per each accreditation or re-accreditation. And, where more than one LPA-accredited producers operate on a single PIC, the fee will apply to all of those producers. Producers with more than one PIC will be required to make a fee payment for each of those PICs.
Dr Jane Weatherley, chief executive officer of the Integrity Systems Company, which manages the LPA program on behalf of the red meat industry said: “Producers will be able to use LPA Learning to build their knowledge on their responsibilities under the program before sitting the short assessment.
“Producers should pay particular attention to the modules which cover the new biosecurity and animal welfare aspects of LPA. This will enable them to maintain their accreditation when their renewal is due.”
Red meat producers seeking accreditation for the first time must work through all seven LPA Learning modules, then correctly answer the assessment questions which follow. Existing LPA‐accredited producers have the option of completing the full course as a knowledge refresher before taking the assessment or can skip ahead to the questions if confident that they understand the content fully.
Launched in 2016, LPA Learning can be accessed via www.mla.com.au/LPALearning. Producers can also watch a short video on LPA Learning so they know what to expect. The full LPA Learning course can be completed within one hour. It’s not difficult, I completed mine while preparing this column.