A new feature has been added to the pork industry’s PQA Plus program. At March’s annual Pork Industry Forum in Indianapolis, an advisement presented by Indiana Pork Association delegates requested that first-time PQA Plus applicants be allowed to certify online instead of attending the face-to-face training that the program currently requires.
The delegate body approved the advisement and the request was sent to the PQA Plus Task Force, as well as the National Pork Board of Directors, for consideration. Both approved the request and advised Checkoff staff to finalize the request within the certification program.
To deliver on this advisement, the National Pork Board has programmed the Learning Management System to allow PQA Plus trainers and advisors to grant access to individuals who are:
- First-time participants in the PQA Plus program
- Participants who have an expired PQA Plus certificate.
The online component became available on December 5 and all individuals are now eligible to certify online (first-time, expired or renewal certifiers) through a PQA Plus Advisor. First-time applicants and those who have allowed their certification to expire are no longer required to attend face-to-face training.
Individuals who wish to utilize this new feature must contact a PQA Plus Advisor to arrange for an online PQA Plus certification. The advisor will then grant the individuals access to an online course and an e-mail will be automatically sent to the individual with training instructions for their online PQA Plus certification.
PQA Plus training plays an important role in educating those who work in the pork industry. As the role of technology becomes more prevalent on farms, a natural extension of that technology development should include additional options for educating employees. High turnover, multiple sites and time constraints can make in-person trainings difficult where online trainings could be readily available. In an online course, the material and presentation would be consistent—eliminating variances between individual trainers.