Wednesday, 20 February 2019

News from BSBI's Training Team (supported by Byron's Gin)

T&E: John Warren (Chair) behind his laptop
Image: L. Marsh
BSBI's Training & Education Committee (T&E) met earlier this month for their twice-yearly meeting and it was time to ring the changes.

First of all, we welcomed a new Chair: John Warren, interviewed on these pages just two days ago, when he talked about some of his ideas around how BSBI can help support the next generation of botanists - from plant-based activity packs for Watch Group leaders and those in the Scouting Movement, to looking at training resources linked to every level of the Skills Pyramid

John has some exciting ideas and we look forward to hearing more about them on these pages. 

Byron's Gin: labels on the
back of the bottles bear
the BSBI logo!
John is going to be building on the excellent work carried out by T&E with Sarah Whild and Sue Townsend at the helm - for example the BSBI's Field Identification Skills Certificates (FISCs) which Sarah and Sue pioneered. FISCs have now become accepted as the industry standard for determining an individual's level of botanical skills in the field and in the lab. This year, alongside the two regular FISC centres in Kent and Shropshire, FISCs are on offer in Devon, Somerset, Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. It's great to be rolling FISCs out across England and it's hoped they will soon be available in Scotland, Ireland and Wales. 

Identiplant, the online plant ID course, is also fully booked up for the year ahead, with students and tutors from the Channel Isles to Ireland to Shetland ready to get started with their online tuition.

Applications came flooding in throughout January for BSBI training grants, whether for Identiplant or for some of the short botanical training courses on offer across Britain and Ireland. Applications have now closed and the successful applicants will be notified soon. 

John Warren (centre) chairing T&E, flanked by
botanical trainer Mark Duffell (left)
and T&E Secretary Alex Prendergast (right)
Image: L Marsh
Following the recent revamp of the BSBI website, there are new pages for training courses, grants, and resources for trainers. They are all accessible via the old training page which has a much more streamlined look. 

One other bit of news: the Training Team has started to plan its next Training the Trainers meeting, pencilled in for this autumn - watch this space for updates!

Two things that haven't changed about BSBI's training programme: we are still committed to supporting the next generation of botanists; and we are still grateful for the continued support we enjoy from Byron's Gin - for every bottle sold, BSBI receives a contribution to help fund our training programme and support those next generation botanists. Cheers!

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