Stockperson Training for the Pig Industry
New welfare legislation in Victoria (the Livestock Management Act, LMA) requires that "pigs must be cared for by personnel who are skilled in pig husbandry and are suitably qualified to maintain the health and welfare of animals in accordance with the standards in the Act, or are under the direct supervision of such personnel."
To be "suitably qualified" you must:
- hold a certificate III in Agriculture (Pig production) or an equivalent qualification; or
- have been assessed by a Registered Training Organisation to have successfully completed the units of competence in the Pork Industry Stockpersons Skill Set (PISS); or
- have worked for at least 12 months, caring for pigs in a commercial pig establishment and have received on-the-job training and experience and can demonstrate they are competent in the following skill set:
- moving and handling pigs
- inspecting and assessing the health and well-being of pigs,
- carrying out vaccinations, health treatments and elective husbandry procedures
- humane destruction of pigs,
- maintaining records of inspections and assessments of pigs.
Under this new legislation, owner/operators who are new to the pig industry and/or those who have little recent documented experience or training must seek to acquire a Certificate III in Agriculture (Pig Production). New inexperienced staff on piggeries must work under the direct supervision of a person with Certificate III in Agriculture and undergo training for 12 months before they can work unsupervised.
The Pig Services Centre (PSC) provide training and assessment of stockpersons in Certificate III in Agriculture (Pig Production). Training is conducted by a person with expertise and experience in pig health, welfare, production, quality assurance and reproduction. Trainees participate in classroom sessions where they are provided with underpinning knowledge of each Unit of Competency. Practical training is undertaken on-farm. Units of competency are assessed on-farm by PSC assessors.
The current 16 Units of Competency for Certificate III in Agriculture delivered by staff at PSC are:
- Carry out workplace OH&S procedures
- Move and handle pigs **
- Monitor intensive livestock production growing environments**
- Treat rectal prolapses in pigs
- Identify and draft livestock
- Comply with industry animal welfare requirements**
- Mate & monitor livestock
- Pregnancy test pigs
- Prepare animals for parturition**
- Rear newborn and young livestock**
- Care for weaner and grower pigs**
- Implement animal health control programs**
- Administer medication to livestock**
- Euthanase livestock**
- Carry out post-mortem examination of livestock
- Comply with industry quality assurance requirements
Delivery and assessment of all 16 units takes place over approximately 15 months.
** Competencies marked with asterisks are those required for the stockperson skills set.
Enrolment in Certificate III in Agriculture
Individuals who undertake training in Certificate III in Agriculture enrol with Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE (GoTAFE). All administrative activities associated with training are conducted by GoTAFE. Please contact them for information relating to course structure, training dates and course enrolment, including enrolment fees. Contact details are provided on the coversheet.
If you are thinking of enrolling yourself or your staff to complete Certificate III in Agriculture or the stockpersons skill set, you may qualify for significant financial assistance from the Federal and/or State Governments.
If you wish to discuss the support offered through an Australian Apprenticeships Centre, it is suggested you contact MEGT (Australia) Ltd through their industry consultants.
Given the options available under the state training system, after you have talked with MEGT, you may need to contact Greg Hallihan of Primary Skills Victoria who can provide information on the state governments' Skills for Growth program and training options. Greg can be contacted on 03 9210 9470 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The contact details of MEGT are provided below.
For course details and enrolment in Certificate III in Agriculture (Pig Production), contact Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE.
Commercial Manager, Agriculture and NCDE Northern Victoria
03 5833 2843
0437 855 475
152-200 Fryers St,
Shepparton VIC 3630
Agriculture & NCDE Dairy Farming Northern Victoria
03 5833 2864
0418 568 969
For information and registration of any eligible piggery staff in the Australian apprenticeships program, contact:
MEGT Australian Apprenticeships Centre
Apprenticeship Network Provider
03 5442 8862
For details of Certificate III in Agriculture (Pig Production) course content and delivery, contact the Pig Services Centre (PSC).
Dr Youssef Abs EL-Osta
General Manager, Pig Services Centre
03 5430 4595
0438 355 078