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October 2015 has seen a surge of activity at the AEPMA office, with progress being made on two of the upcoming Codes of Practice documents. 

The last few weeks have been a busy period for AEPMA. We have completed two very productive meetings on key Codes of Practice for Termite Control in and around Existing Buildings and Training in the Pest Management Industry.

Of course we had our regularly face to face board meeting, which was highly productive with many positive activities to follow from robust discussions.

One of the great benefits from representing the industry on the board and various working groups is the personal development you gain. Dealing with complex issues with differing opinions, considering the effect of potential outcomes on the different states and being aware how decisions may impact member companies of different sizes, certainly broaden your skills and perspective on the industry. These personal developments translate into me being a better customer, employee and supplier manager within my own business. I would highly recommend members consider volunteering for roles within AEPMA, not only are you giving back to the industry and helping shape its future but it is a great development opportunity for your business skills.

Training continues to be high on the agenda, with the working party for Training in the Pest Management Industry meeting for the first time – sketching out the framework for the Code of Practice. The meeting was a success with the group now aligned in working towards achieving the mission set for the CoP. The document will clearly outline what is best practice and give us all a road map and the tools to ensure we can give our technicians the best start in the industry and satisfaction for the rest of their careers.

The board also met with a representative of the Australian Skills Quality Authority, the governing body for training. We are pleased to report that a memorandum of understanding has been created between our bodies to ensure open lines of communication, intelligence sharing and co-operation on the Code of Practice development – further evidence that the association is delivering on its core task of being the voice of our industry.

With a draft already in place, the Code of Practice working party for Termite Control in and around Existing Buildings got straight into the nitty gritty of the biggest sector of our industry. The CoP will be able to clear up the grey areas that are not fully addressed in the Australian Standard and will also be available to our customers for free. This will ensure they are able to access non-biased information, protecting member companies from non-compliant, ‘cheap and nasty’ competitors.

The planning for the FAOPMA conference on the Gold Coast is in full swing, with the speakers being finalised and discussions on the sessions’ content continuing. For the first time, we have decided to support the conference with a marketing team. The team, consisting of Kirsten from head office with support from the marketing managers from member companies, will ensure conference information will get out to all potential delegates. Expect to see activity in this area over the coming weeks and months.

The future of our industry is always on my mind. I often ask myself what our association will look like in five, ten and even twenty years from now.

I personally feel it is important to have this long-term vision in mind whenever we are discussing initiatives or challenges during board and working group meetings. Over the coming months, I’d like us all to think about where we see the association in the short, medium and long term and provide feedback to your state board members or send me an email. Remember it’s your industry and you can have a say. Getting your feedback is of the utmost importance to the board and will allow the development of a more inclusive and successful industry.

I look forward to reporting our progress in the next issue on all of the happenings at AEPMA.

Until next time, I wish you all the best and trust all is going well within your business.

Vasili Tsoutouras, National President, AEPMA