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Fencing accreditation.


premnayloon
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This is a real bug bear with me.

In theory anyone can set up as a fencing contractor, there are no national certification, no governance over acceptable standards, and the only way of assuring quality is to pass on references and show examples of work.

 

What can we do to fix this.

 

For me there should be a national stock fence council,

That all reputable fencers join, they're work is guaranteed for a set term, all materials reach a set minimum spec,

And every member has to have their work inspected and signed off by the council at least once every 2years.

As member we could charge a premium,

If anyone's work is found to be sub standard they will have to rectify the faults at their own expense, and be subject to a spot check at any time.

 

Suppliers could list names of members, and perhaps offer discounts to members.

 

What else should the proposed national stock fence council, have in its jurisdiction?

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Whilst those who have cowboys to compete with nearby, I can see the issue. But Im thankful this industry is not so elitist or tied up in excessive paperwork. In my 20+ years of HGV entitlement Ive  seen road transport go to the clueless non real world of bureaucrats. The EU etc. Im not interested in paperwork or management style work and whilst Im glad to have someone else to do these kind of jobs. I don't wish to end up paying a percentage of what I earn to some over inflated sap sucking non entities?

 

 Im not saying that the NZ organisation or any other setup is like this, Im just wary. I think do a good job and let that sell itself.

Also what would be a high standard of fencing and materials in east yorkshire would probably be poor in the boggy areas of say Norfolk, or the rugged highlands of Scotland.

 

 I just think if you get regulations who pays??

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I don't agree with the latter posters, there are plenty of bull$hitters in among the cowboys and that is a problem.

 

I'm disappointed in you ill be honest just because of the percieved paper trail.

The likes of the forestry commission, network rail, highway agency etc would select accredited fencers

 

Risk assessment are vital nowadays and a governing body would help with these and help liaise with sepa,

And other bodies,

 

I have to say I think the pain is worth it to get what I desire a profession with skilled, competent hard working, honest people with a pride in their work.

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To work for network rail you have to be Link Up approved, Highways need NHSS 2A but as this is invariably for a Contractor CHAS also. Then there is Achilles etc etc. To qualify for Link up and NHSS you would need ISO 9001 and 14001. All these things are way out of the financial reach of most fencing contractors and involve an enormous paper trail. And SteveW is correct all the cards in the world wont make someone a good fencer.

However I do think that a good trade body would be an enormous support to the dedicated stock fencer. Risk assessments and method statements are a vital aspect of working for anyone and I think if you read the small print on most commercial insurance policies they are a requirement. They need not be the long drawn out ones everyone thinks but a simple assessment of the risks on each job and how to minimise them just makes you think a little bit. A trade body who could provide generic assessments for the appropriate tasks and advise on site or task specific assessments I am sure would be worth every penny of a reasonable membership fee.

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I agree vanessaw, we are too small to warrant the accreditations but require them for some of the work we do and get by working as subcontractors for people that do have them.

 

I have written a H&S statement and started some risk assessments but I just don't know if what I've written is fit for purpose? so I've put them half finished in a pile in the office! I would appreciate and happily sign up to a body that could help with all that and other advice on training & providers specific to our industry's needs etc. I've looked online for some help with methods & R.A.'s but they are all generic and don't apply to Ag fencers.

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I have to fall on the side of I don't think it would make much differnce. As Steve and some others say all the accreditation make no difference. We are CHAS construction line approved as we need it to work in schools in Lincolnshire they ask for it, I can do the paper work and get the accreditation but it sure as hell doesn't make me a fencer?

 

I see what you are trying to get at with a body, that would mean people in it were good fencers. But I am not sure it would work. It would involve lots of paperwork and people would end up charging and making money out of it. I know not much about th New Zealand association, but I do know farmers in n.z. Look at there fences differently to farmers over here. They see them as an investment to infrastructure similar to our farmers maybe see farm tracks and good buildings / corn stores. I may get shot down for saying this, but a lot of farmers I know and certainly in our area see fences as a bug bear, something they need to have to keep their stock in and will do as little as they can and as cheaply as possible to maintain them, unless of course there is a grant and then they will try and get as much money for doing as cheap a job as possible and try and end up with money in there pocket the more they can scam for nothing the better they have done in their opinion. I am not saying this is all farmers, but certainly quite a few. I also understand we are not in a big area of livestock so the attitudes may be differnt in these parts as well.

 

If you want to eradicate bad /cheap/ undercutting fencers you need to educate the end purchaser, as it is them spending the money, they will pay as little as they can for what they see as reasonable, it doesn't matter to them if a fence is stapled of or tied off. They won't be worried about what posts have been used until they have rotted off after a few years and will then probably turn around and say 'oh well the treatment isn't what it used to be' and put in another post with the forklift bucket as the fencer they used was cheap and will not do anything about it apart from blame the treatment. So then they will not get a fencer back to do more work because they have been put off.. There will always be someone doing the job for marginally cheaper. As is also mentioned in previous posts differnt parts of the country have differnt specs.

 

If you want to use a trade body to educate farmers it needs to have the support of the whole industry, from manufactures to contractors and even end users, not just one or two manufacturers and a handful,of contractors. If it was to have any credibility (in my opinion) it would need to be a scheme that is not charged to be in, probably assed by manufactures and other contractors. But to do that for no cost other contractors / manufacturers would have to give up their time for nothing. More information in the farming about good practices from industry leading people. Not just the odd article once every year or two. Week in week out you can read about fertiliser and sprays and feed supplements and a whole array of things. Not very often is information out on fencing. Which comes back to infrastructure, if a farmer wants to have stock, he needs to have a fence. How he fences his farm is up to him and based on his knowledge or opinion which is gained from the farming press or looking at other fences in the area. Unless the end user is educated I do not think any scheme will work across the country.

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I accept that it would be costly and that's why I believe members would need to subscribe to it,

 

On it would be a representative of wire manufacturers, post manufacturers, forestry commission, estate owners, local authorities, network rail environmental agencies, and I would suggest two contractors, who sit on the council for two years, and then another two take over,and so on.

 

Together these stakeholders could agree the way fences should leave finished work.

Can discuss any problems contractor have with materials,

 

And most importantly agree a code of conduct and a minimum standard.

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And I think that is the problem from what people on here are saying, folks aren't prepared to subscribe to something that is not going to make much difference to them. I only pay for construction line and CHAS. Because are local council demand it to do school works. As more schools are going to academy it is becoming less important.

I don't think It will stop people doing a cheaper or worse job, those guys will still be about, will just mean the ones doing a good job won't and the ones that subscribe to it won't change what they are doing and have more paperwork. Which any good fencer isn't going to change what they are doing anyway. As I say in my opinion for it to work it would need to be free to join and that then shows anyone who is good enough can be in it, those that aremt won't get in. Customers will realise that it is a place to find good fencers as it is not a subscription based.

Just my opinion, I think there are enough bodies for the industry and the choice to choose from is already high. Some people will pay, but for them to pay it would have to offer clear benefits, such as cheaper insurance, or free advice, etc etc. I don't think many people, would pay for the option of possibly being able to charge more.

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I was once told by a farmer that fencing was a grudge purchase and that ifencing was a low tec industry with varying amounts of skill, and it was always down to price.

This attitude will always allow the Bodgers and ner-do-gooders a job and a place in the industry

Buy the best equipement you can afford to make life easier and make you efficient Use only good products Do the job to the best of your ability, take great pride in what you do. Don't take on all the jobs you look at, be selective, let the Bodgers have the bad jobs, but most of all keep your prices up you have to make a living

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No there is nothing I am aware of that represents stock fencing particularly. I agree with you on that. But then maybe that's says that sector is not big enough for a body just for that. As I say I don't think farmers would be prepared to pay a premium for something they no little about in the first place.

I am not getting at you premnay loon. Just giving my thoughts. If it could be done it may work, but as I say I think the problem to be addressed first is customer education, it may be your idea is just one of many ways to do that.

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Frontrowfencing is spot on in what he has said, farmers aren't satisfied in getting a good fence for the price of the grant- all they want is something stockproof and to make a profit out of the job!

Seen some awful fences put up at half the price i would charge and there probably twice as busy, but id rather stay at home than slap on a fence.

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Frontrowfencing is spot on in what he has said, farmers aren't satisfied in getting a good fence for the price of the grant- all they want is something stockproof and to make a profit out of the job!

Seen some awful fences put up at half the price i would charge and there probably twice as busy, but id rather stay at home than slap on a fence.

 

should the grant people not be the ones we are targeting?

If they knew the difference between a good job and a bad one and allocate the grant accordingly, ie a poor job might only get half the available grant and a good job the full grant

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should the grant people not be the ones we are targeting?

If they knew the difference between a good job and a bad one and allocate the grant accordingly, ie a poor job might only get half the available grant and a good job the full grant

Think u have hit the nail on the head with that one rob
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