31 October 2013
Well-trained staff with relevant qualifications could help aquatic retailers meet their pet shop licence conditions, says the industry trade body, as the annual inspection round approaches.
New guidance on pet shop licensing from the Chartered Institute for Environmental Health, in which water quality features heavily in the section on fishkeeping, will hopefully be widely used by EHOs when they make this year’s inspections.
Showing that staff have completed or are signed up to study industry-recognised and specialist training should help demonstrate how shops are meeting Condition 14 of this new guidance, says the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association.
“During the year it’s become apparent that more and more councils are requiring pets shops to employ trained staff or train those currently working for them. It was heartening the number of business owners who talked to us about their wish to invest in specialist training for their staff when they visited our stand at AQUA 2013,” said OATA Chief Executive Keith Davenport.
“Indeed, one shop owner came to the stand for information about our Advanced Diploma because his EHO had said it was now necessary for one person in his shop to have this qualification.
“We do recommend that at least one person in the shop has a qualification of the same standard as our Advanced Diploma. This will help retailers meet the staff training element of Condition 14 of the new guidance and has been accepted by all local councils as far as we are aware.
“As anyone working in our industry knows, getting water quality right is vital to the health of fish that are sold, so investing in training about this will pay for itself. We produce home study training packages that cover water quality, fish health, fish biology and filtration at levels that are suited to both staff new to fishing keeping and for those who want more advanced knowledge.”