President's Report

30/06/2015

This is my first President’s Report and it is a great honour to follow on from my mentor and great friend, David Gay.  David’s contribution to the industry is second to none.  As President of the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association, David steered the industry through tough times into its strongest position ever with a healthy membership base, a suite of Code of Practices, with more to be released within the next twelve months, successful conferences; the development of the new website, business management systems and the implementation of our association’s internet based branding activities.  David also introduced a higher level of relevance with our international colleagues, especially throughout Asia, as well as bringing about the rejuvenation of the Pest Manager of the Year, which has now become a sought after award. 

I believe that there would be no doubt that the industry as a whole has nothing but praise for his efforts and we thank him for his tenure as a board member, President and a friend to us all. 

Over the last few weeks the judging for Pest Manager of the Year has been taking place and the quality of nominations, submissions and interviews continues to increase.  Every contestant should be very proud of their business.  I personally find the judging process inspiring, giving me the opportunity to speak to driven, successful pest managers.  Interestingly we also find the process of judging the award identifies challenges the industry is facing.  I look forward to the Rapids Pest Management Conference on the Gold Coast for the announcement of the winners. 

By far and away the biggest challenge we as an industry face is the training and development of our people.  We all seem to grapple with this area whether it be how to best train within our business or the level of training a technician we hire has and whether it is appropriate that you can be licensed after a one day course.  We truly need to address this issue as an industry and work hard to find a path which ensures the most important thing in our businesses and that our people get the best start at becoming the best pest managers possible.  Training and development will be a big focus for the board over the next few years and we look forward to your input and involvement.

We also recently sent out a questionnaire to our members to get feedback from you.  Not surprisingly, training was the biggest concern in almost all of the responses.  Overall the feedback was extremely positive but all negative feedback was noted and discussed at the last board meeting and rest assured, we will be endeavouring to improve in these areas in the months and years to come.  We also asked what you rated as the most important functions the association performed.  Representing the industry on the Australian Standards was the most important followed by the development and management of Codes of Practices.

Currently the revision of the Australian Standards 3660.2, Termite Management in and around Existing Buildings, is in its early stages and we will be working hard on the committee to make sure the best outcomes possible for our industry are achieved.  The most exciting news to share is the speed at which we are progressing on the next two Codes of Practices.  We anticipate that within 12 months we will have a Code of Practice for Termite Control in New Buildings released.  There is a first draft that a talented and dedicated working party is busily writing to ensure that the document is released for public comment as soon as possible.  Also, a Code of Practice for Termite Control in Existing Buildings is in its early stages.  An independent, well respected author is currently sketching out a draft to take to a soon to be formed working party and it is our intention to fast track the development and completion of this document for release some time in mid to late 2016.

These are exciting times in our industry as we continue to grow, not just in size but in importance to our consumers.  We make our cities and towns better places to live and work through protecting homes and businesses from anything from termites to rodents and more.  I am proud of what we do and who we are and can only see greater things for us all.  David’s number one lesson for me over the years was that nothing worthwhile is easy - it takes hard work and dedication.  We on the board, branches and working parties will do both to ensure the association’s continued success while furthering the professionalism of our industry.

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


Vasili Tsoutouras
AEPMA President

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