Green Certificate Program

Chestermere High runs a Green Certificate Program.  Contact Ms. Judah for more program information.

Background

The Green Certificate Program was initiated by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development in 1975. Programs of study in the Green Certificate Program were approved for use in Alberta senior high schools in September 2000.

By completing a series of three courses to the specified standard in an agricultural production specialization, a student could earn a Level I (Technician) Green Certificate issued by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development that is recognized by agribusiness in Alberta. The student could also earn 16 credits toward the Alberta High School Diploma or the Certificate of High School Achievement.

The apprenticeship-style delivery ensures that participants learn through actively performing the skills required. Students (trainees) learn on the job, under the direction of experienced farm personnel (trainers) and under the supervision and administration of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and Alberta Education.

Specializations

The Green Certificate Program consists of eight specializations.

• Bee Keeper Production

• Cow–Calf Beef Production

• Dairy Production

• Equine Certificate

• Feedlot Beef Production

• Field Crop Production

• Irrigated Field Crop Production

• Sheep Production

• Swine Production

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development is considering the addition of new specializations, such as equine production, bison/elk production, poultry production and greenhouse/horticulture production.

PEOPLE Student/Trainee:

Students as trainees in the Green Certificate Program are required to attend orientation and special training sessions, develop and practise specific skills under the supervision of trainers, engage in independent study, seek out experts in their local area, and attend scheduled testing sessions in order to meet the industry standards for the specialization.

Trainers

Primary trainers – Green Certificate trainers may be the trainee’s parents, relatives or employers that operate a farming operation within the trainee’s area of specialization. They act as the trainee’s mentor throughout the training process and provide instruction, guidance and an operating facility in which to perform the working skills required for competence and daily skills assessment.

Secondary trainers – This type of mentor is used from time to time, when the primary trainer does not have the expertise in a specific skill area to the level of competence required by the training manual; e.g., agronomist, feed representative, veterinarian, another producer or other qualified resource person. Trainees are encouraged to seek out these experts within their communities.

Testers

Green Certificate testers are highly skilled, experienced members of the agriculture industry. They are selected by their local regional coordinators and attend certification training development workshops. The testers are an integral part of the Green Certificate training program. As the trainees progress and complete their three distinct training periods, they are assessed by a certified tester at regional certification testing events to determine their level of competence in all skills of a training period.

School Representative: The school representative (off-campus coordinator) is the student’s link to the school, Alberta Education and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. Supervision by the off-campus coordinator, with assistance from trainers and testers, provides the basis for assigning a graded mark in a competency-based model. The off-campus coordinator then submits the course completion and grade to Alberta Education so the student can receive credits toward the Alberta High School Diploma or Certificate of High School Achievement.

Regional Coordinators: The Green Certificate Program is divided into five regions working in conjunction with Alberta’s agriculture colleges (Lakeland College – North East, Lakeland College – North Central/West, NAIT – Fairview Campus, Olds College, Lethbridge Community College). This team of dedicated staff is responsible for facilitating the delivery of the Green Certificate Program, including interaction with the schools and training facilities within their regions.

A list of the Green Certificate Regional Coordinators may be found at

http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/grc6571?opendocument.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development: The Green Certificate Program is managed by the Agriculture Education and Training Branch within the Rural Community and Leadership Development Division of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. This team administers, coordinates and develops the program in response to client and ministerial objectives.

Alberta Education: Alberta Education provides input to Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development during the development of the curriculum for the Green Certificate Program. Alberta Education is also responsible for developing and approving programs of study for use in Alberta schools as the mechanism by which credits can be awarded to students. The program is supervised and administered similarly to Work Experience or the Registered Apprenticeship Program.

TRAINING PROCESS: The Green Certificate training process is outlined below.

1. Trainees express interest in the program and contact is made to their regional coordinator (through their school representative).

2. An induction meeting is held where all participants register and receive training materials.

3. Trainer and trainee review all key points in current skill level assessment, and notes are made of further training required to achieve competency.

4. The training begins with the selection of the training period; i.e., X, Y or Z.

5. The trainee masters all key points in a task, all tasks in a skill, and all skills in a training period.

6. The trainer checks off each skill in the training manual as competency is achieved.

7. The trainer tests the trainee while on the farm and checks off competent skills on the skill profile sheet for that training period.

8. The trainee attends regional certification testing.

9. The regional tester selects five random skills within the training period to test the trainee’s level of competence.

10. If the tester evaluates the trainee’s skill competence as below industry standards at one or more skills, then the tester will take note and suggest further areas of training that are needed. The trainer and the trainee return to the farm where further preparation is needed and resume the apprenticeship training (Note: no academic penalty is given to the student–trainee). The trainee can return to a certification testing for a re-test.

11. If the tester evaluates the trainee as competent at all five skills, then it is noted on his or her test report and a copy is given to the trainee, the regional representative, the teacher (who submits this information to Alberta Education for academic credits) and headquarters. The tester validates the test by initialling the trainee’s skill profile sheet.

12. The trainee returns to the training process to complete the remaining training periods.

13. When the trainee has completed all three training periods successfully, the regional coordinator will detach the trainee’s skill profile sheet and submit it to headquarters to verify certification.

14. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development prepares the Green Certificate for the trainee and returns it, along with the skill profile sheet in the Green Certificate training portfolio, to the graduate.

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