The Future Livestock Auctioneers

3rd February 2012

Livestock Markets throughout the UK are encouraging their up and coming young auctioneers to become suitably qualified in the trade. Following demand from the membership the LAA has worked hard, initially with Cumbria University, but now with Harper Adams University College, to develop a suitable training course for the industries future livestock auctioneers and market managers.

We have now seen 4 cohort years of students qualify and be awarded a Fellowship to the Livestock Auctioneers Association, and the intake this year has seen 14 new students enrol on the four year course, the largest single cohort since the course began. Students enrol on a course that is set out to train and educate the young of our industry, over a four year period, by distant learning, allowing them to learn "the trade" whilst in employment. The course has been built around the busy market sales calendar, with students attending Harper Adams in January for a full week of studies and lectures, followed by six months of study work and assignments that is supported through a virtual learning environment by the University, before a full week of exams in July.

The course provides the students with the knowledge, depth of experience and respect that Harper Adams brings to UK agriculture, with the University able to offer unprecedented facilities on site to educate and train our future livestock industry leaders.

The course is split into 11 modules and is designed to capture every aspect of the livestock auction market business. Candidates start with the aim to be awarded a University College Foundation Certificate, which involves studying six modules over two years, three per annum. Year one's three modules include Animal Welfare and Health in the Market, Market Operational Management and Livestock and Markets (supply chain relationships). Year two's three modules include Law and Tax for the Auctioneer, Valuation for the Auctioneer and a Work Based Project.

Once candidates have successfully passed all six modules they can move on to the Certificate of Higher Education, which includes the final four modules, over two years, two per annum. Year three's two modules cover Agricultural Policy and Financial Analysis and Planning. Year four's two modules cover Agricultural Marketing and Human Resourcing.

In order to be awarded a Fellowship to the LAA students must complete, and pass, all 11 modules and be working for a corporate LAA member firm.

The recent resurgence of support for the use of livestock markets, from farmers looking for "the competitive edge", has resulted in many auctioneering companies once again taking on young trainee auctioneers, the very people that are the foundation stones for the future success and sustainability of our businesses. These young auctioneers are not happy just to learn the trade through practical experience they want the independent certification that a University like Harper Adams can give them to show that they are suitably trained and qualified for the job that so many people trust them to do.

Further information on the course can be found through the LAA website (, or by contacting the LAA Executive Secretary Chris Dodds.