Fertcare Accredited Advisor Program Overview

The FAA program assesses the competence of advisors to make nutrient recommendations and is currently the only independent quality assurance scheme for advisors providing nutrient advice based on soil and plant testing. Assessment is based on standards set by the Australasian Soil and Plant Analysis Council (ASPAC), which have been mapped to national competencies (i.e. AHCWRK313 Collect samples for a rural production or horticulture monitoring program, AHCPCM406 Develop a soil health and plant nutrition program & AHCPCM513 Conduct environment and food safety risk assessment of plant nutrition and soil fertility programs) from the Agriculture Horticulture and Conservation Land Management Training Package “Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package” . The standards used are updated over time to ensure they keep pace with best practice from a productivity, environment and food safety perspective as well as keeping pace with advances in sampling and analytical techniques.

The standards cover sampling, analysis, interpretation, recommendation and monitoring. Recommendations are tested for completeness and for appropriate management of environmental and food safety risks. The standards are based on accepted scientific consensus with ASPAC providing advice on any dispute or review.

The program draws on key texts and national industry initiatives like the “Better Fertiliser Decisions for Cropping Systems” project in the grains industry, the “Better Fertiliser Decisions” project in the intensive grazing industries and "Six Easy Steps" for sugar cane.

Once advisors have been assessed as competent, they must participate in approved professional development (PD) activities and pay the four year FAA licence fee of $440 +GST to maintain accreditation. 

As part of providing assurance that the quality of advice growers receive from FAA’s is based on good practices and is sound, 15% of FAA’s will be audited each year. The audits also provide an opportunity for advisors to lean and improve their skills. Fertilizer Australia will select the auditors and cover the audit costs. An annual summary of the audit outcomes will be published on the Fertcare website.


The FAA program along with initiatives such as the national industry projects bring together sound science, good industry practice and use to inform and assist public policy development and implementation.


Program participants who meet the requirements of the program are encouraged to display the FAA logo on recommendations and personal communication such as business cards and email signatures etc. and let their customers know what the logo stands for.