Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What about agencies/dealerships/branches/franchises?

The farm dairy effluent system design accreditation programme has received requests for clarification around circumstances relating to different business relationships and how far accreditation extends within these. Click here for more information.


Q:Why do we want a formal Quality assurance system?

The QA system assures clients and the FDES Design Accreditation Governance Group that the organisation will maintain the design quality in their day to day business, the same quality as demonstrated in their accreditation application.


Q:Why are you accrediting the organisation and not accrediting the individual designers?

Because the organisation has overall responsibility for their quality of work.

  • Staff hold qualifications and practicing certification – that is their professional recognition.
  • The accreditation is the equivalent for organisations. This is international convention.

Note: Staff come and go within an organisation but it’s the organisation that signs the contract with customer. The organisation needs to ensure that adequate training is provided in the different components of designing an effluent system.


Q:What’s all this quality assurance (QA) paperwork? What’s that got to do with designing effluent systems?

A recording system is key to a successful QA system but does not have to be elaborate.

It does need to provide evidence that the quality and safety procedures are active and effective by, for example, recording dates and signatures.

Note: To help organisations understand what the FDES Design Accreditation Governance Group is looking for; we have provided examples for small and large organisations.


Q: Is ISO9001 suitable as QA system?

Yes, ISO 9001:2008 is a strong and well recognised QA system. If you use an ISO9001 system, reference this in your application and briefly describes how it is set up for your organisation


Q: Is joint accreditation possible?

No; FDES Accreditation will be issued to a single organisation.

An organisation that does not directly employ staff with all required skills can still become accredited.

If your organisation requires skills and experience from other individuals/companies, then a documented agreement may need to be developed between parties. Such an agreement should be referenced in the quality assurance (QA) section of your application.

Note: The other organisation could also seek accreditation, using your skills within their application and QA processes. This could be a reciprocal arrangement.


Q: Is theoretical design easier?

No, designs are all theoretical. Systems only become real once installed. Organisations will need to access real farm data for use in designs. See the requirements of the assessment checklist (e.g. topography, nutrient budget etc).


Q: I supply a great range of pump equipment – will this Accreditation scheme be for me?

Probably not if you just supply pumps. This scheme is for organisations that DESIGN systems for land application of farm dairy effluent.

Note: If you sell the pumps, pipes and fittings and fully install the system then perhaps you should consider this accreditation scheme for your business. You may need to outsource the work around soils and nutrients to another provider or up-skill with some extra training.


Q: We’re a small company mainly involved in system upgrades, how do we become accredited?

The same accreditation process applies to all organisations, regardless of size.

All companies supplying systems to dairy farmers should consider the accreditation scheme, even for system upgrades. You still need full knowledge of the FDE Design Standards and Code of Practice to sell the correct equipment to the customer.

Note: If you do not have all the skills in-house then we suggest either you get some training through the Massey FDE: System Design and Management course, outsource your requirements or develop a formal relationship with a complementary organisation or individuals.


Q: Does the accreditation create more work for a larger company with more employees?

Not if the company already has good quality assurance systems in place. A larger company is warranting that all the designs produced by all of its employees are to the FDE Design Standards and Code of Practice.

Note: A good QA system saves time by finding and fixing errors early, before expensive rework is required, and thereby reducing the number of errors that are made.


Q: What provision is made for new innovation e.g. a worm farm?

The FDES Design Accreditation assessment is based on a land application of stored dairy effluent according to the Code of Practice for FDE System Design and the Design Standards.

New technologies may not easily fit the Design Code and Standards. It would be prudent to seek advice from the Accreditation Governance Group prior to submitting an application if your organisation is associated with such a new innovation.

Note: An organisation with a new innovation should consider this programme if they can demonstrate a reliable system of managing dairy effluent that effectively manages nutrients so they do not end up in waterways, and have solid data to support their claims.


Q: This is tough on small guys, it might drive us out?

That is not the intention. Even smaller companies need checks on quality or their customers will get poor service. The QA system for a small organisation can be quite simple.

The overall goal of the FDES Design Accreditation programme is to lead to more demonstrable skills being used by the effluent service industry so New Zealand dairy farmers get a high level of service for their effluent upgrades and for new conversions.

Note: Smaller companies may need to look at out-sourcing the skills they lack, look at some training or develop a reliable skilled set of companies to partner with.


Q: How is DairyNZ planning on working with the companies that are not engaging in the accreditation programme?

DairyNZ will work with those companies that have made a commitment to the FDES Design Accreditation.

Becoming accredited shows support for the uptake and implementation of the FDE Design Standards and Code of Practice. DairyNZ will use its resources to support the Accreditation programme and its promotion of the FDES Design Accredited businesses with New Zealand dairy farmers.


Q: Why is IrrigationNZ involved?

Irrigation NZ has a number of complementary programmes covering irrigation system design, installation and evaluation, and water measurement through the IrrigationNZ Blue Tick accreditation programme. It has in-house capacity to manage the process.

IrrigationNZ has agreed to accept the legal, financial and contractual liabilities of the programme.

Note: Accreditation Scheme governance is shared between IrrigationNZ, NZ Milking and Pumping Association, DairyNZ and a selected independent director. No changes to the FDES Design Accreditation programme can be made unless agreed by all parties.


Q: How will the register of FDES Design Accredited companies be managed?

There will be one register maintained on the new FDES Design Accreditation website. Companies will be listed in alphabetical order. Plus a second list will be organised by region as many farmers may wish to search for accredited organisations in their region. For those companies that have branches in more than one region, then only those branches actively involved in effluent system design can be listed. The regional list will also be listed alphabetically.


Q: Is it compulsory to do the Massey FDE: System Design and Management course to become accredited?

No, we strongly recommend that you consider this training but you may feel your organisation already has the skills in-house for all the aspects of effluent design so may not require the extra training that this course provides.