The milk recording service of Quality Milk Management Services (QMMS) has been awarded an International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) Certificate of Quality. It is the first ever UK milk recording body to undergo and pass an independent ICAR audit of its processes and services, using a visiting, foreign expert as auditor, according to ICAR technical adviser Frank Armitage.

He says there are currently only nine holders of the certificate worldwide. Under Mr Armitage’s supervision, ICAR has recently introduced a three year cycle of accreditation for milk recording services.

More than 200 dairy farmers in England, Wales and Scotland use the QMMS service, according to proprietor Dr Andrew Bradley. He says the service was founded in 2005 to offer farmers a highly flexible choice of milk recording service with more help interpreting the results than had previously been available.

The level of service ranges from one-off recordings to meet a specific need, to full scale authenticated milk recording with data feeding into pedigree records. To help with interpretation of their milk recording results, clients and their vets have access to two QMMS veterinary surgeons, Dr Bradley and Dr James Breen.

In addition to the value of external accreditation, the ICAR audit process helped QMMS introduce some changes for the better, explains Dr Bradley. “It helps us create more streamlined processes and a thorough audit trail, for example,” he says. “So if a farmer or indeed a breed society ever needs to double check the validity of their data, we can do this and they have the assurance that it is being done to ICAR’s high standards.”