Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has confirmed that a number of in-person training events under the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) will be held later this summer.

At the end of April, the minister confirmed that online training courses would take place. However, concerns were raised that some farmers, especially those in an older age cohort and those with poor internet connections, would struggle to complete that online training.

While saying that the online option has “significant advantages” for SCEP participants, the minister acknowledged that, for some farmers, online access could be problematic.

He said: “I do not want any farmer disenfranchised in relation to this important training.

“I recognise that there are some SCEP participants who may not have internet connectivity or the support to access [training] and therefore I am confirming that my department will hold a number of in-person SCEP training events later in the summer.

“While I am providing an in-person option, the expectation is that online training will be preferential for the majority of participants given it will be available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week,” the minister added.

According to Minister McConalogue, the online option allows farmers, whether full-time or part-time, to undertake the training at a date and time that best suits them rather than having to attend a specific location on a specific day.

The online training is split into seven modules and a farmer can stop and start the training as necessary, once it is completed in full by November 15, 2024.

The minister said that the department will be monitoring the uptake of the SCEP training regularly and will issue “targeted communication as required to participants to help them complete the training”.

Farmers must have the training completed by November 15, 2024, to avoid removal from SCEP and loss of any payments already received. Further details of the in-person training events will be published in due course, the department said.

The online training is available to access at a dedicated website called Each module should take, on average, around 30 minutes to complete. Participants can do all the modules at once or complete them in stages.

It is possible to partially complete a module and pick up where you left off the next time you log in. However, all modules must be completed in full by November 15 to be deemed compliant with the training requirement.