The National Association of Master Bakers (NA) board of directors met in London last week and decided to close its training section, possibly affecting five assessors.

Gill Brooks Lonican, chief executive of the NA since August said: "We have taken this decision after many years of trying to keep costs to a level that we could realistically sustain, and without imposing any membership price increase this year. Importantly, it does not affect any trainees until 2008. Every one of the 40 learners will continue to receive training and obtain their qualifications. It has never been the intention to leave any of the members who use the training section without access to learning."

The NA will meet with another training provider, Poultec, which is Centre of Vocational Excellence (COVE) approved in February, Brooks Lonican explained. "This body will offer more courses and qualifications in bakery, confectionery, retailing/customer service than we have at present, at no cost to members or the NA. It also offers health and safety, HACCP and management training to all age groups. They have indicated that they want to talk to our five assessors with a view to taking some of them on."

Brooks Lonican said: "The NA Board wishes to thank in particular Janet Carr of Warings bakery in Reading for her hard work on the training section and Tony Phillips, past NA president and current board member, for all his diligence over the costs and for helping it to reach this conclusion."