Speaking at the event at King Power Stadium in Leicester, Amenity Forum chairman John Moverley announced the launch of a new campaign promoting continuing professional development and more web based guidance material.
There are two new leaflets, distributed at the conference, explaining the key points of education and training and the danger of using illegal pesticides.
He also revealed plans for improved guidance material relating to water protection, a new research initiative linked to integrated control and said that in 2015 an expanded programme of events to update the amenity sector would be held across the UK between January and early April.
The activity all falls under the Amenity Forum’s mission to convince the industry to reduce chemical use where possible, comply with legislation and therefore avoid having harsher rules imposed by decision makers.
He said: "These are challenging times for our sector but we are delighted with the commitment being shown to best practice in weed, pest and disease control. More and more are committed to operating at Amenity Assured standards and the forum has a growing membership.
"However we cannot be complacent. It is important that we engage everyone in our sector with an interest in this area whether as operators, specifiers, advisers or in any other capacity. It is very important that they support the Amenity Forum and that the industry stays in control rather than having change imposed."
He said that the industry should "stand up and be proud of our sector" rather than being "apologetic" as is sometimes the case and he praised peers for progress working to the National Action Plan, emerging from adoption of recent EU directives, and said that as a voluntary initiative the Amenity Assured standard relied on people all working together to maintain high standards.
He added: "We've made substantial progress but there are areas we still need to improve and must do so.’’
The forum has been campaigning for better engagement by the sector in continuing professional development. Discussions are ongoing with the various bodies involved to improve the systems involved and the forum plans to campaign hard in the coming months to take the message to all involved.
The new leaflets can be downloade from www.amenityforum.co.uk.