“Everyone who uses pesticides should have adequate guidance, instruction or training for their correct use” is a quote from the HSE website, and as Land Based Training Providers, we are here to help. I am inclined to concentrate, in this article, on the Professional use of Pesticides in Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry and other land based businesses. Newlands Training can offer a regular programme of PA1 the foundation module “Safe Handling of Pesticides”, which must be followed by one of the practical applications, for example PA6a “Hand Held Application” or PA2a “Ground Crop Spraying”, to achieve the Certificate of Competence that you are looking for.
The facts detailed below are again taken from the HSE website and summarised for you.
Anyone who uses a professional pesticide product should not use that pesticide or give instruction to others on its use unless they have received adequate instruction, training and guidance in its correct use.
In addition users of pesticides must hold a Certificate of Competence if using a professional pesticide product if they:
- were born after 31 December 1964; or
- are providing a commercial service e.g. contactors or anyone spraying on land that is not his or his employers.
Anyone who is required to hold a Certificate of Competence can only use pesticides without a Certificate if they are supervised for the purposes of being trained by someone who does hold a certificate.
Obtaining a Certificate of Competence is the best way of demonstrating that you are trained to use specific types of equipment, even if under the legislation you are not currently required to have one.
After 26th November 2015 everyone who uses a professional pesticide product must have a ‘specified certificate’ (i.e. currently a certificate of competence). Currently, the recognised Certificate of Competence for the use of pesticides is issued by City and Guilds Land Based services or NPTC (National Proficiency Tests Council) and the Scottish Skills Testing Service.
Professional pesticide users are those people who have received formal training in the use of pesticides and who are using pesticides in the course of their job or business. The HSE now provide guidance for them in the Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products. This code replaces three previous codes of practice including The Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Pesticides on Farms and Holdings (Green Code). Other Codes of Practice are also available for those working professionally with pesticides to help them meet the requirements of pesticide legislation.