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 Categories : Pesticide Application

 

Frequently asked questions via NFU on the new requirements for certification of operators applying professional pesticides

Background

On the 18th July 2012 regulations that implement the Sustainable Use Directive came into effect in the UK. This effectively removes the exemption in UK law, commonly known as “grandfather rights”, allowing anyone born before 31 December 1964, to use plant protection products (PPPs) authorised for professional use on their own or their employer’s land, without having to hold a certificate (of competence) although they should still be suitably trained and competent for their job. The regulations allow this exemption to continue until 26 November 2015, after which everyone who uses PPPs authorised for professional use must have a certificate. In addition, after 26 November 2015, it will be an offence for anyone to purchase PPPs authorised for professional use unless they have ensured that the intended end user has a certificate.

Frequently asked questions on certification

Who will be affected by the new legislation?

(Q) Will the legislation affect livestock farmers who occasionally use pesticides or small holders who are using professional herbicides?

(A) The legal requirements apply to all users of professional pesticides.

(Q) Will the legislation be included in assurance schemes?

(A) Livestock based assurance schemes will expect their members to comply with the legal requirements. Thus livestock farmers will be expected to test pesticide application equipment and provide evidence of training or certificates of competence to use Professional PPP. Whilst other crop assurance schemes will look to maintain the best practice undertaken under Voluntary Initiative schemes.

(Q) I have PA1 and an application module (e.g. 2a, 6a) will that be sufficient for me to continue to spray after November 2015.

(A) Your PA1 and application module will allow you to continue to spray on the application equipment relevant to the application module (all previous certifications of competence will still be valid after November 2015 so those with existing certification need to do nothing in preparation for 2015. A list of other qualifications is available on the HSE website.

(Q) I only have a PA1 FEPA certificate is this sufficient for me to continue to spray after November 2015?

(A) No, you will need to have completed an application module on the relevant form of application equipment.

(Q) I attended a training course but did not take the qualification test, is this sufficient for me to continue to spray after November 2015?

(A) No, you will need to have a certificate of competence relevant to application equipment to continue spraying.

(Q) I have a certificate competence that pre-dates the PA certification schemes, is this sufficient for me to continue to spray after November 2015?

(A) If the certificate states that you passed a test to demonstrate your competence and the certification was obtained in 1986 or after this will be sufficient to demonstrate competence. If the certificate is dated pre-1986 or states you attended a training course this will not be deemed sufficient to demonstrate competence.

(Q) Is metallic Phosphide affected by this change to certification requirement?

Metallic Phosphide use is affected by this change to certification however there are specific circumstances and requirements that are specific to Metallic Phosphide more information is available in a separate NFU briefing on the sale of Metallic Phosphide.

(Q) I completed a workbook as part of a PA assessment but did not submit the completed book to City and Guilds in order to receive my certificate. Is it still possible for me to return the workbook to City and Guilds to obtain certification?

(A) The NFU is still discussing this issue with City and Guilds and the Chemical Regulation Directorate, NFU hopes this will be clarified by January 2015.

Buying professional products

(Q) Do I need a certificate to purchase a professional PPP after 26 November 2015?

(A) No you do not need to hold or present a certificate to be able to purchase PPP. You do require a certificate to be able to spray or apply the PPP from 26th November 2015. If you are purchasing the PPP for someone else to use you need to be reasonably sure the person who will use the product is qualified, though it is not clear how this would be enforceable due care would be advised in checking spray operators certification to avoid any personal liability.

Certification

(Q) When can I apply for a certificate if I am currently working under grandfather rights?

(A) Anyone can apply for a certificate (of competence) in the normal way at any time. However a new certificate of competence for those operating under grandfather rights is being developed by City and Guilds Land Based Services, the Level 2 Award will be specifically for those previously covered by “Grandfather Rights”.

(Q) What will the new certification replacing grandfather rights allow me to do?

(A) The certificate will allow anyone born before 31 December 1964, to use plant protection products (PPPs) authorised for professional use on their own or their employer’s land. You cannot do contract work using this certification, If you wish to carry out contact work applying professional PPP you will be required to complete the existing PA certifications.

(Q) Who will be eligible to take the new certification replacing grandfather rights?

(A) The certificate will only be open to those born before 31 December 1964.

(Q) Will the qualification allow me to spray on common land?

(A) If the operator satisfies the age criteria and is not providing a commercial service (i.e. working as a contractor) but working the land for his own or his employer’s benefit, they can rely on the grandfather rights qualification.

(Q) Is the certification relevant to share farming agreements/letting agreements?

The NFU has been advised that the certificate is relevant if either:

In the shared faming arrangements, the landowner and working farmer share the costs of production and consequently jointly own the crops or produce.

The working farmer does not own the land, crops or produce being sprayed, however he is occupying the land, working the farm land on his own account and has a significant degree of presence and control over i.t

If the working farmer does not own or occupy the land, crops or produce being sprayed, he will need a full training certificate as he will not be an employee of the farmer.

A person who satisfies the age criteria and who lets his land to a farming company and then applies professional PPPs on that land would fall within the exemption because he is an owner of the land and his employee occupies it.

Course details

(Q) What will the content of the course be?

(A) The training will be based on a workbook, setting out the required knowledge, which can be studied at the candidate’s convenience. This will be followed up with oral questioning followed by a practical assessment of competence. The assessment will include oral questioning on overall principles of PPP usage covering: legislative requirements for PPP’s, interpreting product information, ensuring personal safety (incl. PPE), safeguarding the environment, PPP storage, disposal and record keeping.

It will then be followed by a practical assessment of one, two or three of the following units as required by the operator in connection with his/her business

Hand held pesticide application

Machine mounted/trailed pesticide application

Other pesticide application methods

The course is designed to demonstrate the competence of users who are familiar with pesticides, and will be well suited to those who regularly use professional pesticides in their enterprises, For those who are less frequent users of pesticides care should be taken before selecting this qualification as no formal training is provided with this assessment although providers may offer refresher training.

(Q) How long will the assessment last?

(A) The assessment should last 2-3hrs for oral questioning and one practical unit, but may take longer if more practical units are required.

(Q) Will the certification expire?

(A) The assessment will be a ‘one off’ assessment, and the certification will be on-going with no expiry.

(Q) What equipment will be covered in the ‘hand held application’ unit?

(A) The assessment should cover

Application to land or water – hydraulic nozzle or rotary atomiser types

Granular application to land or water- using any type of granular applicator

Only one form of application is required for assessment to allow use of any equipment in this group under the new certificate.

(Q) What equipment will be covered in the ‘Machine mounted / trailed pesticide application’ unit?

(A) The assessment should cover

boom sprayer,

broadcast sprayers,

variable geometry sprayers,

granular applicators,

Slug pellet applicators.

Only one form of application is required for assessment to allow use of any equipment in this group under the new certificate.

(Q) What equipment will be covered in the ‘Other pesticide application method’ unit?

(A) The assessment should cover

Fogging, mixing and smokes – hand held or pedestrian operated

Batch dipping – application by immersion

Seed treating equipment – any type of machine/method

Subsurface liquid pesticide application – trailed or mounted machines

Any other piece of equipment for which there is no category

Only one form of application is required for assessment to allow use of any equipment in this group under the new certificate.

(Q) Where can the assessment be carried out?

(A) The assessment should generally be possible at the candidate’s premises, an assessment centre or at an alternative suitable venue.

(Q) Will I need to take training before taking the test?

(A) City and Guilds advise is that each circumstance is different some candidates are choosing to undertake further training to prepare themselves for the test. This can be in the form of self-study with a City & Guilds workbook or they may choose to attend a one or two day training course

(Q) When will the new certification be available?

(A) The new certification has been available since 26th November 2013.Registration is available through local City and Guilds NPTC Assessment Centres. .

(Q) How do I find a training centre?

(A)  Newlands Training will deliver these courses for you.  Please visit the Newlands Training homepage to find the courses listed.