At present the regulations allows anyone born before 31 December 1964, to use pesticides which have been authorised for professional use either on their own or their employer’s land, without having to hold a certificate of competence, as long as they are suitably trained and competent for their job. This exemption is commonly known as ‘grandfather rights’ and ceases on 26 November.
From that date everyone who sues pesticides authorised for professional use must have a certificate of competence. It will also be an offence for anyone to purchase pesticides authorised for professional use unless they have ensured that the end user of the pesticide has a certificate of competence.
Those that are operating under grandfather rights who still wish to use pesticides will either have to complete:
- A new Level 2 award in the ‘Safe Use of Pesticides’ which will involve training based on a workbook followed by a practical assessment of competence, or
- The existing full Level 2 award in the ‘Safe Use of Pesticides’ appropriate to the work and type of equipment e.g. PA1, PA2, PA4 or PA6. This route must be taken if the intension is to work as a contractor or apply pesticides to other farmer’s crops and land.
Information on courses can be found at: www.nptc.org.uk