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Grandfathers Rights for Pesticide Users - Changes to Current Rules

A current exemption in UK law, commonly known as “grandfather rights”, allows 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 Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012 allowed this exemption to continue until Thursday 26 November 2015. From this date forwards, 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.

If you don’t personally already have a certificate, or you have employees without certification, you will need to get them trained before the changes occur, but don’t worry, many training companies are running courses up until the week before the changes come into effect.

New Level 2 Certificate in the Safe Use of Pesticides

City and Guilds Land Based Services has developed a new Level 2 Award - Safe Use of Pesticides Replacing Grandfather Rights. 

If you were born before 31 December 1964, and will only use pesticides on your own or your employer’s land, you will need to obtain this new qualification.

Alternatively, you can obtain one of the existing Level 2 Safe Use of Pesticide awards appropriate to the work and type of equipment you use. You must take this route if you intend to work as a contractor or apply {PPPs {Plant Protection Products} to land you or your employer do not own.

Further information on the new qualifications

The new qualification will take account of the fact that people working under “grandfather rights” should already have some form of training and may have many years experience in working with pesticides. In recognition of this, the qualification has been developed so as to take significantly less time, and cost less, than the existing Level 2 qualifications for pesticide users.

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 a practical assessment of competence. As with all Level 2 pesticide awards, the training modules will be based on the type of equipment to be used. The assessment should generally be possible at the candidate’s premises, an assessment centre or at an alternative suitable venue.

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