1 New Grandfather Certificate FAQs

viBackground

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.

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) 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 PA application module training courses (e.g. 2, 6a) 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.

Buying professional products

(Q) Do I need a certificate to purchase a professional PPP after 26 November 2015?
(A) Yes, if you are going to be using the product yourself. If you are purchasing it for someone else to use you need to be reasonably sure the person who will use the product is qualified, due care would be advised in checking spray operators certification t to avoid 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?
Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, neither The Voluntary Initiative nor the author can accept liability for errors and or omissions.

(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.

Certification and assessment details

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

(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) How much will the assessment cost?
(A) The Farming Unions are still seeking clarification on cost of new certification, the assessment has been designed to be less burdensome in terms of time and cost than the current certification system, by taking account of operators priors knowledge and experience,

(Q) Will the certification expire?
(A) The assessment will be a 'one off' assessment, and the certification will be on-going with no expiry date.

(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 will 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.

vi(Q) When will the new certification be available?
(A) The new certification will be available from 26th November 2013.Registration will be available through local City and Guilds NPTC Assessment Centres. A full list of training providers is available on C&G NPTC Website.

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