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Certificate of Competence in the Safe Use of Pesticides

It is a legal requirement, under the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986, for anyone applying pesticides on a commercial basis to hold a Certificate of Competence.

The qualification is divided into 13 units. PA1 is the Foundation Module and is a multiple-choice, on-computer assessment. Candidates are required to achieve PA1 before going on to a second unit. Units 2-13 are specific to the type of applicator being used.

PA2 Ground Crop Sprayer

PA3 Broadcast or Boom Sprayer (horizontal or vertical plane)

PA4 Pesticide Granule Applicator

PA5 Boat Mounted Applicators

PA6 Hand Held Applicators PA7 Aerial application

PA8 Mixer/Loader

PA9 Fogging, Misting and Smokes

PA10 Batch Dipping

PA11 Seed Treating Equipment

PA12 Application of pesticides to material as a continuous process via conveyor, roller tables and other moving equipment

PA13 Sub Surface Liquid Applicator

Pesticide any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying or controlling any pest, including vectors of human or animal disease, unwanted species of plants or animals causing harm during or otherwise interfering with the production, processing, storage, transport or marketing of food, agricultural commodities, wood and wood products or animal feedstuffs, or substances which may be administered to animals for the control of insects, arachnids or other pests in or on their bodies. The term includes substances intended for use as a plant growth regulator, defoliant, desiccant or agent for thinning fruit or preventing the premature fall of fruit, and substances applied to crops either before or after harvest to protect the commodity from deterioration during storage and transport.

City & Guilds level 2 award in the safe use of Aluminium Phosphide for vertebrate pest control

The qualification covers the legal requirements related to the use of Aluminium Phosphide. It covers health and safety, storage, transportation, understanding the product label, emergency procedures, symptoms of phosphine poisoning and PPE requirements. Candidates also have to demonstrate knowledge of how to fill, use and empty applicators, the disposal of excess product and containers, completion of records for legal and management purpose. The qualification is valid for 3 years from the date of assessment.

It is relevant to all those working in pest control situations ( for example pest control operatives, agriculture, Game keeping,  grounds men, green keepers).

Ramps (UK)

Ramps UK is a trade association created to ensure the sustainable use of Metallic Phosphine products in all market sectors through the training, registration of stockists and end-users. Achieving the qualification will enable operatives to join RAMPS UK and be accredited to buy Aluminium Phosphide. RAMPS UK will issue users with an identity card to produce to the stockist at the time of purchase.

Why do it?

As of September 2011 any user of Aluminium Phosphide who has not previously undergone recognised training will not be able to purchase it from approved stockist's. Taking to City & Guilds level 2 Award in the safe use of Aluminium Phosphide for Vertebrate Pest Control will be a requirement. The training which is available will ensure you have the knowledge , skills and resources to be successful at assessment.

How is it assessed?

The qualification is divided into 2 parts:

1) Understanding the principles of the safe use of Aluminium Phosphide.

2) Carry out the safe use of Aluminium Phosphide for vertebrate pest control.

The qualification is assessed by an independent assessor who will ask questions to check the candidates knowledge and observe the candidate completing a series of practical tasks relating to the safe use of the product.

Next Steps?

1) To contact a trainer who can arrange both training and assessment in your area, go to

2) For City & Guilds assessment only e-mail or phone 1st line Support 024 7685 7300 to request details of your nearest centre.

More Information

Copies of the schedules for the qualification which gives detail of the content for the assessment can be downloaded from

by clicking on the

“assessment Schedules”

tab and then looking under the pesticides group of qualification

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