Everyone who uses pesticides should have adequate guidance, instruction or training for their correct use.
Amateur pesticide products
The product label provides appropriate guidance for use of pesticides in the home and garden.
See FAQ on Agricultural / Horticultural / Amenity Use of Pesticides for information on the use of Amateur products for professional use or outside of the Home Garden.
Professional pesticide products
Anyone who uses a professional pesticide product should not use that pesticide or give instruction to others on its use unless they have received adequate instruction, training and guidance in its correct use.
In addition users of pesticides must hold a Certificate of Competence if using a professional pesticide product if they:
- were born after 31 December 1964; or
- are providing a commercial service e.g. contactors or anyone spraying on land that is not his or his employers.
Anyone who is required to hold a Certificate of Competence can only use pesticides without a Certificate if they are supervised for the purposes of being trained by someone who does hold a certificate.
Obtaining a Certificate of Competence is the best way of demonstrating that you are trained to use specific types of equipment, even if under the legislation you are not currently required to have one.
After 26th November 2015 everyone who uses a professional pesticide product must have a ‘specified certificate’ (i.e. currently a certificate of competence). Currently, the recognised Certificate of Competence for the use of pesticides is issued by City and Guilds Land Based services or NPTC (National Proficiency Tests Council) and the Scottish Skills Testing Service.
Sell, supply or store
Pesticides must be stored in areas that are constructed in a way as to prevent unwanted releases. Anyone storing pesticide products should follow practices consistent with those detailed in the existing Codes of Practice and in doing so they would have reasonable basis for demonstrating due diligence in complying with the requirements of this legislation.
Reasonable precautions must be taken to ensure that: storage, handling and disposal of products, their remnants (old products and unused tank mixes) and packaging; and cleaning of equipment do not endanger human health or the environment. When handling storing or disposing of products taking the following steps would help in satisfying the requirement to take "reasonable precautions"-
- in the case of non-professional products, following instructions on storage and disposal of the product in accordance with instructions on the product label.
- in the case of professional products, identifying and mitigating any risks; and following good filling, storage and disposal practice such as that detailed in the Code of Practice.
- for those storing products for placing on the market, ensuring that staff have undergone the BASIS Nominated Storekeeper Training Course or an equivalent qualification.
In addition, anyone who intends to sell, supply or otherwise market a pesticide for someone to use must have obtained a training certificate or sell or supply those pesticides under the direct supervision of a person who holds such a certificate.
Currently, the recognised training certificate for those who store, sell, supply, or otherwise market, a pesticide is the BASIS Certificate for Sale and Supply issued by BASIS (Registration) Ltd.
Further advice on the certificate of competence that suits your needs can be obtained from:
Duties for employers to provide instruction and training are explained in the Code of practice for using plant protection products.
Commodity substances (known as Basic Substances in the EU) are chemicals which have a variety of non-pesticidal uses and also have minor uses as pesticides. If such a substance is to be used as a pesticide, it requires authorisation under Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 (as amended) or EU Regulation 540/2011, and authorisations are granted for use only. The authorisation detailing the conditions which a user must follow when the commodity substance is used as a pesticide can be viewed from the link below.
Further information about Commodity Substances.