Award in Safe Use of Pesticides for Vertebrate Pest Control for Rats & Mice

City and Guilds / NPTC Level 2

(Rat and Mice Poison)

Safe use of rat poison

The law has changed for those who use rodenticides aka rat poisons as a professional user, it will require professional users to have a certificate of competence to buy and apply poisons.
This qualification has two units:
1) Principles , Rodenticides Rats and Mice
2) Practices, Rodenticides Rats and Mice
In line with the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) Stewardship the course encourages people to consider alternative methods of control before using first and second generation anticoagulants and raise the awareness of half life secondary poisoning.

Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides for Vertebrate Pest Control for Rats and Mice City & Guilds NPTC Level 2.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course you should be able to:
1) Understand the legislative requirements relating to the use of rodenticides.
2) Understand product label information.
3) Understand how to minimise the risk of human contamination and implement emergency procedures.
4) Know how to store and transport rodenticide products safely.
5) Know how to manage and dispose of surplus rodenticide and waste products.
6) Know the record keeping requirements.
7) Understand how to minimise the risk of environmental contamination.
8) Be able to assess the environmental factors.
9) Know the characteristics of rats and mice and their impact.
10) Be able to complete a site survey.
11) Be able to apply rodenticides safely.
12) Know how to carry out post operational procedures.

24th January 2020

11th February 2020

12th March 2020

23rd April 2020

27th May 2020

16th June 2020

8th July 2020

5th August 2020

Please note that the assessments are to be confirmed and you will be emailed with a date once the assessment has been scheduled.

We do try to ensure that the assessment is consecutive but cannot guarantee this.

Training fee £110 +VAT = £132 per person.

Assessment plus City and Guilds registration £120 per person (no VAT).

Total £252 per person.

All fees are payable upon booking.

You will require:
1) Coveralls
2) Wellies

We will provide specific equipment for the training and assessment

One day training.

2 hours approximately for the assessment (on a second day).

Please note that the assessments are to be confirmed and you will be emailed with a date once the assessment has been scheduled.

We do try to ensure that the assessment is consecutive but cannot guarantee this.

Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides for Vertebrate Pest Control for Rats and Mice City & Guilds NPTC Level 2.

Do you need a refresher? HSE advises that you complete a refresher every 5 years, although some insurance companies state every 3 years. We can help. We tend to run the refresher courses along side the initial training.

Equally if you have a group of people we can put a date together just for you.

Safe Use of Rat Poison – one day refresher £100 +VAT = £120 per person.

You will receive a Lowe Maintenance Certificate of Completion.

To take this course as an online version where you complete the learning at home or work in your own time and then book the face to face practical assessment click on the Lowe Maintenance Training Portal to find more details and access online once purchased.

This online version is exactly the same as our one day face to face training.

Why do I need a ticket for rat poison?

The law changed in 2015, stating that only professional users of rodenticides can buy poisons and certain pack sizes, for controlling rats and mice.

This affects a wide range if interests including: farming, smallholding, allotment holding, equine establishments, horticulture (including grounds maintenance and amenities), industry, railways and sewers etc.

What is meant by professional user?

A professional user is anyone who applies a professional product no matter the amount or method used. This includes operators, employees, technicians and self-employed people. Basically, if you are earning from the application, whether that be directly or indirectly (such as farming), you are classed as a professional.

What ticket options do I have?

There are a few different options available to people wishing to gain a certificate of competence for safe use of pesticide for vertebrate pest control for rats and mice.

  • City and Guilds
  • RSPH
  • Lantra
  • BPCA
  • Killgerm

With Lowe Maintenance you have the choice of a face to face course or an online training method, both options have a practical assessment that must be achieved to gain City and Guilds certification.

Can I apply poison for other people once I’ve got my ticket?

The City and Guilds Safe Use of Vertebrate for Pest Control for Rats and Mice, the qualification enables you to apply rodenticides in any sector (agriculture, horticulture, game keeping, industrial); there are no restrictions to the industries to work in. The only restrictions are those on the labels, which you must adhere to.

Can’t I just buy smaller packs?

There is nothing to stop you buying rodenticides in smaller quantities other than that is it far more expensive in the long term and that if you are auditable, under farm assurance programmes etc, it may not fit with their criteria, so it would be a good idea to check what you can and can’t do.

Why the change?

To reduce secondary poisoning in non-target species as many anticoagulants, used by people controlling rodents, have a half-life. The HSE need us to use rodenticides with greater care to protect both people, non-target species and the environment.

How long is the course?

Lowe Maintenance has two options:

The face to face course is one day training, with a couple of hours on a second day for the practical assessment.

The online modular course, you learn in your own time and then book the couple of hours required for the practical assessment

Will the course be an accepted option under Farm Assurance programmes?

Currently if you are registered with one of the 11 farm assurance programmes there is no requirement to complete the training, however this is likely to change in the future.

  • AIC’s Trade Assurance Scheme for Combinable Crops
  • British Egg Industry Council’s Lion code
  • Duck Assurance Scheme
  • Farm Assured Welsh Livestock
  • Laid in Britain
  • Northern Ireland Beef & Lamb Farm Quality Assurance
  • Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured Cereals
  • Quality British Turkey
  • Quality Meat Scotland
  • Red Tractor Farm Assurance
  • Scottish Quality Crops

What is CRRU?

CRRU is the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use and they have produced a code of practice which is more about changing emphasis than it is about changing practice and the concept of the ‘risk hierarchy’ needs to be at the forefront when deciding a control strategy for any site.

Can I just go back to traditional methods, like trapping?

Yes, you can go back to traditional control methods such as trapping, shooting, dogs or cats. In fact, this is actively encouraged as part of the ‘risk hierarchy’ and should be considered before using rodenticides.

What does half-life mean?

Half life is the amount of time it takes for a substance to reduce its concentration by half, in most first-generation anticoagulants it is hours to days, whereas second-generation anticoagulants can be days to months. The problem being when the rodent is then eaten by a predator and secondary poisoning can occur.

What’s the difference between 1st and 2nd generation poisons?

First generation anticoagulants are less acutely toxic and less persistent in animal tissues than second generation anticoagulants. It may be assumed that they present a lower risk of both primary and secondary poisoning for non-target animals in most situations.

Second generation anticoagulants are acutely toxic and have long biological half-lives. So, present the greatest risk to non-target animals and the environment.

Can I permanently bait?

Permanent baiting shouldn’t really be used as general practice, the problem is that it is increasingly recognised that small, wild rodents, such as field mice and voles, also go into permanent bait stations and take bait. These animals are the prey base of a very wide variety of species of mammals and birds in the UK. This prey base is then exposed to rodenticides and this contamination is passed to our wildlife up the food chain.

For more details see: CRRU Guidance On Permanent Baiting April 2016

Rat problem? Can I just tidy up?

Yes, that would be a great start in sorting out your rodent infestation. Rats do not like changes and open spaces. So, by tidying up, getting rid of rubbish, debris and old equipment along with clearing vegetation around buildings so that natural predators can take the rodents would help tremendously.

I’m Farm Assured, do I need a rat poison ticket?

Currently as long as you’re within a Farm Assurance programme and you’ve completed the Point of Sale Declaration – Farm Assurance Scheme document and given that to your supplier you can continue to buy rodenticides without a ticket.

I only have a small holding; do I have to get a ticket?

If you wish to continue buying professionally labelled products in larger pack sizes, then yes you will need to gain a recognised qualification.

How do I keep up to date?

Join Lowe Maintenance’s newsletter key points of information as they become available are shared or you could regularly check the website where CRRU make information available.

What records do I need to keep?

As a professional user you need to keep the following records:

  • stock records
  • application / treatment records
  • COSHH assessment records
  • risk assessments
  • waste transfer notes / disposal records
  • health surveillance and monitoring records
  • training records
  • environmental risk assessments
  • emergency procedures
  • bait box maintenance checks

Who policies the regulations?

There are several ways the regulations are policed, the CRRU has a reporting system on their website where any concerns of mis-selling, mis-use, and mis-application can be reported.

The Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) will investigate any suspected poisonings of non-target species found.

HSE has overall jurisdiction and will investigate suppliers and users.

What happens if I get caught?

If you are found to be applying rodenticides without the required certification and you are reported HSE will investigate.

Cases have been investigated to date and to stop this irresponsible behaviour, it is currently being discussed whether or not these cases will be made public to deter other offenders.

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