Safe Use of Aluminium Phosphides

Phostoxin and Talunex are dangerous gassing tablets used to control rabbits, rats and moles. As a farmer, gamekeeper or pest controller you will need this certificate of competence to not only apply but purchase the products too.

Safe Use of Phostoxin or Talunex


This Phostoxin and Talunex course is a one-day blended e-learning online course. Taught through fabulous videos and a detailed workbook. With a face-to-face practical assessment held in Settle.

So, if you are a:

  • pest controller
  • farmer
  • gamekeeper

Our safe use of aluminium phosphides course for rabbits, rats and moles, provides you with everything that you need for the assessment process.

Please note this course is for professionals only due to the dangerous nature of the products. It is not suitable for home or domestic use.
Do ring us before booking to check whether it is appropriate for the application your wishing to carry out.

Phostoxin and Talunex use for the control of rabbits, rats and moles.

Have you:

  • been to buy some more Phostoxin or Talunex recently?
  • discovered you can not buy any, as the law has changed?
  • realised you need to complete the safe use of aluminium phosphide course? So you can continue to treat rabbits, rats and moles?

Phostoxin and Talunex are dangerous products. For you to continue controlling rabbits, rats and moles with aluminium phosphide you must hold an up to date qualification. To show that you are a competent professional user. There have been lots of changes in the last 5 years in the use of these products. So, if you want to continue using them you are going to have to follow these rules.

We understand that no one wants to be told that they have to do something different. Especially when they have been doing it for years. Yet, we are sure that you can appreciate how dangerous these two products are. The consequences involved if something were to go wrong are dreadful.

Without this certificate of competence, you can not legally apply Phostoxin or Talunex as a professional user.

Our course saves you:
  • travelling time
  • fuel costs
  • an early start if you are not local to the area
  • the worry of being in a group situation 
  • the concern of trying to keep up with others in the group

This is a self-taught qualification, once you have booked you will get an email containing a link to your candidate portal. On the portal, you can view and listen to all the course materials in bite-sized chunks on your own schedule. We will post out all the workbooks and a copy of clean labels to you, so you can work through the pack alongside the videos.

All the training is done from the comfort of your own home or workplace – how amazing is that!

You will have from your purchase point to the assessment date (a confirmation message will be sent in the portal) to complete the learning materials, to ensure you are ready to take the practical assessment.

Please note that the practical assessment must be completed face to face and this will be in Settle, North Yorkshire. It is very important that you have completed all the videos and tasks before attending the assessment. 

Also, a huge bonus for you is that you get to try out both the:

  • Phostoxin applicator
  • Talunex applicator

before you think about buying one of them to see if you prefer one over the other for ease of use. This a fantastic chance to try before you buy!

Don’t worry you will not be using a live product for the course and assessment, the products are a dummy to ensure everyone’s safety.

As a result, the safe use of aluminium phosphide course is not just about buying the products you use, such as Phostoxin or Talunex. It is about the safe application of these products. To protect not only you but the environment in which you work.

Many of you are already actively using Phostoxin or Talunex in your pest control programme. However, you may have discovered that as a professional operator you need a certificate of competence to enable you to carry on doing so. 

You may have been asked by:
  • your farm assurance body
  • your employer
  • or a new contract opportunity to demonstrate competence through certification

You could be new to the job or have been doing it for over 40 years and things have changed. If so and you are faced with having to gain your Phostoxin or Talunex qualification have you been:

  • struggling to find the right fit in terms of a training provider?
  • confused by all the names, numbers and acronyms for the land based courses that are available to you?
  • worried you will get it wrong or waste your hard-earned money?
  • concerned that it will feel like going back to school?
  • looking to gain a qualification to continue with jobs because legislation has changed?
  • offered a new and exciting contract, but need another ticket/qualification to seal the deal?
Then we can help you!

No matter which sector you are coming from, and your level of experience. We can work with you to understand your training needs. To tailor a programme and provide courses that will be suitable for you.

Providing award-winning training through tailored, flexible, friendly, approachable trainers and assessors.

Finally, as with all Lowe Maintenance courses, you get support and advice via email or on the phone, if you need it in the future. Just because you’ve completed the course doesn’t mean you can’t get in touch if you need more information or guidance.

City and Guilds accreditation

Is the certificate you will gain on successful completion of your safe use of aluminium phosphide for vertebrate pest control assessment. 

A  one-day self-taught course, with the face-to-face assessment held in Settle.

Assessments are held on a one-to-one basis.

On this Phostoxin and Talunex course you will be learning about:

  • the risks of using Phostoxin and Talunex
  • what you need to do in an emergency
  • which specific health and safety legislation affect you in the use of these products
  • identifying signs and symptoms of pest infestations
  • recognising non-target species and how to protect them
  • monitoring and measuring gas readings
  • industry best practice
  • safely applying the products to protect yourself, the environment and the surrounding area

Although, you will have to bring your own PPE and RPE as you are going to need them once qualified. But don’t worry we provide a thorough list of exactly what you need to bring with you so no hiccups on the day. 

Candidate portal

On booking your course you will be given access to the candidate portal, where you will find lots of leaflets and documentation to read through. There are videos we need you to watch along with the workbook pack sent in the post to work through, to help embed your learning in preparation for your assessment.

This preparation for your assessment will take at least 8 hours to complete, do not leave it to the last minute. Remember you need to have completed all the tasks before attending your assessment. The onus is on you to be ready, it works perfectly, as long as you’ve done everything we ask you to 😊


The safe use of aluminium phosphide for vertebrate pest control course is all self-taught, you will attend in Settle for a face-to-face assessment, with an independent City and Guilds assessor. 

After you have completed your assessments, access to the video content is removed. 

We may be stating the obvious and it is sad that we have to be saying this as it appears it is not common practice. 

When attending an assessment, you must follow any instructions that are given, for the safety of all involved. 

For further details please see our terms and conditions for courses.

Aluminium Phosphides
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Aluminium phosphide is an extremely toxic product and the phosphine gas is lethal. It is similar to mustard gas used in WW1. It is meant to kill thus you need a great deal of respect when using the product.

Safe use of aluminium phosphides for vertebrate pest control is for the control of rabbits, rats and moles only. It can not be legally be used on any other species.

It is extremely dangerous and if mis-used has the potential to kill any living creature. There are only two products available Phostoxin and Talunex and these can only be bought if you have a certificate of competence.

The applicator is an engineering control, the design keeps the product as far away from you as possible during the application.

Yes, in order to buy Phostoxin of Talunex the end-user must have a relevant ticket which classes them as a professional user.

In the runs, tunnels and burrowing systems of rats, rabbits and moles. You can not use the products within 10m of a building or watercourse.

No, this is not safe to do. As soon as the container is open the gas becomes active and continues to do so until the tablets have dissolved. By putting the lid back on you are increasing the risk of contamination for yourself and others but also of the container sparking and igniting.

You should use all the tablets in the container in one application.

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

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

As phosphine gas has no smell, the tablets have been injected with the smell of garlic to act as a warning sign. If you can smell garlic leave the area immediately and put on your RPE and PPE to investigate further.

A full-face respirator with relevant cartridges P3 for particulates and B2 for gas.

You should carry out a face fit test, and if you have facial hair and glasses you may need to use an approved powered hood system.

No, this offers you no protection.

It must be a full-face respirator with relevant cartridges. The full-face element is really important the half-face option will not protect your eyes from the gas that could blind you.

Yes, you can go back to traditional control methods such as trapping, shooting, dogs or cats. In fact, under the ‘risk hierarchy,’ traditional methods should be one of your first port of calls in controlling rabbits, rats and moles.

Once achieved, your City and Guilds ticket will last a lifetime.

The HSE advise that refreshers are taken every 5 years, it is entirely up to you. However, things do change, and this would ensure you are up to date with current practices. The latest update is to do with monitoring gas levels and exposure and the equipment to do this.

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