PA6pp Safe Use of Ecoplugs

Our PA6pp Ecoplugs training course runs monthly and it is essential for anyone involved treating tree stumps for regrowth. Please note, the PA1 is a pre-requisite to all the pesticides application units.

Safe Use of Ecoplugs


The PA6pp Ecoplugs training course is ideal for those who need to control re-growth from felled tree stumps. If you have found your way here you have discovered that you need a different qualification to carry out Ecoplug treatments! The PA6pp Ecoplugs application unit will only enable you to carry out an application of Ecoplugs, not other handheld application methods. 

And yes, before you ask there is a separate qualification for drilling holes in a tree stump and knocking the Ecoplug in with a hammer. Because you are handling a pesticide at the end of the day, therefore it should be done professionally. 

Before being able to move onto an application unit such as the PA6pp Ecoplugs, you must firstly have completed the PA1 Handling and Application of Pesticides

Session one of Ecoplugs training is online blended learning via our candidate portal covering the theory and practical application, through fabulous videos and a detailed workbook:
  • Ecoplugs, what are they?
  • tree species and grouping for an application
  • working out how many Ecoplugs are needed
  • importance of tree identification
  • equipment pre-use checks
  • environmental risk assessment
  • identify the tree species
  • calibration of your tree stump
  • measuring and accurate position of Ecoplugs
  • carry out a dummy application 
  • completing application records
  • dealing with waste
Session two of Ecoplugs training is for the face-to-face assessment, in Settle.

Many of you are already actively using pesticides. But did you know that if you are carrying out PA6pp Ecoplugs that you will most likely need a different qualification? 

Protecting the environments in which we work is extremely important. Consequently, you have a responsibility to work to industry best practice and apply the pesticide products safely and legally. 

On this Ecoplugs online blended learning course you will be covering:

  • all those points listed above
  • your legal responsibilities when using these products
  • how to work to industry best practice
  • the correct PPE to wear to keep you safe
  • that the correct application can save you money in the future!

Our PA6pp Ecoplugs training course, session one is now online blended learning, but the assessment still has to be done face to face. However, do not worry, we will talk you through everything you need to do. It is a simple and straightforward way to carry out your PA6pp course. 

It saves you:
  • travelling time
  • fuel costs
  • an early start if you are not local to the area

Once you have booked and purchased the PA6pp 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 the workbook and copy of the Ecoplug label 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 actual assessment date, to complete the learning materials, to ensure you are ready to take the practical assessment.

Remember before being able to move onto an application unit such as the PA6pp Ecoplugs. You must have completed and passed the PA1 Handling and Application of Pesticides

As a result, we do recommend that you book your PA1 and PA6pp at the same time, if you haven’t already completed your PA1 course. 

Remember, the safe use of pesticides is not just about the buying of the products you use. Such as herbicides (weed killers). It is about the safe application of these products. To protect not only you but the environment in which you work. In particular to or near watercourses including dry ditches. 

Many of you are already actively using pesticides in controlling weeds and pests. 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 or an environmental body
  • your employer
  • or a new contract opportunity to demonstrate competence through certification

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

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If you passed your PA6a between June 1994 and January 2015 you are covered for all elements of PA6a apart from PA6aw which has always been a separate unit. As a result you would not have to do Ecoplugs as a separate unit unless you want a definite certificate of proof.

If you completed PA6a from February 2015 onward, then you most certainly would need to complete PA6pp Ecoplugs as a separate unit

My maths is shocking, and I can do the calibrations. You are able to use a calculator and the calibration sheet is a set of boxes, as long as you take your time and practice on the spare sheets we give you, I’m sure you’ll be just fine.

No, you don’t need a ticket to buy pesticides, although you are breaking the law when you apply the products without a relevant application method.

If you did the City and Guilds tickets and you still have your certificates, then yes, they certainly do still stand.

If you did the Agricultural Training Board (ATB) route and you didn’t up grade them to City and Guilds when requested, then unfortunately it is unlikely that you still have the qualification

Although the label on the box has very little information as to the PPE required. As a professional you should always refer to industry best practice. So yes, you certainly should be wearing PPE. Therefore you will need coveralls, gloves and wellies as a minimum. Additional PPE may be required as per your risk assessment e.g. hard hat

If you think you did your tickets and have lost them, we can check with our assessment centre to see if you are on the system. Please email us with your name, date of birth and address of the place you lived and when you did the courses.

HSE advise that refreshers are taken every 5 years, however that is entirely up to you. It is recommended because things have changed quite a lot in the last thirty years and if you had an incident one of the first questions you are likely to be asked is when were you last refreshed?

Pesticides is the umbrella term for:

  • herbicides (weed killers)
  • insecticide (insects)
  • fungicides (fungi)
  • molluscicides (slugs and snails)
  • vertebrate control agents (not rodenticides)
  • wood preservatives
  • growth regulators

So, if you use any of these as a professional you require the relevant tickets

No, we can provide all the application equipment at no extra cost. That way we know all the equipment isn’t contaminated in case someone has a reaction to a product that was used if you bought your own kit.

In 2015 the law changed, as a result anyone who uses pesticides as a professional must have certificates of competence for the application method they are using.

There is no such thing as grandfather rights to apply pesticides. There is a grandfather right version of the qualification, if you were born before 1964 you could have choosen to do this qualification. It only enables you to apply pesticides on your land though, nowhere else. However it is no longer available it was only open for a certain length of time

The PA1 foundation unit does not allow you to apply the pesticides and this is clearly stated on the certificate you receive. As a result, in order to legally apply the pesticides, you need the relevant application units.

There is no law stopping you buying a pesticide product, you may be asked at the point of sale for evidence of your certificate.

You can stock pile as much as you like, but you break the law when you apply the products without certification.

The ideal conditions for spraying are:

  • A cool cloudy day
  • Early morning or late evening when it has cooled down
  • Force 2 wind speed

Firstly, you will learn everything that you need to on the courses, however you could read through the Pesticide Code of Practice and look on the website

To apply pesticides near water you will need Environment Agency approval, an Aquaherb01 will need to be completed and permissions given.

However, to complete the form you need to ensure that the product has aquatic approval and you have the correct application methods for the work you are planning to do.

Unfortunately, not, because there are so many ways to apply different products it is not possible to just have one ticket to cover everything.

There are over 50 different application methods available now and you must choose which ones you need, to continue with your work.

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