Award in Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides Foundation Unit PA1

City and Guilds / NPTC Level 2


PA1 Foundation unit for spraying pesticides

Safe handling and use of pesticides PA1

Without this foundation unit you can not legally apply any pesticides as a professional user.

As a result if your planning to use pesticides as a professional. Basically if your being paid or making a living from those associated tasks, you must above all be fully qualified.

Furthermore as part of your responsibilities as a professional user you have a legal duty to follow:

  • the manufactures instructions
  • use the products safety,
  • ensuring that you protect not only yourself but others around you and the environment.

Finally once you have achieved the PA1 unit you can progress onto other units known as application units.

These are specific to the way you will be applying the product, hence getting the right unit, units such as knapsack, boom sprayer, weedwiper or even more options.

Consequently the unit covers the following:

  • your legal responsibilities;
  • risks with pesticides;
  • storing of pesticides;
  • handling of pesticides;
  • mixing chemicals;
  • calibration of pesticides;
  • using and cleaning equipment;
  • disposing of chemical waste safely and legally;
  • safe working practices and industry best practice;
  • emergency actions;
  • health monitoring;
  • record keeping.

Award in Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides City & Guilds NPTC Level 2 (PA1 Foundation Unit).

Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course you should be able to understand:

1) the legislative requirements and Codes of Practice relating to the use of pesticides.
2) the relevance of product information.
3) how to minimise the risk of human contamination and implement emergency procedures.
4) storage and transportation of pesticides safely.
5) managing and disposing of surplus pesticide and waste management.
6) the record keeping requirements.
7) ways to minimise the risk of environmental contamination and implement emergency procedures.

13th January 2020

18th February 2020

16th March 2020

6th April 2o2o

5th May 2020

9th June 2020

13th July 2020

10th August 2020

If you have a group of people please get in touch to discuss alternative dates.

Training fee £100 +VAT = £120 per person.
Assessment plus City and Guilds registration fee £86 per person (no VAT).

Total £206 per person.

All fees are payable upon booking.

One day for the training
1 hrs approximately for the assessment (at the end of the training day).

You will require:
1) Reading glasses (if applicable).

We will provide all equipment required for the training and online exam.

Award in Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides City & Guilds NPTC Level 2 (this certificate will not qualify you to apply pesticides).

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 courses when the PA1 course is running. You just don’t resit the City and Guilds exam at the end of the day.

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

Principles of Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides – one day refresher £100 +VAT = £120 per person

You will receive a Lowe Maintenance Certificate of Completion.

Why do I need a ticket?

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

I’ve got grandfather rights, haven’t I?

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

Can’t I just do the PA1 foundation unit?

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

Can I buy products from the internet?

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.

Isn’t there just one ticket that covers everything?

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.

I did my tickets in the 1980’s do they still stand?

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

How can I check if I have my spraying tickets?

If you think you did your tickets and have lost them, we can check with our assessment centre to see if you’re 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.

Do I need to do refreshers for pesticides?

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?

I don’t use pesticides, only weed killers do I have to do the ticket?

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

Do I need to bring my own spraying equipment?

No, we can provide all the spraying 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.

I’m no good at maths, will that be a problem?

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.

Do I need a ticket to buy pesticides?

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

Do I need to MOT spraying equipment?

Handheld equipment doesn’t require an external body to carry out an inspection, ensuring the applicator is fit for use is the responsibility of the trained operator using it. Checks should be carried out on a regular basis and a record kept of its condition and repairs undertaken if any.

For trailed, mounted or self-propelled:

  • Over 3m by 2020 ensure it has been tested within the last 5 years. After 2020 they need to be tested every 3 years.
  • Under 3m they must be tested every 6 years (slug pellet, granular, boom less)

We recommend Andrew Walburn 07958 351489 for testing.

How do I choose the right nozzle?

Choice of nozzle is recommended on the product label, so it important to spend a few moments reading through for the best advice. You do also learn more about nozzles on the courses.

What is a good nozzle for a boom sprayer?

Many people choose an air induction / low drift / pre-orifice nozzle as they allow greater control of drift and a more targeted approach.

Can I spray on a hot day?

It is not advised to spray on hot days, not if it is above 30 degrees.

You need to be aware that when it is too hot the plants shut down, they protect themselves by not letting liquids in or out so there is no point wasting time and money spraying when it is hot.

Can I spray for other people when I’ve got my ticket?

As long as you have the correct application method and the full suite of tickets (not the grandfather option) then yes you can.

In fact, it’s a good idea as it helps to recoup some of the associated costs, just be aware that your customers will need the relevant records and paperwork from you.

What are the best conditions for spraying?

The ideal conditions for spraying are:

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

Is there anything I can read before doing the pesticides courses?

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

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What’s my next steps?

Safe Application of Pesticides Using Knapsack / Lance PA6a
Safe Application of Pesticides To or Near Water PA6aw
Safe Application of Pesticides Using Boom Sprayers PA2a
Safe Application of Pesticides Using Weed Wipers PA2f
Safe Installation of Pesticide Plugs / Ecoplugs PA6pp
Safe Application of Pesticides Stem Injection PA6inj
Safe Use of Pesticides for Vertebrate Pest Control for Rats & Mice
Safe Use of Aluminium Phosphides for Vertebrate Pest Control