Pest management technicians and fumigators

There are special training, licence, notification and record keeping requirements for pest management technicians and fumigators. If you are in this line of business, this page will guide you on your legal responsibilities and using pesticides safely and legally.

  • If you regularly use pesticides or fumigants in your work, you need a pest management technician licence or fumigator licence.
  • There are exemptions. Consult clause 8 of the Pesticides Regulation 2017.
  • Exemptions apply for agricultural activities and amenity horticulture. Consult the Pesticides Regulation 2017.
  • If you hold a SafeWork NSW certificate of competency, this will continue to apply until its expiry date. You do not need to apply to the EPA to convert it to a licence until it approaches its expiry date.
  • SafeWork NSW will continue to regulate work health and safety matters – call SafeWork NSW on 131 050.

This licence allows you to apply pesticides to control pests for a fee or reward and for a public authority. You will need this licence if you are conducting commercial termite treatments.

Pesticides include herbicides, bactericides, baits, fungicides, insecticides, rodenticides and repellents. Find out more about pesticides.

You need a fumigator licence to use products containing

  • 1, 3-dichloropropene
  • chloropicrin
  • dazomet
  • ethanedinitrile
  • ethyl formate
  • ethylene oxide (except single dose canisters)
  • metham sodium
  • methyl bromide
  • any product that liberates phosphine gas
  • potassium-monomethyl dithiocarbamate
  • sulfuryl fluoride

Clause 5 of the Pesticides Regulation 2017 contains more information.

Both types of licence

If you are working with pesticides and fumigants, you will need to undertake training and apply for both types of licence. There is no joint application available.

Everyone applying for either or both types of licence needs to undertake the training and obtain the appropriate qualification or qualifications first.

Pest management technician licence

To obtain a licence, you must complete the following core competencies in the CPP Property Services Training Package (formerly PRM04 Asset Management Training Package)

  • CPPPMT3005A Modify environment to manage pests (formerly PRMPM05B) or CPPPMT3005 Manage pests without applying pesticides
  • CPPPMT3006A Apply pesticides to manage pests (formerly PRMPM06B) or CPPPMT3006 Manage pests by applying pesticides
  • CPPPMT3018A Maintain equipment and chemical storage areas (formerly PRMPM18B) or CPPPMT3018B Manage equipment and chemical storage areas

Fumigator licence

To obtain a licence, you must complete the following core competencies within the CPP Property Services Training Package (formerly PRM04 Asset Management Training Package)

  • CPPPMT3006A Apply pesticides to manage pests (formerly PRMPM056) or CPPPMT3006 Manage pests by applying pesticides
  • CPPPMT3011A Conduct fumigation (formerly PRMPM11B) or CPPPMT3011 Manage organisms by applying fumigants to commodities and environments

Both licence types

To obtain both licences, you must complete the core competencies from both sets of training requirements in the CPP Property Services Training Package (formerly PRM04 Asset Management Training Package).

Note that

  • the ChemCert AQF level 3 Chemical Certificate is not recognised or accepted as it does not meet the course standard required
  • TAFE NSW offers Pest Management Certificate III (Property Services Training Package) and the Statement of Attainment in Pest Inspection – Timber and Statement of Attainment in Fumigation Operations
  • other registered training organisations may offer training under the CPP Property Services Training Package – consult the list of training providers

To apply for a licence, supply

  • proof of identity and age (you must be 18-years-old or older)
  • the completed Pest Management Technician and Fumigator Licence application form (DOCX 65KB) (indicate which licence type you are applying for; if you are applying for both types of licence, complete a separate application form for each type)
  • copies of the statement of attainment or qualifications from a registered training organisation as proof you have successfully completed the training
  • two passport-size high quality photographs of your face and shoulders – note that prints must be posted; scanned and emailed, or electronic, photos will not be accepted
  • the fee for an application made on or after 1 July 2017 is $196, applicable to each licence type. You must complete an application form for each licence type but will be issued one card for multiple licence types.

Note that

  • the fee can be paid by credit card, money order or cheque
  • fees are subject to a Customer Price Index increase each July
  • licences are awarded to an individual and cannot be awarded to a business or a business name
  • licences are valid for 5 years
  • if you are applying for both licences, you will be issued one card for both licence types

Send the completed application form by post only to Chemicals and Radiation Licensing Unit, NSW EPA, PO Box A290, Sydney South, NSW 1232.

If you have a current occupational interstate licence, permit or certificate of competency for pest management technician or fumigator work, you will still have to

  • complete the licence application form
  • attach two recent passport photos
  • attach a copy of your interstate licence
  • provide the fee

However, you do not need to show evidence of training.

The EPA, under mutual recognition legislation, will recognise a current equivalent licence issued in another State or Territory but needs to determine whether there are any problems with issuing a NSW licence and whether any special conditions may be required.

See ‘Applying for a licence’ for more information.

Overseas qualifications are not automatically recognised or eligible for conversion to a NSW licence, as Australian licensing requirements fall under local legislation and national standards. To find out more

  • phone the EPA’s Environment Line on 131 555 (NSW only) or (02) 9995 5000 outside NSW, or
  • email info@epa.nsw.gov.au

You must apply for a new licence within 60 days of the expiry date. The renewal fee is $196 for applications made on or after 1 July 2017. The EPA will send current licence holders a reminder notice and a renewal application form in the months before the expiry date.

If your licence has been lost, damaged, destroyed or stolen, complete the licence replacement application form (DOCX 112KB). The cost of replacing your licence is $23. You can also use this form if your licence contains a printing error or was not received (there is no charge for this).

You can only supervise a trainee if you hold a pest management technician or fumigator licence. If you do not have a licence, appoint a company employee who does to supervise the trainee.

Under the Pesticides Regulation 2017, you must ensure the trainee keeps and maintains a record of training, for example, a logbook.

After each incidence of training, the trainee must update the record with

  • their name and address
  • the name and address of each employer they work for
  • the name of supervisor while the trainee is doing that work
  • a description of the work
  • the date or dates on which that work was done

You must

  • sign and date the record each time the trainee updates it
  • give the trainee directions, demonstrations, training and monitoring appropriate to the work they are doing
  • directly supervise the trainee
  • take immediate remedial action in the event of an emergency that arises from the trainee failing to competently carry out their work

You can provide a more indirect degree of supervision if you are satisfied that the trainee is competent and will not endanger the health and safety of the trainee or any other person.

Before applying a pesticide

Before you apply pesticides outdoors, consider the weather conditions and only spray if you can minimise the risk of spray drift and prevent people and animals from being harmed.

Before you apply pesticides inside, talk to the residents about removing or protecting items or furniture that should not be sprayed, such as cooking utensils, children's cots and toys.

Before applying pesticides at a school or childcare centre, suggest to the school principal or childcare centre manager that they schedule this work during school holidays or weekends.

When applying a pesticide

  • minimise the number of articles that need to be washed such as measuring containers, funnels and stirrers
  • wear personal protective equipment as directed on the product label or required under occupational health and safety legislation
  • where appropriate, add rinsates to the tank of pesticide to be used
  • always read the approved product label and follow all label directions – in NSW it is illegal to not follow the label directions on a pesticide
  • under the Work Health & Safety Regulation 2011, obtain Safety Data Sheets (SDS) about the pesticides you use from the chemical’s suppliers, read and understand them, and follow their directions
  • only use pesticides registered or permitted by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)
  • obtain an APVMA permit if you wish to use a pesticide in a way not covered by the label and strictly follow the permit’s directions
  • take all action prevent injury to persons, damage to property or harm to non-target plants and animals through the use of a pesticide

Before you decide that it is safe for people to re-enter a site where pesticides have been applied, make sure

  • the area has been adequately ventilated
  • there is no vapour or smell present - remember that exposure to odour, as well as vapour, can affect people's health
  • check the label or SDS for instructions on re-entry periods and ventilation

Always dispose of pesticide products safely and legally, and recycle them when you can.

Some pesticide labels and permits require you to notify residents, neighbours or other members of the public before or while applying the pesticide. You must follow these label instructions. Look out for particular notification requirements relating to

  • signage
  • access and re-entry after pesticide application
  • odour and vapour
  • spraying within a certain distance of a property boundary or dwelling (buffer zones)

Even if you are not required to notify neighbours about any pesticides you are about to use, this is good practice and can help to avoid complaints or disputes. In particular

  • inform the managers of nearby sensitive places such as hospitals, schools and childcare centres so they can take steps to make sure the area is avoided if necessary
  • advise parents and patients that a pesticide application is coming up

Under Part 5 of the Pesticides Regulation 2017, you must notify

Resources

Under Part 4 of the Pesticides Regulation 2017, you must make and keep a record of every pesticide application you make.

You must record

  • who applied the pesticide, for example, if a contractor or employee applied the pesticide, the contractor or employee needs to record their name as well as the name, address and contact details of their employer
  • what pesticide was applied
  • how, when and where it was applied
  • what it was applied to and how much was applied
  • an estimate of the wind speed and direction if the pesticide was applied outdoors using spray equipment - the Bureau of Meteorology website has a Beaufort Scale that can be used to assist in recording wind speed for pesticide record keeping purposes

The record must be made within 48 hours of using the pesticide and kept for 3 years.

Another person can make the record for you but it is your responsibility to ensure is accurate.

Resources

In NSW, the misuse of pesticides may be subject to

  • large fines of up to $120,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a corporation
  • penalty notices for lesser offences of up to $400 for an individual and $800 for a corporation

If any waterways are polluted

  • large fines apply of up to $120,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a corporation
  • penalty notices apply for less serious offences of up to $750 for an individual and $1500 for a corporation
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