Pest management technicians, fumigators and training permits

There are specific 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 use pesticides or fumigants in your work, you need a pest management technician licence or fumigator licence.
  • If you are a trainee pest management technician or fumigator you will be required to hold a training permit.
  • If you treat termites or other timber pests, a timber pest management technician licence or training permit will be needed from 17 December 2023 for new applicants or when existing licensees renew if after that date.
  • If you are applying for more than one licence type you must meet the training requirements for each.
  • All pesticide licences issued by the EPA in NSW are placed on a public register.
  • SafeWork NSW regulates work health and safety matters – call SafeWork NSW on 131 050.

Other types of pesticide licences

If you provide services that use pesticides (other than fumigants) to control weeds or pests affecting plants or soil you are required to hold a ground applicator licence and if you apply pesticides from an aircraft you will need an aerial applicator licence.

Clause 6 of the Pesticides Regulation 2017 contains more information on what is considered ‘prescribed work’ and therefore requires a licence.

A pest management technician licence allows you to apply pesticides (other than fumigants) to control pests for a fee or reward or for a public authority. This licence currently allows you to conduct commercial termite treatments while a new timber pest management technician licence is being phased in. See the 'Timber pest management technician licence including training requirements' accordion for more information.

You can apply for a Pest Management Technician licence using eConnect NSW now. 

Training requirements

To obtain a standard Pest Management Technician licence, you must complete all of the following core competencies from the CPP Property Services Training Package (formerly PRM04 Asset Management Training Package):

  • CPPUPM3005 Manage pests without applying pesticides or CPPPMT3005 Manage pests without applying pesticides
  • CPPUPM3006 Manage pests by applying pesticides or CPPPMT3006 Manage pests by applying pesticides
  • CPPUPM3018 Maintain equipment and pesticide storage area in pest management vehicles or CPPPMT3018 Maintain equipment and pesticide storage area in pest management vehicles 

Note that:

  • TAFE NSW offers training covering the above competencies.
  • Other registered training organisations also offer training under the CPP Property Services Training Package - visit www.training.gov.au
  • Completion of the AQF level 3 chemical competencies that are required as the base training for unlicensed pesticides users does not meet the training requirements for a Pest Management Technician licence.
  • There is no requirement to refresh training as long as your licence remains current.
  • There may be additional training and usage requirements specified in pesticide control orders for using pesticides in NSW.

A new timber pest management technician licence is being phased in for NSW. After the dates below it will be needed for treating termites and other timber pests – it will also allow you to do non-timber pest control work.

  • If you held a pest management technician licence before 17 December 2021, you can continue undertaking commercial timber pest treatments with that licence until it expires or until 17 December 2023, whichever date is later.
  • If you renewed or first got our licence on or after 17 December 2021 you will need the timber pest management technician licence for treating timber pests from 17 December 2023.

Extra training is needed

To obtain a timber pest management technician licence, you must have completed the training needed for a pest management technician licence plus plus extra nationally recognised training in timber pest control.

Current training consists of these 2 units of competency:

  • CPPUPM3008 Inspect for and report on timber pests and CPPUPM3010 Control timber pests OR
  • CPPPMT3008 Inspect for and report on timber pests and CPPPMT3010 Control timber pests.

The following earlier versions of this training are acceptable for existing licence holders:

  • CPPPMT3008A Inspect and report on timber pests and CPPPMT3010A Control timber pests, or
  • PRMPM08B Inspect and report on timber pests and PRMPM10B Control timber pests, or
  • PRMPM08A Inspect and report on timber pests and PRMPM10A Control timber pests

This training is the national standard and is now required in other states and territories.

If you’ve already done the above timber pest training

To switch to the new licence, go to eConnect EPA and select the option of 'Vary a pesticide licence'. You will need to be able to upload a copy of the transcript of your qualification showing the competencies you have achieved, so contact your training organisation if you need a fresh copy.

If you propose to do timber pest training

If you hold a pest management technician licence and wish to train for the timber pest management licence, you do not need to take out a training permit. However, you will need to follow other trainee requirements including being appropriately supervised by an experienced licence holder for timber pest control work.

Note that:

  • Various registered training organisations offer training covering the above timber pest competencies under the CPP Property Services Training Package - visit www.training.gov.au

If you only do inspections for timber pests

If you are only doing timber pest inspections and not using any pesticides there is no requirement to hold a licence from the EPA. However, if you decide to undertake control of termites or other timber pests using pesticides then all the training and licence requirements outlined above will apply.

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

You can apply for a Fumigator licence using eConnect NSW.  

Training requirements

To obtain a Fumigator licence you must complete training that includes one of the following core competencies within the CPP Property Services Training Package:

  • CPPUPM3011 Manage organisms by applying fumigants to commodities and environments or the superseded unit CPPPMT3011 Manage organisms by applying fumigants to commodities and environments.

Previous training based on earlier competencies from the CPP Property Services Training Package (formerly the PRM04 Asset Management Training Package) is also acceptable, but you must have completed both of the following superseded competencies:

  • CPPPMT3006A Apply pesticides to manage pests or CPPUPM3006 Manage pests by applying pesticides, and
  • CPPPMT3011A Conduct fumigation

Note that:

  • TAFE NSW offers training covering the CPPUPM3011 - Manage organisms by applying fumigants to commodities and environments competency. This replaces the previous Fumigation Operations course.
  • Other registered training organisations may offer training under the CPP Property Services Training Package – visit www.training.gov.au.
  • Completion of the AQF level 3 competencies that are required as the base training for unlicensed pesticides users does not meet the training requirements for a Fumigator licence.
  • There is no requirement to refresh training as long as your licence remains current.
  • There may be additional training and usage requirements specified in pesticide control orders for using pesticide in NSW.

If you wish to undertake fumigation, pest management technician work or timber pest management work and do not hold the relevant licence, you may only do that work if you obtain a training permit and are concurrently undertaking an approved course of training for your fumigation or pest management technician work. Training permits will also be needed for timber pest management technician work from 17 December 2023, unless you already have a pest management technician licence in which case all other trainee requirements must still be followed.

The fee for the application of a training permit made on or after 1 July 2022 is $170.00. 

You can apply for a Training Permit using eConnect NSW

An ‘approved course of training’ for trainee pest management technicians means completing the following units of competency in the CPP Property Services Training Package:

  • CPPUPM3005 Manage pests without applying pesticides or CPPPMT3005 Manage pests without applying pesticides
  • CPPUPM3006 Manage pests by applying pesticides or CPPPMT3006 Manage pests by applying pesticides
  • CPPUPM3018 Maintain equipment and pesticide storage area in pest management vehicles or CPPPMT3018 Maintain equipment and pesticide storage area in pest management vehicles.

An ‘approved course of training’ for trainees wishing to do timber pest management technician work means completing all of the above units plus both the following units of competency in the CPP Property Services Training Package:

  • CPPUPM3008 Inspect for and report on timber pests or CPPPMT3008 Inspect for and report on timber pests
  • CPPUPM3010 Control timber pests or CPPPMT3010 Control timber pests.

An ‘approved course of training’ for trainee fumigators means completing one of the following units of competency in the CPP Property Services Training Package:

  • CPPUPM3011 Manage organisms by applying fumigants to commodities and environments or CPPPMT3011 Manage organisms by applying fumigants to commodities and environments.

Visit Training.gov.au for more details on these units of competency and registered training organisations approved to deliver them.

Transitioning from a training permit to a full licence

If you have completed your training as a pest management technician, timber pest management technician or fumigator, you can apply for your full licence with eConnect.

You can apply for the full licence shortly before your training permit expires by using the ‘Training permit holders - apply for a Pesticide licence’ option. You will pay the full licence fee and it will be valid for 1 or 5 years depending on your selection.

If it is still a significant amount of time before the training permit expires you have two options:

  • pay and apply for a full licence and get credited the outstanding prorated amount from the training permit towards the cost of the full licence, or
  • apply for a licence which expires after the date that the training permit was issued and pay any pro-rata balance of the licence fee.

NOTE: If you hold a permit for both pest management technician/timber pest management technician and fumigator work you can only apply for the licence for which you have completed the required training.

Requirements for trainee supervision

You can only supervise a trainee if you hold a pest management technician, timber pest management technician or fumigator licence corresponding to the type of work being done by the trainee. If you do not have a licence, or the right type of 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, 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.

Note that new trainees must hold a training permit.

However, if an operator already holds a pest management technician licence and is training to upgrade to a timber pest management technician licence, no training permit is required but all the other training requirements must be followed.

You can only supervise a trainee if you hold a pest management technician. timber pest management technician or fumigator licence corresponding to the type of work being done by the trainee. If you do not have a licence, or the right type of 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.

Note that new trainees must hold a Training Permit.

However, if an operator already holds a pest management technician licence and is training to upgrade to a timber pest management technician licence, no Training Permit is required but all the other training requirements must be followed.

You do not need a licence if:

  • your pesticide use is only for the selling, testing, maintaining or disposing of equipment used in licenced work
  • your fumigation work is carried out on your own or employer's farmland and only for the control of insect pests in stored products or for the control of rabbits, mice or rats
  • if you are licenced under the NSW Home Building Act to use waterproofing products that contain pesticides (such as membranes or blankets) you do not need a licence from the EPA.

For more details consult clause 8 to 12 of the Pesticides Regulation 2017.

In addition, there are currently two exemptions issued by the EPA from the requirement to hold a pest management technician or fumigator licence. The exemptions are for:

  • the use of pesticides on timber power poles by staff or contractors of an Electricity Distributor to control termites and other timber pests 
  • trained staff of Local Land Services and National Parks and Wildlife Service to use phosphine and chloropicrin fumigants for the control of mice, rats or rabbits. 

These exemptions are available on the NSW legislation website.

To be exempt from holding a licence for the activities above, you must hold the chemical user accreditation as stated in the exemption order and meet all other requirements of the Pesticides Regulation 2017, including pesticide use notification and record keeping requirements.

Applications for all pesticides licences may be submitted online using eConnect EPA.

To apply for a licence, supply:

  • proof of identity and age (you must be 18 years old or older)
  • copies of the statement of attainment or qualifications from a registered training organisation as proof you have successfully completed the training
  • a passport-size high quality photograph of your face and shoulders
  • the fee for a 5-year licence application made on or after 1 July 2022 is $425, applicable to each licence type. You must indicate on the application each licence type you are applying for, and you will be issued one card for multiple licence types.

Note that:

  • the fee can be paid by credit card or EFT
  • fees are subject to a Consumer 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 1 or 5 years depending on your selection.

If you have a current occupational interstate licence, permit or certificate of competency for pest management technician or fumigator work you can also apply using eConnect. You will still have to provide:

  • proof of identity and age (you must be 18 years old or older)
  • a passport-size high quality photograph of your face and shoulders
  • a copy of your interstate licence(s)
  • 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.

Automatic mutual recognition of pesticides licences issued in other states does not currently apply in NSW. 

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 for a 5-year licence is $425 for applications made on or after 1 July 2022. The EPA will send current licence holders a reminder notice and a renewal application form in the months before the expiry date.

You can apply to renew your licence using eConnect EPA.

If your licence has been lost, damaged, destroyed or stolen, complete the licence replacement application form. The cost of replacing your licence is $26 for applications made on or after 1 July 2022. You can also use this form if your licence contains a printing error or was not received (there is no charge for this).

Before applying a pesticide

  • think about any non-chemical ways you could use to control a pest – see non-chemical pest management strategies
  • choose the least persistent and least toxic chemical when you can
  • identify any additional requirements for compulsory training, supervision, notification and record keeping.

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 to 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 APVMA 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).

If you are working for a public authority in an outdoor public place you should check whether you need to provide notice in accordance with the authority's pesticide use notification plan.

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
  • name, address and contact details of the owner or occupier of the land on which the pesticide was applied
  • the full product name of the pesticide
  • how, when (date and time - start/finish) and where it was applied
  • what it was applied to and how much (including rate and quantity) was applied
  • a description of the equipment used to apply the pesticide
  • 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 it 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 $750 for an individual and $1500 for a corporation

If any waterways are polluted, offences may be subject to prosecution, large fines and penalty notices under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

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