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Course Information & Safe Use of Pesticides

There are several different courses that cover sprayer training. The methods are dependent upon what you wish to spray. Machinery you may use can vary from a Knapsack Sprayer, through to a Field Crop Sprayer etc.
Legislation requires that people using pesticides must have received adequate instruction, and in certain circumstances must undergo assessment and acquire a certificate of competence.
These courses are designed to comply with the new code of practice specifying the knowledge and skills required of a competent operator.
The courses support learning towards achievement of a FEPA Certificate of Competence for the Foundation module (PA1) and appropriate application module e.g. PA6A. Trainees are encouraged to read through the literature provided on the course, and practice their skills in the company of a qualified work colleague.
Attending the training course does not guarantee that candidates will pass first time!

IMPORTANT: After training, a practical NPTC assessment must be made on each piece of equipment intended to be used. NPTC Assessments are organised separately through the National Proficiency Test Council. East Kent Training will advise and help you with the arrangements of your tests following the training, or contact any assessment centre directly. 

PA1 Safe Use Of Pesticides

Legislation has been enacted to regulate all aspects of pesticide use. Any one who is intending to use pesticides should attend this course to stay within the law, and to protect themselves, other people & flora & fauna.
The course is designed for all those involved with the storage, handling and application of pesticides using hand held applicators (knapsack sprayers). The course requires reading and interpretation of written material, plus numeracy in order to calculate callibrations.
This course covers information gained in the classroom, workshop & practical use. 

  • Be familiar with the requirements for the use of appropriate personal protective clothing.

  • Know how to use your equipment safely

  • Instruction can be carried out on your own machine.

  • Know what to do in the event of an accident or emergency.

  • Carry out pre start checks according to the operators manual, cleaning and carrying out routine maintenance of the equipment.

  • Understand the safety precautions.

  • Transportation, storage & disposal.

Safe Use (Foundation Module) - one day
Application Modules - up to two days depending on aptitude and experience.

Either prior to or during the PA1 training course, candidates will complete a National Proficiency Test Council (NPTC) Test registration form.

PA1 Testing

As of 1 January 2006, the PA1 Foundation module is a computer-based assessment using the City & Guilds GOLA system. Depending on location, candidates may either visit a college with such a computer testing facility, or an invigilator may bring the test to the candidate downloaded onto a laptop. Candidates must be registered for assessment at least 48 hours prior to the test being available.

The test is multiple choice with 32 questions. Candidates will need to get a minimum of 24 correct answers (equating to 75% pass rate), which must include a minimum of one question correctly answered in each of the 7 sections.

Candidates are given a 10 minute tutorial in how to navigate the GOLA screens and the function of all the buttons, which is prior to the start of the test. The test itself is 1 hour in duration. Candidates can apply for 25% extra time (15 minutes) to allow for dyslexia or other mitigating circumstances. This special dispensation must be requested 2 weeks before the test to allow time for the approval process.

The successful achievement of PA1 is a pre-requisite for any of the application modules.
Once candidates have been successful in PA1 they can take the test for a subsequent module such as PA6a. This is a practical test. 

After a successful test, the form is sent to the NPTC at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, who issue the certificate of competence/identity card.Certificates are always returned to the individuals, NOT the employer. You can, however, ask NPTC to inform employers when certificates are issued.

CAREFUL MONITORING IS REQUIRED for test application and later receipt of the certificate. To ensure the procedure is followed may need tight control. Some employers find that if left to the individual, schedules are lost, certificates are not always applied for, or are not seen and copied for Health & Safety records.

Further information on the NPTC PA1 GOLA testing, including sample questions and answers, can be found on go to ‘Latest News’, then ‘GOLA info’, then ‘Sample Test Questions’.

Pesticides: Service

Application Modules - Handheld / Knapsack

PA6 Knapsack Sprayer 

This course covers the complete process including preparation for use, nozzle selection and calibration through to safe operating procedures to cleaning & storage.
Trainees practice using their own equipment under instruction
Trainees need to have completed training in PA1 Safe Use of Pesticides.

Pesticides: Service

Application Module - Field Crop Sprayer

PA2 Field Or Ground Crop Sprayer 

Trainees undertake this course to comply with legal requirements for the safe application of pesticides using a Field or Ground Crop Sprayer 
Trainees need to have completed training in PA1 Safe Use of Pesticides.

Pesticides: Service

Other Application Modules

PA3 Air Assisted Sprayer 

This course is designed for those who wish to spray trees, bushes hops & vines.
Trainees need to have completed training in PA1 Safe Use of Pesticides.

PA4S Granular Applicator Training & SPS Seminar

This one day course covers how to apply granular pesticides safely and efficiently
There is also an additional environmental assessment (SPS) which is carried out on the seminar
How to store pesticides.
Trainees need to have completed training in PA1 Safe Use of Pesticides before attending this course
Trainees who have not completed their practical tests will also need to have this arranged.

PA9 Fogging Misting & Smokes 

This course covers how to apply pesticides safely and efficiently
How to store pesticides.
Trainees need to have completed training in PA1 Safe Use of Pesticides.

PA10 Batch Dipping 

This course covers how to dip pesticides safely 
How to store pesticides.
Trainees need to have completed training in PA1 Safe Use of Pesticides.

PA12 Application by Conveyor 

This course covers how to apply pesticides safely by conveyor
How to store pesticides.
Trainees need to have completed training in PA1 Safe Use of Pesticides.


Pesticides: Service
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