The qualification covers the legal requirements related to the application of a granular pesticide (PA4G) or slug pellets (PA4S), as well as maintenance of equipment, how to store pesticides, handling, application, disposal of contaminated waste, health and safety and procedures to minimise any environmental contamination and pollution. It is relevant to all those working in a land-based situation (agriculture, horticulture, landscaping, weed control, etc).
The PA4S unit reflects the ongoing concern relating to metaldehyde based slug pellets in particular and will ensure that successful candidates have a thorough understanding of the environmental impact of slug pellets, as well as the usual machine preparation and calibration etc.
The PA4S unit is designed primarily to accommodate nematicide granules being applied by any mounted or trailed machine and again reflects the potential hazards to both humans and the environment.
There are two assessments; the first is PA1, a foundation unit covering legislation through the approved code of practice. This is a computer based multiple choice test and candidates get their results at the end of the test. Once PA1 has been achieved candidates must take the application unit, either PA4S or PA4G depending on the type of pesticide to used ie slug pellets - PA4s; or granules - PA4G. This is a practical test where the assessor observes the candidate completing a series of tasks relevent to their choice of applicator, use of the applicator and asks questions to check understanding. At the end of the assessment the candidate will know if they are successful or not.
Many candidates take a training course to make sure that they have the knowledge, skills and resources to be successful at assessment. Training can be provided through independent training providers, colleges or local training groups.
A selection of training providers are listed at nptc.org.uk
These are training providers who are part of CPTC ltd:
Duchy College - duchy.ac.uk
Kensey Training - kenseytraining.co.uk
Kernow Training - kernowtraininggroup.co.uk
Lyhner Training - lynhertraining.co.uk