Pest Control Training in Ireland

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The EU Biocide Directive has brought a lot of changes for Pest Control Companies in 2018, all driven by increased restrictions on the use of Professional rodenticides (i.e. rat and mice poison).

Specifically, since 01/01/2018, all pest control operators or other individuals buying or using professional rodenticides must hold a valid licence or “PMU number”. The new rodenticide product labels clearly indicate this legal requirement, as we can see below in the first paragraph of the new Vertox Oktablock II rodenticide label:

Not for sale to the general public or any person other than trained professionals. Trained professional users must register with DAFM as a “Trained Professional – Pest Management Professional” (PMU) and must present their PMU No. at the point of sale to purchase this product for use only as specified on the label.

Using a biocide contrary to the label instructions is an offence.

The only qualification accepted by the DAFM (Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine) is an Ofqual Level 3 course in pest management. Currently the Lantra “Level 3 Award in Pest Management Services – Trained Professional User” is the only course available. It is a 5-day course divided onto 3 modules and 3 examinations, including a practical assessment and multiple-choice exam.

Topics covered include:

  • Biology and Control of Invertebrate Pests
  • The Biology and Control of Rodent Pests
  • Other Vertebrate Pests Biology and Control
  • Practical Skills for the Management of Invertebrate and Vertebrate Pests

After obtaining their qualification, trainees can apply to the DAFM for a full PMU number, and then purchase biocides and work without restriction. Only individuals receive a PMU number, not Companies.

In the meantime, the DAFM can issue a “Temporary PMU” for a period of up to 9 months, with a number of restrictions, so trainee pest controllers can gain experience before undertaking the Lantra course. For this, you will need to apply for a “Temporary PMU”, selecting in the drop-down menu “Pest Management Trainee“.

Since the beginning of the DAFM rules in 2018, Owl Pest Control has been facilitating independent training for the “Lantra Level 3 Award in Pest Management Services” course, by providing FREE training rooms at our office, in small groups of 10-15 trainees.

2018: There was three Lantra courses held in 2018, in July, September, and November.

2019: Three Lantra courses as well in 2019: January, August, November.

2020: In 2020 the lockdowns and travel restrictions didn’t make it possible to run courses.

2021: Although most classrooms courses are on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic, PestNI will try to organise three courses at the Pillo Hotel in Ashbourne subject to the lifting of travel restrictions. It is essential to register your interest with PestNI so there are enough participants to run the course.

The Pilo Hotel has large conference rooms allowing social distancing.  
For course contents, dates and booking forms – Click on the following links: 
  1. LANTRA PEST MANAGEMENT DIPLOMA (Level 3 Basic Entry Trained Professional User) PMU – September 2021
  2. ADVANCED TECHNICIAN /Technical Inspector in Pest Management ROI” (3 Month Programme) – October 2021
  3. CERTIFIED FIELD BIOLOGIST Programme – Early 2022

2021: Currently only the IPCA offer the Lantra course & examination completely online. Several sessions have already occurred this year.

  • Latest IPCA/LANTRA Level 3 Diploma in Pest Management Services- Trained Professional User started on Monday, June 14th.

If anyone needs to repeat exams from previous courses they should indicate which sections they need to repeat and do them as well.

You must confirm your expression of interest for any course / repeat exam by email: so the IPCA can get you the necessary paperwork and online login details, etc.

At no extra cost, the IPCA also include the certification “CRRU-IASIS Wildlife Aware” Training Course, Certification and Accreditation” for anyone that passes unit 1.

The learners will get a log in to the modules upon payment and have access to all modules which they can view in their own time, they can review any sections they wish.

There will be some live online sessions with a tutor to answer any questions and carry out a review of materials and exam technique. The exam will take place online.

Upon receipt of your application, the IPCA can provide more details on the process.

  • The first online training Tutorial workshop will be  covering the first 11 modules with an online exam – Paper 1 & Paper 2.
  • The second tutorial Workshop will cover the rest of the modules, with exam Paper 3 and Online Practical.

All dates times to be confirmed before course commences. Places are limited so you must register your interest as soon as possible.

Anyone who wishes to repeat units they failed previously can repeat their exams on the relevant days.

Course Fees:

  • IPCA Members €650
  • Jobseekers €850
  • Non – Members €1000

Course fees include – access to online course material, live tutorials, examination & certification.

Below are the topics that will be covered in each section.

 Section A

  • Module 1            Rodent Behaviour Damage
  • Module 2            Rodenticides
  • Module 3            Rodent Biology
  • Module 4            Rodent control – an IPM approach
  • Module 5            Rodenticides & Environment
  • Module 6            Wildlife Species & Rodenticides
  • Module 7            Sewer Rodent Control
  • Module 8            Rodent Site Survey & Risk Assessment

  Section B                              

  • Module 9             Other Vertebrates – Mammals                           
  • Module 10           Other Vertebrates – Birds                              
  • Module 11           Other Vertebrates Control

 Section C

  • Module 12            Introduction to Invertebrates
  • Module 13            Flying Insects – Diptera 1
  • Module 14            Flying Insects – Diptera 2
  • Module 15            Ants, Wasps and Bees
  • Module 16            Arthropods non-chemical control 1
  • Module 17           Arthropods non-chemical control 2
  • Module 18           Cockroaches
  • Module 19          Arthropods Chemical Control
  • Module 20           Parasites
  • Module 21         Ambient Arthropods
  • Module 22           Stored product and structural insects 1
  • Module 23            Stored product and structural insects 2
  • Module 24           Stored product and structural insects 3
  • Codes of Practice and Standards
  • Report Writing & PRACTICAL ASSESSMENT 1 (Rodents)
  • Report Writing & PRACTICAL ASSESSMENT 2 ( Vertebrates & Invertebrates)

You can contact the IPCA office for more details.

pest control student

The DAFM can give a Temporary PMU number to new entrants to the pest control industry for a period of up to 9 months. This is in order to allow time for “on the job” training and completion of the Lantra course. There are a number of rules / restrictions with the temporary PMU number:

  • The trainee must work under direct supervision of a licensed trainer (PMU for 2+ years) for a period of 2 weeks
  • A training plan must be submitted to the DAFM, including training records and proof of registration to an upcoming Lantra Level 3 course
  • A Pest Control trainee can only carry out repeat visits and cannot conduct site assessments until registered as a full PMU
  • A trainee must observe a PMU carry out method/technique applications of biocidal products and then carry out a minimum of 4 treatments himself under direct supervision in order to carry out repeat visits on his/her own

For full details on rules and record keeping requirements click here:


Apply for a Temporary PMU Number here. (select  “Pest Management Trainee” in the drop-down menu).

After Pest Control trainees pass their exams and receives a Certificate from Lantra, they can finally register and apply for a PMU Number with the DAFM Pesticide Registration and Control Division (PRCD). The application is made by filling out a form online.

Apply for a full PMU Number here. (select  “Pest Management User” in the drop-down menu).

As with many other industries, in order to keep your licence you must partake in a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) or “Continuous Professional Education” (CPE) pest control scheme recognised by the DAFM.

Every calendar year, The DAFM-PRCD reviews the CPD points earned for each licensed pest controller in Ireland. It is mandatory to have all the required points in order to keep the licence (PMU number) active.

There are three recognised Pest Control CPD schemes in Ireland at present:

BASIS PROMPT is the most established scheme (Est. 1978) with over 4,000 members between the UK and Ireland. It has the benefits of a wide range of CPD materials (exhibitions, online and classroom training, magazines, forums, etc.) and several full-time staff members to run it.

Read our article for more information about BASIS PROMPT, how to register and examples of how to get CPD points.


Contact Owl Pest Control

Do you need training advice?

Do you work in Pest Control and need pest control supplies? Get advice or request a trade catalogue today!


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