Pest Control Training in Ireland
In this section:
1) New legislation: mandatory pest control licence
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.
2) Requirements to obtain a licence (or "PMU" number)
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“.
3) Booking training/examination for the pest control licence (PMU)
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. There was three courses held in 2018, in July, September, and November. Three in 2019: January, August, November. In 2020 the lockdowns didn’t make it possible to run courses.
Note: The course can only run if we have enough candidates to break-even (min. 8-10 participants)
2021: Most classrooms courses are on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- PestNI will organise a course at the Pillo Hotel in Ashbourne as soon as travel restrictions are no longer in place. It is important to register your interest with PestNI so there are enough participants to run the course.
- Meanwhile the IPCA will run several Lantra course & examination completely online in during 2021. You can contact the IPCA office for more details.
- For IASIS Lantra courses please check the IASIS website.
4) Can a trainee work without pest control licence?
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).
5) Got my Lantra Certificate: How to apply for a pest control licence?
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).
6) Keeping your PMU: mandatory Continuous Professional Development scheme (CPD)
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.