Pesticide Education, Training and Certification

Education of those individuals who sell (vendors) and apply (applicators) pesticides is a key element in promoting the responsible use of pesticides to protect human health and the environment.  The provinces/territories are responsible for the training and certification of pesticide vendors and applicators. Pesticide training and certification programs across Canada are based on the Standard for Pesticide Education, Training and Certification in Canada.

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Standard for Pesticide Education, Training and Certification in Canada

The Standard for Pesticide Education, Training and Certification in Canada (referred to as the National Standard) outlines the structure and criteria for provincial/territorial certification programs and is made up of three main parts: the Framework, the Applicator Basic Knowledge Requirements and the Vendor/Dispenser Basic Knowledge Requirements. Both the Applicator and Vendor/Dispenser Basic Knowledge Requirements are further broken into category specific modules.

The National Standard is not a training manual itself. It is intended primarily for provincial pesticide regulators and trainers for use in developing their own courses, training manuals and examinations.

Framework (Part 1) (Revised, 2005 Edition)

The Framework is an overview document which describes the development, purpose, scope, and parts of the National Standard. It also includes information on common terminology associated with certification, pesticide certification categories, basic knowledge requirements for applicators and vendors, criteria for their certification and re-certification, and provincial/territorial reciprocity requirements.

Applicator Basic Knowledge Requirements (Part 2)

This part outlines the knowledge required to use pesticides. It is made up of an Applicator Core (Revised, 2003 Edition) and 10 category specific modules. The Applicator Core contains information relevant for all pesticide applicators. The category specific modules contain information related to specialized areas of application. There are ten categories common across Canada:

  • Aerial Module - Revised, 2005 Edition
  • Agriculture Module
  • Aquatic Vegetation Module
  • Forestry Module
  • Fumigation Module
  • Greenhouse Module
  • Industrial Vegetation Module
  • Landscape Module - Revised, 2004 Edition
  • Mosquito and Biting Flies Module - Revised, 2007 Edition
  • Structural Module - Revised, 2005 Edition

Vendor/Dispenser Basic Knowledge Requirements (Part 3)

This part outlines the knowledge required to sell pesticides. The Vendor/Dispenser Core contains information relevant for all vendors. The Vendor/Dispenser Module contains additional information for vendors who sell federally classified commercial and restricted pesticides.

Pesticide Education, Training and Certification Working Group

The Pesticide Education, Training and Certification Working Group (WGPETC) is responsible for the National Standard and related pesticide education initiatives. The WGPETC is comprised of federal/provincial/territorial representatives involved in pesticide regulation and education and reports to the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Committee on Pest Management and Pesticides. The WGPETC works with professional applicator associations, medical organizations and other stakeholders in developing and maintaining the National Standard.

For additional information on the National Standard or the Working Group on Pesticide Education, Training and Certification, contact the Pesticide Education, Training and Certification Working Group.

Provincial and Territorial Pesticide Certification Programs

Each province has its own certification program for pesticide applicators and vendors. These programs are regulated by the provincial pesticide regulatory agencies but may be delivered via educational institutions. The territories do not have their own certification programs, but recognize certification from other provinces. Please contact the appropriate provincial or territorial pesticide regulatory agency for further information.

National Pesticide Certification Manuals

National certification manuals, based on the National Standard, are being developed. These manuals will provide for improved consistency and harmonization of pesticide certification programs across Canada.

National Aerial Pesticide Application Manual

This manual contains national information applicable for aerial pesticide application in Canada. It also contains a section entitled "Province Specific Information", which includes aerial information that is specific to each province. Provinces will add their own province specific information section into the manual when printing. It is the responsibility of the aerial applicator to ensure they obtain the province specific information section of the National Aerial Manual and appropriate certification from each province in which they anticipate working.

The National Aerial Pesticide Application Manual must be used in conjunction with a provincial Applicator Core Manual. These two manuals together are to be used as training and reference manuals for individuals wishing to become certified for aerial pesticide application.

A partial version of the National Aerial Pesticide Application Manual is posted on this Web site. Printed copies of the complete manual are available through the provincial pesticide regulatory agencies.

Pesticide Education Initiatives

NAFTA Applicator Core Exam Project

Canada and the United States are involved in a joint project to develop a common applicator core exam for North American pesticide applicators. The development of this exam will follow a standardized and validated process to ensure the resultant exam is both professionally sound and legally defensible. Alberta piloted the exam in 2003. Other provinces/territories will be implementing the exam on a voluntary basis.

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