SQC Advises all Growers to Keep Within the Law

26th August 2016

SQC Advises all Growers to Keep Within the Law


To ensure growers keep within the SQC (Scottish Quality Crops) Scheme Standards, allowing the marketing of Assured crop, it is imperative that all growers are aware of current regulation regarding sprayer operators.


Sprayer Operator Qualifications

All farmers and sprayer operators should be aware that Grandfather Rights for Spray Operators (GFRS) was replaced by the City & Guilds NPTC Level 2 Award in “Safe Use of Pesticides Replacing Grandfather Rights”; this qualification became compulsory as of the 26th November 2015.  

This applies to those individuals who were born on or before the 31st December 1964 and who are currently applying plant protection products authorised for professional use on crops, land, produce, materials, and buildings which are owned, occupied or rented by them or their employer.


It is stressed that a “Certificate of Sprayer Training” on its own is not acceptable.


Alternatively and for operators born after 31st December 1964 a PA1 & 2 is required for sprayer operators, plus a PA 4S for Slug Pellet applicators and a PA 4G for Granule applicators. A PA 6 will also be required for Knapsack use if it’s being used for the application of “professional products” (including spot spraying or tidy up sprays around the farm).


If a product is applied to crop in the field by an unqualified operator that crop would become non- assured, as this is a “non-compliance” and cannot be corrected.


Further details on all of the pesticide application qualifications can be obtained from your local training provider.


If sprayer operators wish to check on their current certification status they can check with City & Guilds on 024766857300 (only the operator can check on their own status)

SQC strongly advise all operators to check their Operator Status on all qualifications including PA 4 & 6, as all Certificate of Competence holders do not have this included in their qualification.



New Sprayer Legislation

New legislation is coming in by 26th November 2016 where pesticide application equipment over 5 years old, must be inspected at regular intervals.


This legislation will affect sprayers with booms greater than 3 metres which must be inspected at least once by 2016, at intervals of no more than 5 years between 2016 and 2020, and no more than 3 years after 2020.   Knapsack sprayers and handheld equipment are an exception.


NSTS is delegated as the body to test application equipment in the UK, simply visit the NSTS website and choose your nearest or preferred test centre to carry out the test.


The cost is dependent on machine size and complexity and each test centre will be able to advise their own particular costs.



The above non-conformances will lead to a Major non Compliance, which will be impossible to retrospectively correct leading crop being non assured. This non-assured crop will be difficult to market and significantly de valued.

Take action if you have not already.