Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Chemicals and pesticides

decc.web.BreadCrumb:An error occurred while parsing EntityName. Line 1, position 366.

Pesticide licensing requirements for specific businesses and individuals: Questions and answers

Pest management technicians and people employed by pest management businesses who undertake pest control and fumigation work require a licence. This webpage answers some common questions about licensing requirements.

To download an application form, please visit the pesticide licensing page.

Aerial applicators of pesticides have different licensing requirements – for more information, visit the aerial applicators of pesticides page.

What licences do I need to carry out pest management technician and fumigator work in New South Wales?

If you do pest management technician work, you need to hold a Pest Management Technician licence. If you do fumigation work you will need a Fumigator licence. Both licences are issued by the EPA. Visit the pesticide licensing page for more details.

If your work involves the aerial application of pesticides, you will need to meet specific licensing requirements – visit the aerial applicator page for more information.

Why has the WorkCover certificate of competency been replaced by an EPA licence?

The licensing arrangement for pest management technicians and fumigators was transferred from WorkCover NSW to the EPA on 1 September 2015. The change is in accordance with the May 2013 Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Intergovernmental Agreement. On 13 May 2015, the NSW Parliament passed the Pesticides Amendment Bill 2015 to enable the transfer of these licences from WorkCover NSW to the NSW EPA. The aim is to make work health and safety reforms nationally consistent and to harmonise existing licensing, training and record keeping requirements for pesticide users across Australia. All Australian states and territories now administer pesticide and fumigant certification under environmental or public health legislation.

If I carry out both pest management technician and fumigation work is there a combined licence I can apply for?

No. You cannot apply for one licence for both pest management and fumigation work.

There are two licence types:

  • Pest Management Technician (PMT) 
  • Fumigator (FUM)

If you are applying for both, you will need to fill in separate applications for each licence (both are valid for 5 years).

If you have applied for both licence types at the same time, you will be issued one licence card indicating both licence types.

How do I apply for a Pest Management Technician licence and/or Fumigator licence?

Application forms can be found on the pesticides licensing page.

All applications are to be made to the EPA. Please send them by post only to:

Chemicals and Radiation Licensing Unit
NSW EPA, PO Box A290
Sydney South, NSW 1232.

You are required to post two passport photos (these cannot be faxed or scanned) per application with the form and payment (details on the form). New applicants must provide evidence of a relevant pest management technician/fumigator training qualification obtained from a registered training organisation (RTO). Please refer to the training requirements fact sheet (PDF 155KB).

What will happen to my existing WorkCover certificate of competency?

Existing certificates of competency issued by WorkCover NSW will continue to be valid until they expire and upon expiry you will need to apply for them to be renewed as an EPA licence. There is no need to apply to the EPA to convert your certificate of competency to a licence. The EPA will advise you with a reminder letter when you need to renew your certificate of competency – upon renewal, the certificate will be replaced by an EPA licence.

My WorkCover certificate of competency is about to expire. What do I need to do?

From 1 September 2015, the EPA will be issuing licences, rather than certificates of competency, for pest management technicians and fumigators. You must apply for an EPA licence within 60 days after the expiry of your certificate of competency or licence if you are carrying out such work. The EPA will send current pest management technicians and fumigators a reminder notice in the months before the expiry date. Visit the main pesticides licensing page for information on how to renew.

I have recently sent a new or renewal application to WorkCover NSW. Will I need to complete another application for the EPA?

If your application was sent to WorkCover NSW during August 2015, the application may be forwarded to the EPA to process and WorkCover NSW will notify you of this. 
You will not be required to complete a new application and send it to the EPA. The EPA will accept applications submitted prior to 1 September 2015 on the WorkCover NSW form.

What training and qualifications do I need to show when applying for a Pest Management Technician or Fumigator licence?

Pest management technician licence

To obtain a new Pest Management Technician licence, you must submit with your application evidence of the successful completion of the following core competencies within the CPP Property Services Training Package (formerly PRM04 Asset Management Training Package):

  • CPPPMT3005A Modify environment to manage pests (formerly PRMPM05B) or CPPPMT3005 Manage pests without applying pesticides
  • CPPPMT3006A Apply pesticides to manage pests (formerly PRMPM06B) or CPPPMT3006 Manage pests by applying pesticides
  • CPPPMT3018A Maintain equipment and chemical storage areas (formerly PRMPM18B) or CPPPMT3018B Manage equipment and chemical storage areas.

Fumigator licence

To obtain a new Fumigator licence, you must submit with your application evidence of the successful completion of the following core competencies within the CPP Property Services Training Package (formerly PRM04 Asset Management Training Package):

  • CPPPMT3006A Apply pesticides to manage pests (formerly PRMPM056) or CPPPMT3006 Manage pests by applying pesticides
  • CPPPMT3011A Conduct fumigation (formerly PRMPM11B) or CPPPMT3011 Manage organisms by applying fumigants to commodities and environments.

To obtain the Pest Management Technician and Fumigator licences, evidence of the successful completion of the all five core competencies must be completed within the CPP Property Services Training Package (formerly PRM04 Asset Management Training Package).

TAFE NSW currently offers Pest Management Certificate III (Property Services Training Package) and the Statement of Attainment in Pest Inspection – Timber and Statement of Attainment in Fumigation Operations.

The ChemCert AQF level 3 Chemical Certificate is not recognised or accepted as it does not meet the course standard required.

What do the Pest Management Technician and Fumigator licences allow me to do?

Certain occupational uses of pesticides and fumigants in NSW require the Pest Management Technician and/or the Fumigator licence. These are issued to individuals with the relevant qualification or statement of attainment issued in accordance with the national standard for licensing pest management technicians.

The licences are not awarded to a business or a business name.

The Pest Management Technician licence allows the application of pesticides to control pests within the meaning of what constitutes pest management technician work under the Pesticides Regulation 2009. Clauses 5(7) and 5(8) define what work is covered or not covered respectively.

A Fumigator licence is only required for use of the following fumigants:

  • methyl bromide
  • phosphine
  • ethylene oxide (except single-dose canisters)
  • ethylene dichloride
  • carbon disulphide
  • chloropicrin
  • hydrogen cyanide.

In NSW there is no separate licence or category for timber pest inspections or the eradication of timber pests. To do commercial termite treatments you must hold the Pest Management Technician licence.

What activities do not require a Pest Management Technician licence or a Fumigator licence?

Pest management technician work is defined under the Pesticides Regulation 2009 to be the use of pesticides (other than fumigants) for the prevention, control or eradication of pests for a fee or reward or for a public authority.

If you are an individual undertaking any of the following activities you are not required to hold a licence for pest management technician work but these activities may require different training:

  • use of pesticides in connection with your agricultural activities
  • use of pesticides for amenity horticulture purposes
  • the application of pesticides by means of aircraft (whether manned or unmanned) – requires a different EPA licence; see information for aerial operators
  • the use of pesticides for the purposes of water treatment (including the treatment of water in pools and spas)
  • application of paint that contains anti-fouling pesticides
  • use of pesticides to treat or prevent an ectoparasitic infestation
  • use of pesticides to treat or preserve timber at a treatment plant.

Also, there are currently six exemptions from the requirement to hold a pest management technician or fumigator licence. The exemptions are for:

  • on-farm use by farmers within rural industries of aluminium phosphide tablets or chloropicrin for the control of invertebrate and vertebrate pests. (However, this use requires the AQF3 chemical accreditation as required under the Pesticides Regulation 2009.)
  • the use of pesticides by staff or contractors of Endeavour Energy to control termites and treat timber
  • the use of pesticides by staff or contractors of Ausgrid to control termites and treat timber
  • the use of pesticides by staff or contractors of Essential Energy to control termites and treat timber
  • the use of pesticides for disinfection activities by authorised staff on  Qantas Airways aircraft.
  • authorised staff of Local Land Services to use aluminium phosphide and chloropicrin for the control of rabbits.

To be exempt from holding a licence for the activities above, you must hold the relevant chemical users’ qualifications issued in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and meet all the requirements of the Pesticides Regulation 2009, including pesticide use notification and record keeping requirements.

Do I need a licence to eradicate timber pests?

You do not need a licence if you are treating your own home but must use registered products and follow the label instructions. If you are treating timber to eradicate pests as an occupation or business you must hold a Pest Management Technician licence.

Can the EPA provide me with a list of licensed pest management technicians or verify whether someone has a current licence?

The EPA will be establishing a web-based public register with basic licensee information, similar to the register operated by the NSW Office of Fair Trading for other licensed occupations. This will provide added assurance to customers of the technician’s licence status.

Alternatively, refer to the yellow pages under ‘pest control’ for a list of pest management technicians. The Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association (AEPMA) and the Australian Pest Control Association (APCA) also list qualified pest management technicians.

What are the licensing fees for new applications and renewal or replacement?

The fees for new Pest Management Technician licences and new Fumigator licences are avaiable on the "Pesticide licensing for specific businesses and individuals"  page. There is no reduction in fees if you are applying for both.

You must apply to renew your licence within 60 days of expiry. The EPA will send you a reminder notice and a renewal application when your licence approaches expiry. You are required to post two passport photos with the renewal form (these cannot be faxed or emailed).

If your licence has been lost, damaged, destroyed or stolen, complete the licence replacement application. The cost of a replacement licence is $23. You can also use this form if your licence contains a printing error or was issued but not received – there is no charge for this.

Fees are subject to a Customer Price Index increase each July.

Can I carry out pest management technician or fumigator work in New South Wales with an interstate licence?

If you have a current occupational interstate licence, permit or certificate of competency for pest management technician or fumigator work, we still need to receive an application form (including two recent passport photos and a copy of your interstate licence) and fee to issue a NSW licence before you can carry out pest management technician or fumigation work in New South Wales. However, you do not need to show evidence of training.

The EPA, under mutual recognition legislation, will recognise a current equivalent licence issued in another State or Territory but we need to determine whether there are any problems with issuing a NSW licence and whether or not any special conditions may be required.

Can an overseas operator’s ticket or licence/certificate be converted to a NSW Pest Management Technician licence or Fumigator licence?

No. Overseas qualifications are not automatically recognised or eligible for conversion to a Pest Management Technician licence or a Fumigator licence, as Australian licensing requirements fall under local legislation and national standards.

Who do I contact if I have a complaint about a fumigation or pesticide control treatment?

In the first instance, lodge your complaint with the pest management company that carried out the treatment or contact the NSW Office of Fair Trading. If you have concerns the treatment involved the misuse of pesticides, contact the NSW EPA (131 555).

I had my home treated and there is still a strong odour and/or residue. Is it safe for my family to be inside?

Only licensed contractors can carry out pest management technician and fumigator work. Licensed operators are trained to use pesticides and to evaluate the risk associated with the pesticides they use. Pest management technicians are obliged by law to keep detailed pesticide application records. See the EPA keeping records of pesticide use page for more details.

You can request Safety Data Sheets from your pest management technician. Safety Data Sheets provide information on each hazardous substances, methods to control exposure, exposure standards and dangerous goods additional to those on a label. However if you are concerned about your health and direct exposure to pesticides you should seek medical attention. NSW Ministry of Health advises on health-related pesticides incidents. If you believe pesticides are causing harm to the environment, contact Environment Line on 13 15 55 or email info@environment.nsw.gov.au.

Where can I find information about the use of pesticides?

The EPA What are pesticides and how do they work? page contains useful information on the different types of pesticides and how they work.

What are the regulatory requirements of trainees and their supervisors?

The person responsible for a trainee  who carries out pest management technician (PMT) work or fumigation work or the trainee's supervisor is required (under clause 8B of the Pesticides Regulation 2009) to ensure the trainee keeps and maintains a record of training (e.g. a logbook).

The person responsible for a trainee can only be a supervisor of a trainee if they hold a current PMT or fumigator licence. Where a person responsible for a trainee does not hold a PMT or fumigator licence then they must appoint a company employee with a current PMT or fumigator licence to be the supervisor of the trainee.

A record of training is different to a pesticide application record, and must contain the following information:

  • name and address of the trainee
  • name and address of each employer for whom the trainee does that work
  • name of each person who supervises the trainee while the trainee is doing that work
  • description of that work as it is actually carried out by the trainee in the course of training
  • a record of the dates on which that work was done.

All trainees must be directly supervised by the supervisor. Where a trainee has been deemed competent for the work they are carrying out at a work site, the person responsible for a trainee or their supervisor can provide a lesser degree of supervision (e.g. indirect) if they are satisfied that the work being carried out by the trainee would not endanger the health and safety of the trainee or any other person.

A trainee must receive from the supervisor directions, demonstrations, training and monitoring appropriate to the PMT or fumigation work being carried out by the trainee. Immediate remedial action must be taken in the event of an emergency that arises from the trainee failing to competently carry out their work.

A supervisor must check the record on each date on which the work is carried out by the trainee. If satisfied that the record is correct, the supervisor must sign the record on that date, or if not satisfied, must make a note as to why.

Page last updated: 21 July 2017