Commercial Pesticide Applicator Responsibilities
Commercial pesticide applicators have responsibilities specific to their certification that they must adhere to as outlined in this document. Commercial Applicators, like all other applicators, are responsible to follow the pesticide label, handle pesticides safely, and report accidents.
See Responsibilities of All Pesticide Applicators in Virginia for more information on these responsibilities.
I. Adhere to Certification Requirements
The Virginia Pesticide Control Act defines a person who, as part of his or her job duties, uses or supervises the use of any pesticide for any purpose (other than production of agricultural commodities on private land) as a commercial pesticide applicator.
II. Supervise Registered Technicians
Certified commercial applicators must provide on-the-job training, instruction, and supervision of registered technicians employed by them or assigned to them by their employer. Registered technicians may use restricted-use pesticides only under the supervision of a commercial applicator. The supervising commercial applicator must either be physically present or be where the registered technician may contact the applicator by telephone or radio. Certified applicators are responsible for the work of registered technicians under their supervision and must provide the registered technicians with clear, specific instructions on all aspects of pesticide use. A registered technician may apply general-use pesticides unsupervised.
Uncertified persons may apply pesticides commercially while in training status to become registered technicians only when under the direct, on-site supervision of a certified commercial applicator.
III. Keep Accurate Records
Virginia regulations require commercial applicators to keep records of restricted-use pesticide applications. These records must be maintained for a period of two years following the pesticide use.
Commercial applicator records must contain the following information:
- Name, address, and telephone number of the property owner, and address/location of the application site, if different;
- Name and certification number of the person making or supervising the application;
- Date of application (day, month, and year);
- Type of plants, crop, animals, or sites treated;
- Principal pests to be controlled;
- Acreage, area, or number of plants or animals treated;
- Identification of pesticide used:
-Brand name or common name of pesticide, and
-EPA product registration number;
- Amount of pesticide concentrate and amount of diluent (water, etc.) applied by weight or volume, to the area/sites defined in #6; and
- Type of application equipment used.
See the document Commercial Applicator Recordkeeping Requirements for more information regarding commercial applicator recordkeeping and a sample recordkeeping form.
IV. Maintenance of Certification: Renewal and Recertification
Certified applicator and registered technician certificates must be renewed biennially. VDACS will send each commercial applicator a notice regarding renewal in the spring before his or her certificate expires.
A renewal form and a renewal fee must be received on or before June 30 to avoid a penalty. The renewal fee is $70.00 for a commercial applicator and $30.00 for a registered technician. The renewal fee is waived for federal, state, and local governmental employees requiring commercial applicator certification.
Commercial certificates expire June 30. No late renewals will be accepted after August 29. Applications for renewal will not be processed unless the applicator has at least two years of recertification credit in the appropriate category or categories (see below). Persons who allow their certificate(s) to lapse more than 60 days must retest in the core materials as well as the appropriate category or categories.
Applicators must inform Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Office of Pesticide Services (OPS) Certification, Licensing, Registration, and Training Section if their mailing address changes.
Commercial applicators and registered technicians must participate in an ongoing pesticide education program. At a minimum, commercial applicators and registered technicians must attend at least one fully approved recertification session per category every two years. Applicators may accumulate up to four years of recertification credit. Persons who fail to recertify will not be able to renew their certificates.
Certified applicators based out of state may be able to recertify in Virginia by reciprocity. This requires the home state to grant reciprocal recertification to Virginia applicators in equivalent categories. Applicators must maintain certification in the home state and provide proof of this to Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services before their Virginia certificate expires.
Failure to maintain a certificate, either due to failure to respond to the renewal notice or failure to recertify, will result in expiration. Persons who allow their certificate(s) to lapse (for more than 60 days) must retest in the core material as well as the appropriate category or categories. Commercial applicators and registered technicians who choose to recertify by re-examination or who must be examined to reactivate a lapsed certificate must apply for examination and pay an application fee.
See the commercial pesticide applicator Calendar of Recertification Courses for a list of available courses in your area.
V. Obtain a Pesticide Business License
Certified commercial applicators working for hire must have a pesticide business license or work for someone who does. Registered technicians working for hire must work for a properly licensed pesticide business.
The commercial applicator for hire, or his/her employer, must provide VDACS with evidence of financial responsibility protecting persons who may suffer legal damages as a result of use of any pesticide by the applicator. The coverage must provide for liability that may result from the operation of a pesticide business and for liability relating to completed operations (for businesses that apply pesticides). The Commonwealth insures Virginia's state employees for activities performed as official job duties.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is responsible for all enforcement aspects of the Virginia Pesticide Control Act and regulations promulgated by the Virginia Pesticide Control Board. Business licenses may be suspended or revoked if the holder, in the eyes of VDACS, presents a substantial danger or threat of danger to public health and safety or to the environment.