Changes afoot for Level 2 Certificate in Pest Control

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The RSPH/BPCA Level 2 Certificate in Pest Control has become the industry standard but changes are going to have to be made if the qualification is to avoid being reclassified as the Level 2 Award in Pest Control. Pest spoke to the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) at PestEx to find out what’s going on.

If the RSPH/BPCA Level 2 Certificate is to retain its status as a ‘certificate’ and avoid being reclassified as an ”award”, the industry must agree how it can be extended and all before the end of 2009.

The world of training and qualifications is awash with jargon – accreditation bodies, sector skills councils and now the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). But don’t let the jargon put you off.

Basically QCF is a new way of recognising and accrediting vocational qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Every unit and qualification in the framework is getting a credit value (one credit represents 10 hours of work so the credit score is an indication of how much time it takes an average person to complete the qualification). There will also be a level which shows how difficult each unit or qualification is. Levels start with entry level rising to level 8; the equivalent of a PhD. Level 2 is on a par with GCSE A* – C grades.

There are three sizes of qualifications in the new QCF:
•  Awards (1 to 12 credits)
•  Certificates (13 to 36 credits)
•  Diplomas (37 credits or more)

The problem for the Level 2 Certificate in Pest Control is that it doesn’t currently earn enough credits to make the ‘certificate’ grade. The qualification needs to be extended and the proposal is to do this by adding in a practical element.

This makes good sense as Level 2 has been criticised in the past because it is theoretically possible to achieve the qualification with little if any practical experience so adding something practical will both improve the qualification and extend its credit score.

But how to add a practical element without significantly increasing the cost?

Pest spoke to Dr Richard Burton, qualifications development manager at RSPH, who explained that the proposal currently on the table is to ask candidates to submit a log book detailing the practical work they have completed. “This wouldn’t be anything complicated just a record of the jobs they do as part of their normal day to day work. It would need to be signed off by a tutor or examiner. The log would need to be kept over a period of time probably somewhere between three to five weeks,” he suggested.

“It most probably could be based on the company’s usual reporting system. We are definitely not trying to put any huge hurdles in the way of people gaining the qualification. We’ve worked hard over the years to get it established. We don’t want to put people off, but the fact remains that the certificate needs to be extended if it is to retain its current title which everybody ion the industry is familiar with and understands.”

Other options, such as sending an examiner out with a candidate, are just too time consuming and therefore expensive. RSPH would like to hear what you think about the log idea. How could it work in practice? Are there any other ways you can suggest to assess practical experience? Click here and send you comments direct to Richard or make you views known via your BPCA or NPTA who are represented on the Pest Control Training Forum. This body, which also includes representatives from companies like Ecolab, Igrox and Killgerm, must approve the proposals before they go forward to the Asset Skills Council for the final OK.

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