Clash over EU training requirements

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Two of the industry’’s leaders have clashed over whether the European pest management industry should push for a legal requirement for pest control training, or adopt an industry-led voluntary approach as the best way forward.

The divergence of opinion between Killgerm’s managing director, Jonathan Peck, and international pest management business consultant, Rob Fryatt, came to light during the Europest seminar held during ConExPest on 20 May.

Whilst both men agree on the need to standardise training requirements for pest management across all the countries in Europe and to seek to raise the professional standing of the industry, they clearly differ on the way this should be achieved.

Voluntary v statutory
It was in 2009 that the General Assembly of CEPA adopted the proposal to seek to develop a common standard for Pest Management Service and to do this by working with the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN). As chairman of the CEN technical committee established to bring this goal to fruition, Rob Fryatt is strongly in favour of the voluntary approach.

The CEN project is establishing a common set of European standards with work streams examining ‘terminology’, ‘competences and requirements’ and ‘recommendations’. The work is progressing well with CEN’s timetable requiring delivery of the agreed standards by December 2013.

Currently, a derogation for the Sustainable Use Directive is in place on the basis of this impending European Standard. “Once the Standard is approved, there will be a clear role for CEPA to promote it to pest control servicing companies and their clients. Customers for pest control services will be encouraged to endorse the Standard and include a requirement for pest controllers to commit to work to it, as a part of their contract specifications,” says Rob.

But Jonathan Peck is concerned that a voluntary standard will not be sufficient. “Whilst it is good to have a standard, I personally feel that CEN will not deliver what pest controllers want. They want obligatory, statutory certification. If it’s not obligatory then it will be just like ISO9000, the bigger companies will do it but the small businesses and sole traders won’t bother.”

 Rob Fryatt
Rob Fryatt going for the
voluntary approach

Jonathan Peck
Jonathan Peck who advocates the
statutory approach

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