Ground Spraying and Pest Management Licences

Commercial Operator Licence

If you operate a business that provides a commercial spraying service, you must hold a Commercial Operator Licence. This is essentially a business licence.

The licence applies to any business that uses agricultural chemical products to control insect pests and diseases, weeds, rodents, birds etc. for fee or reward. Licences are issued to the individual who owns/operates the business at that business name they operate under.

Examples where a Commercial Operator Licence is required include broadacre agricultural spraying, forestry spray contracting, roadside weed spraying, insect, disease or weed control in lawns and gardens or insect and rodent control in and around homes and buildings. For information on how to obtain a licence contact the AgVet Chemicals Program.

  Application for Commercial Operator Licence   (105Kb)

Exemption from Commercial Operator Licence

You do not require a licence if your business only uses a "small amount" of chemical product and this use is incidental to the main purpose of the business (eg lawn mowing and garden maintenance). You would be considered to use a small amount, if you only use products that are registered, labelled and packaged for home garden use.

Generally, home garden products are limited to small packs of low-toxicity products eg. 1 litre packs of glyphosate or 500 ml packs of pyrethrum insecticide. They are labelled and packaged especially for the home garden and are available from nurseries and gardening/hardware stores.

Certificates of Competency

If you apply agricultural chemical products for a commercial spraying business, you must hold a Certificate of Competency that is relevant to the type of work you do.

Certificates of Competency may be issued to operators who have completed recognised accredited training in the use of agricultural chemicals. A certificate will specify the types of spraying work you may do. For instance, weed control in forestry and non-cropping situations, or insect pest, disease and weed control in cropping situations. The types of certificates that may be issued are:

Application Method
Category 1Hand held equipment, small volumes (<2L or 2kg) per year of herbicide concentrate registered for home garden use
Category 2Hand held equipment, larger volumes of herbicides, insecticides etc.
Application of vertebrate pest poisons
Category 3Motorised application equipment eg. boom spray, airblast.
Pest Management
Pest control in and around buildings - rodents, ants, wasps etc.
Methyl Bromide/
Phosphine User
Application of fumigants - glasshouses, quarantine etc.

  Application for a Certificate of Competency to use Agricultural and/or Veterinary Chemicals   (52Kb)

Training and Accreditation

Agricultural Spraying

To qualify for a Category 2 or Category 3 Certificate of Competency you must complete training course in agvet chemical use that includes the units:


AHCCHM303A – Prepare and Apply Chemicals

AHCCHM304A – Transport, handle and store chemicals

These units are from the Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management training package (training providers include TasTAFE and various private providers). Additional recognised training in insect pest, disease and weed identification is also required.

Pest Management Technician

Any person wishing to obtain a Pest Management Technician Certificate of Competency in Tasmania must be assessed as being competent on the three core units of competency listed below. This training and assessment conforms to the required competency standard recommended in the National Licensing Standard for Pest Management Technicians. Training and assessment consists of theory and practical elements with qualified assessors who have actual experience in the pest management industry assessing new applicants for issue of Pest Management Certificates of Competency. The three core units of the Pest Management - Technical training from the Asset Maintenance Training Package (Certificate III) are:

CPPPMT3005A - Modify environment to manage pests;
CPPPMT3006A - Apply pesticide to manage pests; and
CPPPMT3018B - Maintain an equipment and chemical storage area.

Please note that there is no training for Pest Management Technicians available in Tasmania. Training must be completed by a registered training organisation. Please contact the AgVet Chemicals Program for further information (details below).

Methyl Bromide or Phosphine User

A Methyl Bromide or Phosphine User may use methyl bromide or phosphine for fumigation purposes. Training requires completion of a relevant recognised course or adequate on-the-job training.

Exemption from Certificate of Competency

You may not be required to hold a Certificate of Competency if you only apply chemicals on your employer's property. This would apply to employees like farm hands or council workers who only apply agricultural chemicals on their employer's land.

Supervision of New or Casual Employees

A new or casual employee of a Commercial Operator may be able to spray agricultural chemicals for the business for up to 4 weeks before obtaining a Certificate of Competency. During this time, the employee must be under the direct supervision of an operator who has a Certificate of Competency. A number of other conditions also apply in this situation. These are detailed in the policy - Policy No. 4/99 Non-Certificated New and Casual Employees of Commercial Operators.

Provisional Certificates

Once you have completed ChemCert or national accredited recognised equivalent competencies in chemical safety and handling, you may be eligible to be issued with a provisional Certificate of Competency. This would apply where you need some time to complete further training in insect pest, disease or weed identification and control for instance.

A provisional certificate will only generally be issued for six months, where you can show that you have enrolled in the required training course. It may be cancelled, if you cannot show reasonable progress towards completing the training.

Further Information


Licence Coordinator
Maria Hawksley
165 Westbury Road
Phone: 03 6777 2118
Fax: 03 6343 2833

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