Commodity Watch - ‘Grandfather Rights Guidance’

Saturday, 12 July, 2014

This information has been prepared to help those who may wish to take the City & Guilds NPTC qualification known as “The Safe Use of Pesticides Replacing Grandfather Rights” and takes the form of ten questions.

Question 1 – a few points to answer

a) Were you born before 31st December 1964?

b)  Do you currently apply pesticides (e.g. weed killers or slug pellets) on   land that you either own or rent?

c) Do you purchase those pesticides from an agro-chemical supplier?

d) Do you not  hold a City &Guilds NPTC pesticide qualification such as PA1, PA2 or PA6?

If you can answer “yes” to these four questions, whilst you are currently probably operating within the law, as from 26th November 2015 and under European legislation, you will no longer be able to do so.

Question 2 – What can you do about this?

There are several options available, but City & Guilds NPTC has developed a special qualification that you could take which, if you were successful in passing it, would enable you to carry on applying pesticides on to land which you either own or rent while staying within the law.  This qualification is known as the “Safe Use of Pesticides replacing Grandfather Rights”.  Other options are detailed at the end of this guidance                            

Question 3 – If you go for this option, what will you have to do?

You will have to answer questions concerning the safe use of pesticide products and safely operate the piece of equipment that you wish to continue using.  This will normally be either a knapsack sprayer or a boom sprayer.

Question 4 – How can you find out exactly what you will be asked to do?

Go to the City & Guilds NPTC website on a computer ( and click on to “Qualifications”, then click onto “Pesticides”.  On this page click onto “021605 City & Guilds Level 2 award in the Safe Use of Pesticides replacing Grandfather Rights”. (Note the red “Find a Centre” button, this is referred to in Q5). There is a brief explanation of the qualification, then among all the other pesticide qualifications, click onto the first one that refers to Grandfather Rights.  This will bring up a 34 page document (known as the Qualification Guidance) which you can read through to find out all the things you will be required to answer questions on, or physically carry out.  You will note that there is a compulsory first unit, then the option to take “hand-held applicators” (such as knapsack sprayers) or “machines”, (such as a crop sprayer), or more specialised equipment.  This document can be printed off either in full or the parts that you are interested in.

Question 5 – How can you find someone who could arrange the assessment?

On the qualification page for 012605 you will see a red “Find a Centre” button.  If you click on this and enter your postcode City & Guilds centres will be displayed in distance order with full name and contact details. By phoning the number shown, the centre administrator will be able to give you more details about what options they can offer to complete your training and assessment.  They may offer you an official workbook which you could purchase to carry out study at home.

Free farmer training through CAFRE is available in Northern Ireland and to help gauge industry demand and ensure sufficient resources are made available to meet this important industry need please register an expression of interest at You can also contact Industry Training Administration team by email Please note whilst free training is provided all assessment costs must be covered by the participant farmer. 

Question 6 – Will I need training to be successful in the assessment?

Existing laws state that all pesticide users must have received suitable and sufficient training and it may be that, having studied the Qualification Guidance and/or the workbook, you decide that you will be able to undertake the Grandfather Rights assessment without additional training.  However, it is anticipated that most people would benefit from appropriate training from a recognised pesticides trainer and this would probably be at least one and possibly two days.  Your assessment centre will be able to put you in touch with trainers who carry out this work.

Question 7 – How long will the assessment take and who will assess me?

Depending on the options taken and the complexity of the equipment used, a rough guide is that it will take half a day.  The assessment cannot be carried out by the person who trained you and your assessment centre has access to a number of qualified assessors, one of which would be allocated to you.

Question 8 – How much will it all cost?

All centres operate independently and it is they who will be able to give you a firm quotation for the assessment.  Training costs will vary according to the length of training needed and the number of people involved – again, your trainer will be able to give you a firm quote.

Question 9 – If I don’t take the Grandfather rights assessment, what are my other options?

Put simply, you could decide to give up carrying out any pesticide applications on your farm or holding, handing over the work to perhaps a family member or employee that has got the correct qualifications.  Use of a qualified pesticide contractor would be a second option. What you may also opt to do is to take the “ordinary” existing pesticide qualifications (such as PA1, PA2 or PA6) that have been in existence for many years and on which the Grandfather Rights qualification is based.  This latter option, completed successfully, would also enable you to apply pesticides on land other than that which you own or rent.

Question 10 -   When does it all have to be in place for?

26th November 2015 – why not tackle it now and beat the rush?