Pest Control Training

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1) New legislation: mandatory pest control licence

The EU Biocide Directive has brought a lot of changes for Pest Control Companies in 2018, all driven by increased restrictions on the use of Professional rodenticides (i.e. rat and mice poison).

Since 01/01/2018, all pest control operators or other individuals buying or using professional rodenticides must hold a valid licence or “PMU number”. This legal requirement is clearly indicated on the new rodenticide product labels, as illustrated below on the first paragraph of the new Vertox Oktablock II rodenticide label:

Not for sale to the general public or any person other than trained professionals. Trained professional users must register with DAFM as a “Trained Professional – Pest Management Professional” (PMU) and must present their PMU No. at point of sale to purchase this product for use only as specified on the label.

Using a biocide contrary to the label instructions is an offence.

2) Requirements to obtain a licence (or "PMU" number)

The only qualification accepted by the DAFM (Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine) is an Ofqual Level 3 course in pest management. Currently the Lantra “Level 3 Award in Pest Management Services – Trained Professional User” is the only course available. It is a 5-day course divided onto 3 modules and 3 examinations, including a practical assessment and multiple-choice exam.

Topics covered include:

  • Biology and Control of Invertebrate Pests
  • Biology and Control of Rodent Pests
  • Biology and Control of other Vertebrate Pests
  • Practical Skills for the Management of Invertebrate and Vertebrate Pests

Once the qualification is obtained, trainees can apply to the DAFM for a full PMU number, and then purchase biocides and work without restriction. The PMU number is assigned to an individual, not a Company.

The DAFM can also issue a “Temporary PMU” for a period of up to 9 months, with a number of restrictions, so trainee pest controllers can gain experience before undertaking the Lantra course. The “Temporary PMU” can be applied Here, selecting in the drop-down menu “Pest Management Trainee“.

3) Booking training/examination for the pest control licence (PMU)

Owl Pest Control has been facilitating independent training for the “Lantra Level 3 Award in Pest Management Services” course, by providing FREE training rooms at our office, in small groups of 10-15 trainees. Three courses have been run in 2018: July, September, and November. In 2019: January, August, November. 2020: January, March…

Note: The course can only be run if we have enough candidates to break-even (min. 8-10 participants)

2020: “Lantra Level 3 Award in Pest Management Services” courses: CLICK HERE

2021: Most classrooms courses have been put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


4) Can a trainee work without pest control licence?

The DAFM can give a Temporary PMU number to new entrants to the pest control industry for a period of up to 9 months. This is in order to allow time for “on the job” training and completion of the Lantra course. There are a number of rules / restrictions with the temporary PMU number:

  • The trainee must work under direct supervision of a licensed trainer (PMU for 2+ years) for a period of 2 weeks
  • A training plan must be submitted to the DAFM, including training records and proof of registration to an upcoming Lantra Level 3 course
  • The trainee can only carry out repeat visits and cannot conduct site assessments until registered as a full PMU
  • The trainee must observe a PMU carry out method/technique applications of biocidal products and then carry out a minimum of 4 treatments himself under direct supervision in order to carry out repeat visits on his/her own

For full details on rules and record keeping requirements click here:


Apply for a Temporary PMU Number here. (select  “Pest Management Trainee” in the drop-down menu).

5) Got my Lantra Certificate: How to apply for a pest control licence?

After Pest Control trainees pass their exams and receives a Certificate from Lantra, they can finally register and apply for a PMU Number with the DAFM Pesticide Registration and Control Division (PRCD). The application is made by filling out a form online.

Apply for a full PMU Number here. (select  “Pest Management User” in the drop-down menu).

6) Keeping your PMU: mandatory Continuous Professional Development scheme (CPD)

As for many other industries, in order to keep your licence you must partake in a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) or “Continuous Professional Education” (CPE) pest control scheme recognised by the DAFM.

Every calendar year, The DAFM-PRCD reviews the CPD points earned for each licensed pest controller in Ireland. It is mandatory to have all the required points in order to keep the licence (PMU number) active.

There are three recognised Pest Control CPD schemes in Ireland at present:

BASIS PROMPT is the most established scheme (Est. 1978) with over 4,000 members between UK and Ireland. It has the benefits of a wide range of CPD materials (exhibitions, online and classroom training, magazines, forums, etc.) and several full-time staff members to run it.

For more information about BASIS PROMPT, how to register and examples of how get CPD points check our article Here.