Certification & Training Assessment Group -- National Partnership for Safe & Effective Pesticide Management through Education, Training, & Competency Assessment

Who is involved in C&T?

Organizations involved in C&T include:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. EPA ensures pesticide applicators are properly certified to use pesticides. U.S. EPA works with and provides funding to pesticide regulatory agencies from 50 states, 2 territories, 4 tribes, and the District of Columbia to ensure that pesticide applicators are properly certified to use pesticides. U.S. EPA also provides funding to Universities through the Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) to support pesticide applicator training.  

University Extension Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEP)

The University Extension PSEP trains pesticide applicators to ensure their initial and ongoing competence. PSEP educators:

Classroom style training session

Photo credit: Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

State Lead Pesticide Agencies

State lead agencies (SLA) administer the pesticide applicator certification and recertification programs. They work with EPA to ensure the program meets the national standards but can implement more strict requirements. SLAs ensure that applicators are competent to use pesticides properly and effectively through exams, general education, training, and hands-on experience.  SLAs also enforce pesticide laws, including requirements related to certification to use certain pesticides. SLAs are most commonly located in the state department of agriculture or environmental protection.

PSEP and SLA Collaboration

University Extension PSEP and SLA work closely to maintain the pesticide applicator certification program. The SLA administers the exams and certification process. The SLA and PSEP often work together in developing exams, manuals, and certification and recertification training programs. PSEP educators ensure that training they develop and deliver meets the needs of the SLA’s certification program. SLAs approve providers and courses, and often participate in training sessions.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

USDA provides program support and assists in regional and interstate cooperation. USDA works with universities to support the extension network.

National Stakeholder Groups

The following national stakeholder groups are involved actively in applicator certification and training issues.

American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators (AAPSE)

AAPSE is an association of educators providing science-based pesticide safety education programs through tribal and government agencies and the land grant university cooperative extension services. AAPSE is an organization that seeks to protect human health and the environment through education.  AAPSE is a group of national leaders in pesticides safety education, training, and certification.

Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO)

AAPCO was formed in 1947.  Its mission is to represent State Pesticide Control Officials in the development, implementation, and communication of sound public policies and programs related to the sale, application, transport, and disposal of pesticides. Members of AAPCO consist of the officers charged by law with the execution of the state, territorial, provincial, and federal laws in the United States, including all its territories, and in Canada. 


Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO)

ASPCRO is a professional association comprised of the structural pest control regulatory officials of any of the 50 states. Inherent within ASPCRO's many activities is the protection of the health and welfare of the citizens of each state, including protection from the misuse of pesticides. The Association's focus is to work with federal, state, and industry partners to address and resolve issues related to the regulation of pest management and pesticide use in structural and urban settings.

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA)

NASDA was founded in 1915 to represent the state departments of agriculture in the development, implementation, and communication of sound public policy and programs that support and promote the American agricultural industry, while protecting consumers and the environment.

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Research Foundation (NASDARF)

NASDARF, under a Cooperative Agreement (X8-83456201) with US EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, is working to enhance Pesticide Safety Programs. The current FY2011-15 agreement continues the efforts of previous cooperative agreements. Pesticide worker safety programs (education, outreach, and regulatory processes) are needed to reduce risks of pesticide poisonings and injuries in human communities, including those disproportionately impacted by environmental burdens, while recognizing the importance of the appropriate and competent use of pesticides for protection of food, fiber, homes, and health. Certification of pesticide applicators (40 CFR 171), the Worker Protection Standard (40 CFR 170), and a trained health care provider community are cornerstone tools for realizing reduced pesticide risks. Regionally, nationally, and internationally, NASDARF intends to:

  1. Use existing coalitions and build new ones (community-based organizations, businesses, educators, researchers, health care providers, regulators, subject matter experts, ag retailers).

  2. Assess needs of several "communities" (children, families, workers, handlers, applicators, ag retailers, health care providers).

  3. Develop practical, strategic, and creative community-based action plans to enhance risk reduction and contain spills.

  4. Convene teams to develop resources, inclduing but not limited to: workshop,s hands-on training, fact sheets, manuals, exams, web content, DVDs, and webinars.

  5. Evaluate and report the outputs and outcomes of the activities.


Last updated May 2, 2012