What Chemical Training Do I Need in NSW?

Australia_NSWIn NSW the EPA requires ALL users of pesticides (eg herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides, etc) in a workplace to have a current Level 3 Chemical Accreditation (click to find out more) This training must  be renewed every 5 years by completing a shorter refresher (Reaccreditation) course or via an RPL process that recognises your prior learning and skills (Recognition of Prior Learning).

There are some exceptions to this requirement:

  1. Some people have trouble speaking English; or reading and writing; or struggle with basic maths, such that they are not able to complete the Level 3 Chemical Accreditation. If this is your situation, then you should complete a Level 2 Chemicals Safely course (not currently offered by Smith & Georg); which must be renewed every 5 years by completing a refresher course.  There is an expectation that people who have completed the Level 2 course will be supervised by someone with current Level 3 Chemical Accreditation.
  2. If you only use small quantities of pesticides, typically less than 20 litres of spray mixture per job; and if you only use pesticides that are commonly available from supermarkets, garden centres and hardware stores; and if you only use hand-held spray application equipment (eg back-pack sprayers), then you are exempt from the EPA requirement for training; however, see ‘Important Notes’ below.
  3. If you are a Pest Management Technician (ie a contractor who controls pests indoors in domestic and commercial premises), or a fumigator, or an aerial applicator of pesticides; separate training and licensing requirements apply.

Find out more about compulsory pesticide training from the EPA NSW here


Spray contractors/Ground Appicators

If you use pesticides (other than fumigants) to control weeds or pests affecting plants or soil, from 1 July 2018, you are required to hold a Ground Applicator licence. This only applies for work done for fee-for-reward work. It does not apply:

  • if you are performing the work as an employee of a local or State public authority
  • to farmers or their employees using pesticides on their own land, or land belonging to a family member
  • for any spraying of plants that falls within the domestic like use exemption

After 18 May 2018 you will be able to apply for a Ground Applicator licence using eConnect NSW.

Training requirements

Applicants for a Ground Applicator licence must have successfully completed the competencies listed in the current notice of approved units of competency to an AQF level 3 in the last 5 years. The Smith & Georg Chemical Accreditation & Chemical Reaccreditation meets the EPA requirements.

More information regarding training requirements, NSW licences& training permits is available from the NSW EPA here.

There are also requirements relating to trainees at the above link.

More Information

For more information on the EPA’s requirements for training and accreditation of chemical users in NSW, go to http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/pesticides/training.htm or call Environment Line on 131 555.

Important Notes

  1. Work Health and Safety legislation requires every person who uses chemicals in a workplace to receive appropriate training, even if it is not required specifically by other legislation. While this could be provided in-house by other experienced/qualified staff members, completion of formal nationally-accredited training, provided by experts, is often better.
    • The Level 3 Chemical Accreditation course is ideal for primary producers and other land managers who use significant amounts of chemicals in their work.
    • Our Advanced WHS AgVet Chemical Users course or Using Chemicals Safely course are ideal for people who (1) use small quantities of low-hazard chemicals in their work; and/or (2) use chemicals under the supervision of other, experienced and qualified operators; for example gardeners, landscapers, groundspeople, etc. Please contact us to discuss: 1800 991 985
  2. If your business is involved in a food safety quality assurance (QA) program, such as Freshcare, LPA, NFAS and others; there will be a requirement for training in the safe handling and use of chemicals. Completion of the Level 3 Chemical Accreditation course usually fulfills this requirement, renew every 5 years by completing a shorter refresher (Reaccreditation) course or via RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning)..  Check the standards of your QA program(s) to determine what is required for your business.



Smith & Georg has taken care to ensure the information provided in this document is correct.  As requirements may change over time, and individual situations vary, we do not take responsibility for any loss that might occur from using the information we provide.  If in doubt, always check your own situation with the relevant regulator(s) in your state.