Here are the answers to questions we are mostly frequently asked. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please contact us.


What is Lantra?

Lantra is one of the leading awarding bodies for land-based industries and the Sector Skills Council for the horticulture, landscaping and sports turf industry.

Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) are state-sponsored, employer-led organisations that cover specific economic sectors in the United Kingdom. They have four key goals:

  • To boost the skills of their sector workforces
  • To improve learning supply
  • To reduce skills gaps and shortages
  • To improve productivity

Lantra develops training and nationally-recognised qualifications which is delivered through Approved Providers by Instructors and Assessors who are the best in the business.

What is Lantra accreditation?

National, independent recognition of the quality of our specialist courses and those who deliver them, from one of the UK’s leading Awarding Organisations.

Why is Lantra accreditation important?

Because Lantra is the Government-approved Sector Skills Council for the sports turf industry, recognised by employers and insurers. Unlike other providers who offer self-evaluated and self-assessed training, Grounds Training’s courses, their content and the instructors who deliver them, are all independently assessed and verified by Lantra.

How can I claim my Lantra certificate?

Lantra issues both electronic and hard copy certificates. E-certificates will be sent to you, or your employer, via email. Hard copy certificates will be forwarded to you by first class post once we receive them from Lantra, usually within a month of course completion. It is City & Guilds (NPTC) policy to send certificates and identity cards directly to the learner.

How long is my certification valid for?

A Lantra Certificate of Training lasts for life, however, legislation, best working practices and the machinery and equipment used in the land-based sector all evolve over time. With this in mind, Lantra recommends that you undertake refresher training every five years in order to keep your knowledge and skills up to date.

What is the difference between Lantra and NPTC qualifications?
  • Lantra certification confirms that a learner has received training in a particular subject. Where learning is assessed, certification confirms learner competence. Lantra courses are delivered using integrated training and assessment, meaning candidates do not need to attend on separate dates for their assessments.
  • A City & Guilds NPTC (National Proficiency Test Council) certificate confirms that the learner is competent in a particular subject. Some courses are delivered through integrated training and assessment, and some are independently assessed.
What is NPTC?

City & Guilds (NPTC) designs relevant vocational qualifications to be delivered through training providers, colleges and employers that help learners gain the skills employers’ value.

Safe Use of Pesticides

What are the legal requirements for spray operator training and certification?

All users of professional plant protection products must be adequately trained, no matter what their age. The training should give them the same skills needed to obtain a Certificate of Competence.

What are Grandfather Rights and are they applicable to me?

‘Grandfather Rights’ expired on 25 November 2015. From 26 November 2015 everyone who uses a professional product, including those who formerly relied on “grandfather rights”, has to hold a Specified Certificate (Certificate of Competence). It became an offence for anyone to purchase Plant Protection Products (PPPs) authorised for professional use unless they have ensured that the intended end user has a Specified Certificate. Additionally, it is an offence to use these products on land they own or occupy unless they have the appropriate qualification.

The qualification requirement forms part of the Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012. The recognised qualifications are the City & Guilds (NPTC) Level 2 Award Principles of Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides (also known as PA1) and the Lantra Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides. Candidates can either purchase a workbook or attend a training course to ensure they have the necessary knowledge and skills to gain a Certificate of Competence.

Candidates should take a practical assessment of knowledge and competence, based on the equipment that they use to apply pesticides.

All contractors who apply professional pesticides must hold a Certificate of Competence.

If I hold a certificate of competence to apply professional pesticides, can my employee(s) purchase and/or use professional pesticides?

Only the individual who has successfully achieved the Certificate of Competence can purchase and/or use professional pesticides. Any individual who has not undertaken the Lantra or City & Guilds (NPTC) Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides will not be licensed to apply or buy professional products.

If an organisation has asked you to spray pesticides without a licence, only you are liable for any damages. If problems arose during the spraying process and the situation reached tribunal, you and you only would be accountable to charges if you did not hold the correct Certificate of Competence.

Who is responsible for enforcement of the Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012?

Responsibility for enforcement is shared between the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), local authorities and the Agriculture Departments.

The HSE is authorised to enforce controls on the storage and use of pesticides as part of the work activity such as by industrial users in the treatment of timber, in private dwellings by professional contractors, use in agriculture and the storage of pesticides by certain distributors, and use by Local Authorities and public utilities. They are also responsible for the use of pesticides as part of a work activity in private dwellings.

Local authorities enforce controls in respect of the advertisement, sale, supply, storage and use for those areas not under the HSE’s jurisdiction, such as wholesale and retail premises, hotels and residential accommodation, warehouses, museums, catering establishments, sports grounds (including golf courses), gardens, parks and garden centres. Local authority responsibility is usually split between trading standards officers, who are responsible for consumer aspects of advertising, sale and supply and environmental health officers, who undertake enforcement in respect of storage and use in areas not covered by the HSE. Some Local Authorities, however, combine these functions.

Do I need to take refresher courses once I have passed my Lantra Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides or City & Guilds (NPTC) Level 2 Award Principles of Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides?

The City & Guilds (NPTC) and Lantra Certificates of Competence are both lifelong qualifications, however the HSE Code of Practice (S 2.7) advises that users ‘should continue to develop their technical knowledge and practical skills in using pesticides’. It says ‘you should make sure that you keep your training up to date and that you know the latest information on how to protect human health, wildlife, other plants and creatures you don’t intend to treat, water and the environment’. Lantra pesticides training certificates state ‘Refresher training is recommended within 5 five years to keep your skills current‘. Please contact us to arrange refresher training for your personnel at your site.

Are there pre-requisites to the Lantra or City & Guilds (NPTC) Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides courses?

Either a candidate must obtain the Lantra Safe Use of Pesticides certificate prior to undertaking any other pesticide practical module assessments

Or a candidate must successfully complete the City & Guilds (NPTC) Level 2 Award in the Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides PA1 unit before undertaking any other City & Guilds (NPTC) Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides unit assessments.

One of the above must be attained before undertaking the qualification for mounted/boom sprayers, Hand Held Application, Around Water, Stem Injection, Pesticide Plugs, Granular Applicators etc.

How long is a Lantra or City & Guilds (NPTC) Safe Use of Pesticides course?

Normally, courses are between 2 or 3 days, dependent upon the number of candidates, the candidates’ experience, and the types of equipment being used. NPTC assessments are held on a separate day, as close as possible after the training. Each individual is given a specific time slot for their assessment.

What do I need to bring with me to the Safe Use of Pesticides course?

You will need to bring your own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), something to write with, a calculator, reading glasses if you use them, and a packed lunch/drinks. If your course is for hand held equipment (PA6 – knapsacks), you will need to provide your own knapsack, in good working order and thoroughly washed out with water.

When we confirm your booking, you will be sent information about the PPE required for your course.

Your instructor will take a passport style photo which will be used for your Lantra or City & Guilds (NPTC) identity card and for your digital learner record.

What should I wear to attend a pesticides course?

Please wear your usual working clothes and remember to bring your Personal Protective Equipment with you. For the theory training days, please wear comfortable casual clothes.

Is equipment supplied?

You will need to bring your spray equipment with you. All equipment must be thoroughly cleaned prior to attending.

Do I need to do a lot of writing?

No. Training notes are provided, but you will probably want to add to these as you go along.

What format does the assessment take?

The Lantra Safe Use of Pesticides assessment is a multiple choice paper-based assessment consisting of 40 multiple choice questions. You will have one hour to complete the assessment under exam conditions.

City & Guilds (NPTC) PA1 is a computer-based test (Global Online Assessment) in the form of a multi-choice questionnaire. There are 33 questions and you will have one hour to complete the assessment, under exam conditions, on a laptop computer provided. You do not have to be computer literate as answering the questions is a simple process. However, you do need to be able to read the questions.

The practical element of both the Lantra and City & Guilds (NPTC) test is a one-to-one assessment with the Assessor.


Can people with additional needs attend your courses?

We strive to support all those working within the grounds maintenance and sports turf sectors and believe that learning is for everyone. Please make us aware at an early stage of any additional learning needs or special requirements you or your staff members have. Working with the awarding bodies and our network of instructors and assessors, we will do our utmost to meet those needs. We encourage learners to speak to your instructor or assessor on the day if you have any concerns. They are there to help and want you to have a positive experience.

Who are your Instructors?

We use Lantra Approved Instructors to deliver all of our Lantra courses. They are all experienced professionals who have worked in the industry for many years and are specialists in their field. Many are also City & Guilds (NPTC) Instructors/Assessors.