Latest News from BPCA

13 September 2017

The Brit in Brussels

Feature sector news | PPC88 September 2017

Henry Mott has served as BPCA President and still actively runs a pest management company here in the UK. Now he’s taken his seat at the top of the table for the Confederation of European Pest Management Associations (CEPA).

The brit in brussels banner

Elected in June, Henry’s had a busy few months. We managed to grab a quick interview with him about his new responsibilities and vision for the future of the Association.

Why did you decide to take on the CEPA President role?

I think many people take positions like this because they enjoy the kudos or believe that it’ll be a benefit to their business. However, I just genuinely get a lot of pleasure from making a difference in our sector. I’ve always wanted to challenge the perception that our industry is made up of ‘killers rather than carers’. I want to promote our industry as one that is protecting public health, food stocks and our environment through the advice that we give and the preventative action that we take, and not one that simply kills.I started this work with BPCA, and I hope to continue it now as President of CEPA.

I started this work with BPCA, and I hope to continue it now as President of CEPA.

In 2007 Henry joined the Executive Board and spent ten years working to improve membership benefits and professionalising the Association, including time spent as Vice President and President.

What are you bringing to the role?

Good question – this is starting to feel like a job interview! I suppose it comes down to experience, both as part of the sector and through working in a professional association like BPCA for so long.

I think I’m right in saying that I’m the first president that still actively operates a smaller pest control business. It is worth noting that the average size of pest control servicing business across Europe is just four staff.

Generally, previous presidents have been drawn from large corporations or were retired due largely to the fact they were able to offer the time without their business suffering. By still being actively part of the industry, I can see through the eyes of those affected the most by the decisions we make – the smaller companies. My biggest challenge will be time as I still have the day-to-day pressures of running my own business on top of the role I have undertaken.

How have you shaken things up in your first few months in charge?

I’ve assigned four vice-presidents to help drive our strategy across Europe. I was acutely aware that we’re the Confederation of European Pest Management Associations, and therefore it’s important for us to be representative.

We’ve got representatives from Germany Spain, Norway, Italy, and a new treasurer from Belgium, each with a remit based on one element of CEPA’s long term strategy: global awareness, professionalism, sustainable use of biocides, and training and qualifications. As well as spreading the workload, I think this makes the confederation more democratic and allows us to utilise more people’s expertise.

CEPA logo

What are you hoping to achieve during your time as president?

Definitely to keep building on the CEPA Certification standard. At the CEPA Certified® launch event in 2015, the Director in charge of Biocidal Products at the European Directorate General for Public Health and Food Safety publicly stated that the European Commission may consider continuing to grant access to hazardous substances to companies achieving EN16636 if our sector can reach a critical mass of certified operators.

We’ve never had a definition for what a professional is – but if we can show that the industry is committed to professionalism through CEPA Certification, then we might achieve this universal recognition. The benefits to those companies that have reached the (EN16636) standard will be immense in terms of distinguishing themselves from ‘non-professionals’.

We have set the goal of 1,000 CEPA Certified® companies, geographically spread across Europe as demonstrating critical mass – currently we have well over 300 in just over 18 months, so we’ve still got plenty to work towards, but the goal is eminently achievable.

CEPA Certification aside, since the current secretary announced his retirement I have the task of finding and recruiting a new secretary for the confederation to both help manage day-to-day operations as well as one that will continue to drive our objectives forward. Interviews are already taking place in Brussels, and I feel confident that we will have found the right candidate before the end of the year. 

And of course, there’s plenty of work to do on next year’s Global Summit.

How are the preparations coming along for the 2018 Global Summit?

So, as you know, in agreement with our partners in the USA we’ve made the decision to bring forward the summit by a year. This has been done to avoid two USA conferences in the same year and also has the benefit of not clashing with PestEx in the UK.

I am currently working with NPMA and our Portuguese association partners in finding suitable venues and will be working hard to produce a programme of speakers and events that will focus on ours and NPMA’s core objectives for the industry.

The Global Summit will be held in Lisbon in Portugal and coincide with World Pest Day in June. I am currently working with NPMA and our Portuguese association partners in finding suitable venues and will be working hard to produce a programme of speakers and events that will focus on ours and NPMA’s core objectives for the industry.

One specific area I want us, as an industry, to focus on is the involvement of end-users in the event. We need our business sector offering to be in line and meet with our end-user wants and needs. Many seminars I have attended over the years have been about what we want and the issues that impact directly on our businesses. I believe we spend too much time ‘navel gazing’.
Let’s engage much better with our customers about the importance of the work we do.There’s always the potential for us spending too much time looking at the mating habits of cluster flies, rather than engaging in the public health argument.

There’s always the potential for us spending too much time looking at the mating habits of cluster flies, rather than engaging in the public health argument.

Isn’t it the wrong time for a Brit to be taking on this role of CEPA President with Brexit around the corner?

Let’s be clear, CEPA is the Confederation of European Pest Associations and not European Union pest associations. We already have members that aren’t part of the EU and I don’t think it really matters what your nationality is – just as long as you’re a European!

From a UK perspective it may well actually be rather beneficial for the UK to have someone at the centre of CEPA as we go through Brexit and leave the EU. This way we can keep a toe in with what’s happening in the EU because whether you are a pro-EU or not, whatever is decided there is still going to affect us here, even after our departure.

Being a part of associations that are still influential in the EU is going to be more important than ever for UK businesses when we no longer have a seat at the table.

quick quote

What does the future hold for CEPA Certification?

Like I’ve said already, hitting that critical mass is an important target for us, but beyond that, we want to look at the feasibility of incorporating training and qualifications into the standard.
Training standard requirements to practice across Europe are widely different. For example, countries such as Hungary have incredibly high training standards to operate in the sector, whereas in the UK the entry requirements are very low.

CEPA Certification does a great job of proving a business’s competency and professionalism. However, currently there’s no way of measuring the standards of an individual pest control technician’s professionalism in the international marketplace. Within the EU the education system has already got universally-recognised standards and we need to consider how this can be incorporated into our industry. The potential benefits to both the company and the end-user are obvious.

We also want to talk to end-users and really explain to them what the EN16636 standard means, as well as get CEPA Certification built into specifications. So far, we’ve been good at talking about the benefits of CEPA Certification to pest management companies, but now we need to drive the message from both ends.

Henry's Timeline

1993. Henry began his career in the industry with Rentokil in the city of London. He moved through various roles, eventually running the branch in London that he started out in.

2005. Bought a small pest management company of three technicians. This has now developed into a team of 14 technicians and trades as Conquer Pest Control operating across central England.

2017-2015. Now he was paying BPCA membership fees from his own pocket he wanted to understand what his money was going towards and so decided to attend a BPCA Regional Forum. From there, he joined the Executive Board and spent ten years working to improve membership benefits and professionalising the Association, including time spent as Vice President and President. He was instrumental in areas raising the entry level for members and, in collaboration with the CEO, created long term strategies to ensure the Association developed in the interests of all its members.
In the same way that he initially approached BPCA, Henry wanted to understand what CEPA was doing for the industry and to ensure BPCA members’ cash was being spent wisely. Henry spent three years as Vice President of CEPA, amongst other things helping to champion CEPA Certification and the EN16636 standard.

2017. Became the first British President of CEPA.

Intrested in CEPA Certification®. BPCA can help!

CEPA Certified® 

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Simon-Forrester-staff-bubbleSimon Forrester
Chief Executive

15 September 2017  |  PPC88

Source: PPC88

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