Sector

18 March 2015

European initiative to promote standards in pest control

A new industry standard that will create a unique benchmark for pest controllers has been hailed as a positive step. The initiative, which is accompanied by a certification scheme, is designed to promote professional standards for pest control companies in the UK and across the rest of Europe.

It was launched at a conference in Brussels today organised by the umbrella trade body for urban pest control, the Confederation of European Pest Management Associations (CEPA).

CEPA President Bertrand Montmoreau believes the launch of CEN standard EN16636 and CEPA Certified® will help raise the bar for both members and their customers.  He said: "This will ensure pest controllers can benchmark themselves against the best in Europe and it's something that will have strong benefits for their customers too. "We know that in many European markets, there are some pest controllers who are untrained and do not stay up-to-date with the latest products, pests and legislation, and that can create big problems for us all.
"But with the new standard and certification scheme, clients can be totally confident that they are getting a professional service."

Five years ago, CEPA set out to develop a standard by which professional companies in pest management could be measured. Now, the standard and accompanying certification scheme delivers the lynch-pin of a concerted and co-ordinated strategy.

Mr Montmoreau added: "This will enable us to portray a positive image to the general public of the vital role that our industry plays at a European level in terms of public health, food safety, environmental sustainability and economic significance. It is a key part of our effort to protect citizens responsibly."

The new scheme is built around EN16636, a new European standard which was developed by the industry in collaboration with experts from Europe's national standards institutes and CEN, the European Standards Bureau.

Dr Peter Whittall, of Tripod Consulting, who helped develop the standard, said: "We brought together ideas from across Europe of what best practice looked like. People in the industry developed the standard to make sure it is relevant and defines what a quality job is.

"Pest control is changing and we are no longer simply ‘rat catchers'. It is now about how you protect assets and public health, for example from allergies or the spread of diseases, and tackle issues such as the falling resistance in pests to the biocides we use."Our industry wants to further professionalise and the new standard and certification scheme provides a unique benchmark for this."

Companies wishing to meet the standard must be assessed on joining the scheme and at 18-month intervals thereafter. The certification scheme acts as an assurance to clients and domestic customers that companies are fully qualified to deal with all species of both rodents and insects and are well versed in integrated pest management, the use of chemicals, and health and safety issues.

The scheme requires that staff take part in continuing professional development and so ensures they will always be up to date with the latest techniques and developments in this fast-changing sector. Henry Mott, CEPA Vice-President, said: "This sends out a strong message that when people use companies carrying the CEPA Certified® logo, they can have peace of mind that the job will be done properly."We want this to become the mark of a true professional and for clients to know to look for this logo every time they select a pest control company."

About CEPA

CEPA, the Confederation of European Pest Management Associations, is based in Brussels and unites 25 National and Regional Pest Management Associations from across Europe.

In addition to associations, CEPA members also include manufacturers, distributors, service companies and various other supporting partners from Europe and beyond. The Confederation represents an industry with a turnover of more than 3 billion euros, generated by 10.000+ companies, employing in excess of 40.000 people. CEPA is the originator and driver of the CEPA Certified® programme and also the underpinning European Standard that supports it (EN16636).

CEPA's aim is to ensure that the Pest Management industry is recognised for responsibly protecting European citizens and the environment in which they live against public health risks.

Source: BPCA.org.uk

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