Latest News from BPCA

31 January 2017

Frequently asked questions about CEPA Certified® and EN 16636

1. How will the certificate benefit my company and me?

CEPA Certified® sets a clear and practical benchmark for the competencies of a pest control operator and the basic processes required to ensure a quality service can be consistently delivered. It demonstrates your company's commitment to delivering a professional service. This is your chance to lead the way and set yourself above other companies and be on the same playing field as the larger organisations.

2. What happens if we leave Europe in June?

This is a British Standard so leaving the EU will have little or no impact, certainly nothing in the short to medium term. British Standards are recognised globally, and it would be very unlikely for the powers-that-be to downgrade or remove these in any way. Many UK businesses work internationally.

3. Can I have stickers for my vehicles and logos printed on my reports, etc?

We have produced some vehicle and van stickers which can be requested from Bureau Veritas once you have been awarded a certificate. Just ask for them once you have passed. Our guidance documents and logo pack can also be sent over to you for use on your website, marketing materials, etc. The pack includes the EN 16636 mark and the CEPA Certified® logo in a range of formats and colours for different backgrounds. Make sure you use them in as many ways as possible!

4. How many members of BPCA are likely to take up CEPA certification?

We budgeted for 40% of all members to sign up, however so far we are running at 98% of those being audited. Clearly, that will drop a little as the stragglers get audited, but it will be higher than 40% of our 420+ full servicing members and will grow as more and more customers begin to ask for CEPA Certified®.

5. What about non-members of BPCA?

Non-members can be audited by Bureau Veritas or any other certification body licenced to operate in the UK by CEPA. However they will not get the support from the Association, their auditors may not be from a pest control background, and the company will pay a significantly higher fee for both audit and certification.

6. How will BPCA check the criteria of members if the staff are no longer assessing companies?

The BPCA annual return process checks all of BPCA's core servicing membership criteria, qualifications, CPD, sub-contractors, insurance, etc.

7. What is the cost of CEPA certification with BPCA compared to being CEPA Certified® independently of BPCA?

It is possible to purchase the EN 16636 Audit and CEPA Certification direct with Bureau Veritas (BV). Companies can expect fees (Audit and Certification) in line with other standards such as ISO 9001.

For its members, BPCA are resourcing the EN 16636 audit free of charge, and have secured a reduced rate for CEPA Certification with BV. For all but the largest companies, this equates to approximately a 50% reduction on BV standard rates.

8. How do I get support from BPCA to pass the audit to EN 16636?

Hopefully, this roadshow has helped with what you need and how to request further support. BPCA's staff team are always available to support you, whether it is for documentation or verbal advice. For further information, contact your local field office or contact BPCA's office.

9. What happens if I fail? Do I lose BPCA membership?

No, is the simple answer. At the current time, it is not BPCA criteria to pass the audit, only to receive it. The process is designed also to help members realise any potential for improvement, not to catch them out.

10. If no, will it ever be criteria to pass the audit?

BPCA's Executive Board decides whether we change our criteria, but based on past decisions, at some point, we will consider making it compulsory to pass the audit. Whether that extends to having CEPA Certified®, we don't currently know - it would probably be based on regulation from the government or majority client demand.

11. How can I market that I have CEPA certification?

You can start right now - tell clients you are working towards achieving EN 16636, the European Standard for our sector. Once you have an audit date, tell them you are now ready to go for certification, and once you pass, make sure there's a copy of the certificate in every site folder. Also, why not do some PR to your local or regional newspaper? Watch the video later this morning for some other ideas.

12. If I am CEPA Certified® why do I need to be a BPCA member?

Putting aside the regular benefits you receive from being a BPCA member, i.e. Business Shield, referrals, etc., the BPCA is also the supporting arm for you to be able to achieve and keep the Standard. You would not get this valuable support if you were not a BPCA member. The Association has also developed this scheme to enable you to gain certification at a reduced cost. Without us, you'd pay a lot more.

13. What if I change my mind after the first year?

After your EN 16636 audit, should you chose CEPA Certified® you will be awarded a certificate which is valid for three years. You will need to undergo a half-a-day surveillance audit 12-24 months after this main audit to ensure there have been no significant changes which might affect certification (i.e. a significant increase in a number of technicians which would impact on training needs, or a growth in the business which would mean more sites were taken on - which should be considered under certification and now need to be seen). If the CEPA Certified® pest control organisation (PCO) does not undergo this surveillance audit or chooses to cancel their certification, the organisation's certification will be suspended and later withdrawn.

14. What are BPCA/ Bureau Veritas doing to promote CEPA Certified?

Roadshows, attending overseas events and much, much more. The PPC magazine is a good guide to check for industry updates and what BPCA are up to.

The Bureau Veritas website is also currently under construction to build a page solely for information on the CEPA scheme and will link to all the press releases and news stories already on our website. We also have some articles coming out in industry magazines.

15. Is this going to be just another fad'?

Major industry leaders and large food manufacturing organisations are already showing a great interest in the standard and what it means to them regarding confidence.

16. Is CEPA Certified® a licence for pest control?

Not at the moment. However, we have already seen a stewardship programme implemented in the UK and the HSE are showing interest in the value of CEPA certification; therefore, this may be a snapshot of what licensing could look like.

17. How do I ensure my business passes the audit?

BPCA has a wide variety of supportive information that can help you pass. You can speak to one of the field team to go through the standard and what is needed. Anything that you may need, regarding documentation, the BPCA can usually provide or direct you to. Any procedures that maybe need ‘updating' can be implemented with the help, again, of the BPCA field team.

18. Who is asking for CEPA Certified®?

All BPCA members are undergoing the audit process, and we have started to hear of Food clients, who Bureau Veritas currently certify, being aware of the standard in the market. Our auditors are speaking about the standard at their ISO and BRC audit closing meetings, thus raising awareness of the benefits CEPA Certified® is introducing to the food, hospitality and public health sectors. The benefit of having the Bureau Veritas network across Europe allows us to target PCOs and their potential clients all over the continent.

19. Will it become law?

We currently have a government that does not like adding extra red tape for businesses. However, we see more and more demands on our sector to police itself. Stewardship addresses products, but the BPCA believes that in the medium term we will see regulation come in. CEPA certification is the ready-made ‘licence to practice' for that date. Point one in the BPCA's strategic plan is "ensuring our members are ready to face the challenges of a regulated industry in whatever form that takes".

20. Isn't this just for big companies?

This could not be further from the truth; one of the first companies to get CEPA Certified® has his office in his mother's living room. It is great for smaller companies as they can now say they have the same certifications as the ‘big name' pest control brands.

21. I only work for small businesses and the public; does this apply to me?

The standard is tailored to apply to all PCOs, small or large. There are certain requirements which will be audited against, and these are applied on a case by case basis with different justifications. For example, not all companies will have high tech reporting apps, and indeed those may not be the best way forward for some. The standard calls for effective reporting and recording of client details, risks and inspections and the auditors will look to find examples of where this requirement is met. That applies to all clauses of the standard.

22. If I get things wrong, how long have I got to put them right, and what help is available?

Non-conformities (NCs) may be raised where there is a failure to meet a particular requirement of the standard. These are categorised as critical, major and minor. For minor NCs, a certificate can still be awarded up to 5 raised at a single visit. For majors and critical, NCs need to be closed within three months for a certificate to be awarded.

23. If I fail part of the audit, what happens?

You will be given time to put right what you have failed on. If minor they can be fixed relatively quickly and could be fixed on the day if more major then you have three months if you are being CEPA Certified®. The BPCA team are here to help you fix any parts that you fail on and get you through as soon as possible.

24. Whose idea in BPCA was this?

In 2008, BPCA's Board took a decision to sign up to something called the Rome Protocol, established via our European Confederation (CEPA). The Rome Protocol outlines the standards of professionalism demanded of its members - these cover training, product use and a commitment to customers. This was the birth of what ultimately became EN 16636, the standard underpinning CEPA certification.

25. Does this involve any further training for my technicians or staff?

Not necessarily. As long as you have qualified staff (BPCA criteria level 2) or staff who are working towards the qualification, then you will be fine. If you have admin staff, it's a good idea to record some basic pest awareness training for them; this can be done in-house or via BPCA.

26. Does this involve any more admin for my staff?

Possibly, it depends on how ‘ready' for the audit you are. You may find that you need to update some risk assessments or implement COSHH records, so the admin involved is there, but the BPCA can assist and make the process easier. To assess your readiness, why not take the free self-evaluation assessment developed by CEPA via their website,

27. Can I split the payment over my four quarterly DDRs?

Not at the moment, as we are using two external companies for this process it means they will want to pay as soon as you take up certification. However, this may be a possibility as we move further into the process. BPCA is investing a six-figure sum in the audit process, so just like our Members, we have to be careful about cashflow.

28. What experience/qualifications do the auditors have?

Both of the auditors have worked in the pest control industry for many years, and they are qualified in pest control, both hold the RSPH level 2 and the accredited technician qualification, they even have the new BASIS/BPCA Using Rodenticides Safely qualification. They are also qualified auditors and have been trained and approved by both CEPA and BV.

29. Does this mean I won't see [Natalie/Kevin] again?

No. Kevin and Natalie, the existing field support team, will always be on the end of the phone or email. They will also be happy, where needed, to come and see you and support you in any way you may need. However, they will no longer be doing the assessments that BPCA previously did as routine; this EN 16636 is the new ‘assessment'.

30. Does this link with product stewardship/are distributors going to start asking for it?

Suppliers will ask for whatever is a legal requirement to use the products they sell to you. All but one of the suppliers in the UK are CEPA Certified Promoters, i.e. those companies who actively support the promotion of the CEPA standard across their customers.

31. What's the difference in benefit for me between ‘passing' and being ‘CEPA Certified®'?

After the audit, a recommendation will be made by the auditor as to whether they believe you can achieve certification. At this point, the PCO has met the requirements of the standard or is working towards meeting the requirements but will not be CEPA Certified® until the report has been reviewed by Bureau Veritas (BV). The audit is valid for six months before this decision needs to be made by the PCO as to whether to proceed with formally being certificated. The report and any further necessary information will be sent into BV by the auditor and will undergo a technical review before a decision for certification is made. So although you can tell your customers you have been audited to the standard, you will not be able to show them a certificate of compliance until you are CEPA Certified®.

32. Who are the CEPA Certified® auditors?

There are currently two auditors employed through Bureau Veritas to carry out audits to the standard. Both have been trained and passed an exam in the standard, and both are former pest controllers with over 15 years' pest control experience between them.

33. Why can't BPCA do our EN 16636 audit, why does it have to be TAS?

Within Bureau Veritas we have a combination of full-time and subcontracted auditors with a range of qualifications and speciality disciplines. It was important for us to find auditors who had come from the industry, had the relevant working knowledge and who have the hands-on experience needed for auditing PCOs effectively to add benefit to the audited organisations.

So, the auditors are supplied by TAS as subcontracted resource to Bureau Veritas, they are trained to the required standard by BPCA, as per CEPA requirements, and are working under confidentiality agreements with Bureau Veritas. Bureau Veritas also have two full-time auditors with the relevant knowledge who will often support the TAS auditors and conduct regular witness assessments to ensure they are working to our company procedures and codes of practice.

34. What will the auditor look for when they visit?

The auditor will be looking at all of your systems and processes to make sure that you ‘do what it says on the tin'. If you tell the auditor that you always do staff training on a Monday, they will expect to see evidence of this. They need to see that everyone working in the company follow the same processes and that the ethos is running through at all levels. They will need to spend some time with the technician (or you if it's only you) to observe the service being delivered. They will want to walk away feeling that they would recommend you to friends or family should they need a pest controller.

35. Who is Bureau Veritas?

Bureau Veritas is an independent global testing, inspection and certification body. We have 140 offices worldwide and employ over 60,000 people. In the UK, Bureau Veritas is one of the leading certification bodies providing QHSE (quality, health & safety and environmental) audits, BRC scheme audits, FSC assessments, etc. The CEPA Certified scheme is run by Jessica Morgan in the UK working with the Certification Division out of the London office.

36. What is the difference between EN 16636 & CEPA Certified®?

BS EN 16636 is the standard.  It is criteria that should be met to reach a particular level - it's like saying ‘I can drive a car' because you know how to switch the engine on, change gear, steer and brake.

CEPA Certified® is the certification of the EN16636 standard - using this analogy, it's like a driving licence.

37. I don't work in Europe so I won't need it.

We are part of Europe, so this standard fully applies, even if we leave the EU, this is a British Standard, so CEPA Certified® will not be affected. Many clients work across national borders (e.g., hotels, supermarkets) and will want the peace of mind that a common standard delivers.

38. Can I bring forward my audit date?

The auditors will want to work with you as much as possible to make sure that the audit does not interfere with the running of your business, if for some reason the date needs to be changed, then as long as they get enough notice then they will endeavour to move the date to a more suitable time, however if notice is given late this may carry a charge as the auditors will not be able to book another audit for that day.

39. Can I change the date of my surveillance audit?

As with above but also with the added time constraints as the surveillance must be done within a certain time frame or could lead to recertification being necessary. As long as it's within the time frame and good notice is given, then the auditors will try and rearrange where possible.

40. How do I sign up?

You can request an application form from any of the BPCA staff, or send an email over to Jessica to request one from Bureau Veritas. Jessica will do a contract review to check the company details and will advise on the audit time needed. The auditors will then be in contact to book a date to visit your site.

41. How do I cancel my audit?

Download the cancellation form here and return to Please note, cancellation fees may apply.

Natalie Bungay
BPCA Field Officer
07522 390371

Jessica Morgan
CEPA Product Manager (UK & Ireland)
020 7661 0737



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