Feature articles

10 December 2019

End of year and election reflections from BPCA Chief Exec

December is always a great time for reflection and looking forward to the new year. BPCA Chief Executive, Ian Andrew, takes a look at where we’ve been, where we’re going and gives us a round-up of what a BPCA election manifesto might look like. 

Happy Christmas and New Year BPCA 2020

As we approach the end of 2019, I want to reflect on some of the big things that have happened in our world this year.

We had the changes to bird licensing, which came as a surprise to the industry and has presented ongoing challenges. More changes are likely to come in the new year when the current general licences expire, however we’re committed to keeping the sector in the loop.

There have been significant changes to product label requirements, such as CRRU guidance being included, and we’ve put in a lot of work to answer the Scottish parliament petition on the use of glue boards in Scotland.

Much of this wasn’t even on our radar as we came into 2019 and all have required BPCA’s continued attention.

We’ve also worked with a range of organisations this year, with the aim of championing the value of pest management and amplifying the collective voice of our membership. Many of you will have seen the award that we won for our work with the Crop Protection Association and eBay regarding illegal pesticide sales online.

BPCA Registered just celebrated its first birthday and has proven to be a hugely popular professional development scheme. We also unveiled a new suite of technical webinars in 2019 and have just finished a complete update to our Codes of Practice and guidance documentation.

One of this year’s many highlights was PestEx 2019 which was delivered entirely by the BPCA Staff team for the first time, without external support.

We’ll be doing the same again for PPC Live in Harrogate, 11 March 2020 and I look forward to seeing you all there.

As well as this we continue to meet with and speak to a significant number of service users, stakeholders and members; providing technical support, visiting when we are in the area or meeting you at our highly successful series of Forums. We’ve got a revamped series of regional events next year, so make sure you save a date for your Forum.

Impending elections

I write this as the General Election looms on 12 December and while we have not come out with a manifesto on this occasion, I am keen that we work with our members to clarify what our aims will look like going forward.

Some of the critical issues are getting businesses that are involved in maintaining public health to:

Commit to in-house pest monitoring  

We believe all businesses which have a potential impact on public health, such as food related industries and the wider cleaning sector, should commit to protecting it.

Trained and competent employees should take an active pest management approach; contacting pest management companies for support in prevention, as well as situations where infestations are established. 

Mandate pest awareness training 

All staff who work to support public health should be taught how to spot basic signs of pest infestations and be able to monitor for these.

The principles for pest prevention should be part of the training plan for all workers, much in the same way we teach food hygiene or health and safety.

Require independent verification of pest prevention management by a professional pest management company

A professional pest management company is more than capable of verifying the quality of pest management, prevention and monitoring work being undertaken.

They can also take action in situations where prevention has failed, and an infestation has been established.

Require the use of an accurately defined professional pest management company when a contractor or independent verification is required

We define a professional pest management company as:

  • Appropriately insured (including employer’s liability, public and products liability)
  • A company audited to the British and European Standard for Pest Management: BS EN 16636
  • A company that understands and abides by industry codes of best practice 
  • One which employs qualified staff, who are also on a continuing professional development scheme, to control and manage pests. 

BPCA considers this to be the minimum requirement for a professional pest management company operating in the UK. Pest professionals use chemicals as a last resort for controlling acute infestations. Due to the inherent risk to the environment and non-target species, all chemical control work should only be handled by a professional. 

It will be great to hear your thoughts on this so that we are fully geared up for the next election, whenever that may be!

Until then, may I take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support, wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a healthy and prosperous 2020.


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