I received a grant of £200 from the PGG Trust in January 2011. The grant was a contribution towards fees for the PA1 and PA6 NPTC pesticide training. I undertook the two-day training at Shuttleworth College, Bedfordshire in late January and on 3 February 2011 took and passed the test.

The test consisted of 3 elements. The PA1 foundation module covers the theory of pesticide use and application including labelling, legislation, safety, storage, disposal, record-keeping and environmental factors. This module was tested using  a computer based multiple choice. The PA6 module covers hand held applicators with hydraulic nozzle and rotary atomiser including preparation, calibration, application, cleaning and storage. This module was tested with a thorough practical examination in the field. In addition I took the PA6Aw module which covers application to water and specific issues, in particular environmental, which need to be taken into account when applying to water.

Passing the test means I am now qualified to use pesticides and apply them with hand held applicators. This is invaluable in a horticultural situation where we frequently use pesticides and it is vital to know how to prepare correct dosage and apply such products safely. In addition the PA1 and PA6 certificate is often a requirement in horticulture job descriptions and so the training is extremely useful in my future carer as I apply for jobs following the CUBG traineeship.

I am extremely grateful to the PGG Trust for the grant which allowed me to undertake this training.

Bridget Ibbs 

February 2011