How to Seek EPA Approval for Pesticide Applicator Soil Fumigation Exams
Current as of November 2012
Labels of soil fumigant products will include a new pesticide applicator training requirement as of December 1, 2012. Certified applicators will be required to successfully complete training specific to soil fumigation. Registrants of soil fumigant products will offer EPA-approved on-line training (and possibilities for in-person training) complete with quizzes and exams. Although not required, Pesticide State Lead Agencies (SLAs) may seek EPA’s approval and provide applicators with an alternative to registrant-sponsored training.
Note that compliance with the label-required training is a condition of product use. Because soil fumigants are Restricted Use Products, only certified applicators may purchase them. Contact the registrant about additional requirements they may have for persons purchasing their products.
SLAs may request EPA approval to offer a pesticide applicator certification, training, or “challenge exam” as an alternative to registrant-provided training. A challenge exam would be administered to determine whether an applicator has acquired competency in the key aspects of soil fumigant application, independent of certification in soil fumigation or other training offered by the state. Offered apart from the state applicator certification program, challenge exams will most likely be used by SLAs in situations where they are in the process of adding a soil fumigation category or subcategory, or updating an existing exam. For more information see the EPA’s fact sheet, Training and Exam Options for Pesticide Applicators of Soil Fumigant Products (4 pp, 88k) (about PDF).
Preparing soil fumigation exams
Make sure the exam covers the information outlined on the content check list included in the EPA’s fact sheet, Training and Exam Options for Pesticide Applicators of Soil Fumigant Products (4 pp, 88k) (about PDF).
Use the Soil Fumigation Manual, National Soil Fumigation Exam Blueprint, and Test Item Bank developed by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Research Foundation (NASDARF) under a cooperative agreement with the EPA. The titles of the 12 chapters of the exam blueprint match those in the Soil Fumigation Manual . Make sure that the percentage of items or questions chosen from each of the 12 chapters is similar (within a few points difference) to that on the blueprint. The blueprint has the percentage of test items listed on the same line as the title of each chapter.
- The Soil Fumigant Manual is available in EPA’s Soil Fumigant Toolbox and from Carol (Ramsay) Black of NASDARF at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The National Soil Fumigation Exam Blueprint and Test Item Bank are available from Jeanne Kasai at email@example.com.
Requesting EPA approval of exams
SLAs seeking EPA approval should provide a description of their proposed program including information such as:
- the audience for the exam (private, commercial and/or other) and the recertification period (if it is an applicator certification exam and not a challenge exam)
- the name and origin of study materials that will be provided or made available to applicators
- the type of documentation to be provided to the applicator upon successful completion
- the tracking system to be used
- plans to evaluate results and make changes to the exam
Upon approval, EPA will add each new program to our Web page listing all state exam programs that may be used by certified pesticide applicators in lieu of successful completion of registrant-sponsored training. This information is available on EPA’s soil fumigant training Web page, http://www.epa.gov/fumiganttraining/.
EPA contacts on soil fumigant applicator training:
Jeanne Kasai, firstname.lastname@example.org
John Leahy, email@example.com
EPA soil fumigant training Web page, http://www.epa.gov/fumiganttraining/
EPA Soil Fumigant Toolbox, http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/soil_fumigants/