Requirements for training providers and examining bodies
It is possible to file an application with the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) for authorisation as a provider of training in the use and handling of plant protection products and as an examining body for the plant protection products exam. The applicant, a private individual or a representative of a company/organisation, shall meet the following requirements:
- Vocational education and training of at least upper secondary level, which includes courses in plant protection products and their use, or work experience in the plant protection sector.
- Experience of working as a trainer.
- Duly passed plant protection products exam.
- Other training and courses in plant protection, regarded as an asset.
- Participation in training by Tukes for training providers, and possible continued training.
Furthermore, the new training provider shall prepare a training programme, to be approved by Tukes prior to the first training occasion.
NB! Tukes does not organise any plant protection exams, but the applicant shall participate in one of the exam occasions provided by an examining body authorised by Tukes.
To file an application
To apply for the authorisation as a training provider and examining body, please fill in the application form. Before sending the application to Tukes, the applicant shall have passed the plant protection products exam, and taken the one-day training session by Tukes. In the application, reference enclosures are welcome. For smoother processing, the application shall contain enough information about the relevant work experience and trainer activities. Where needed, lectures and training not directly related to plant protection may also be listed as part of the training experience.
The application shall be sent to:
Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes)
P.O. Box 66
or by e-mail: ppp[at]tukes.fi
Processing of the application at Tukes takes 60 days at maximum. The applicant will receive the decision on approval by letter.
Training for applicants
Each year, Tukes organises a one-day training session for the applicant training providers and examining bodies. The training involves the themes included in the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on the Training Programme in Handling and Use of Plant Protection Products (No. 6/2012), and the practices of organising the training and exams. The next session will take place early in 2018. Further information will be available on this webpage in good time before the occasion.
Getting the training programme approved
The new training provider shall submit to Tukes a training programme as provided by law, one month prior to the first training occasion. Other information to be submitted to Tukes include a preliminary training schedule and a list of any external trainers. The training provider shall also notify Tukes of any notable changes in the training programme content.
Content of training and methods of implementation
Pursuant to the Plant Protection Products Act (1536/2011), the training provider is liable to include adequate instruction on the following themes, considering the relevant target group:
- Appropriate, sustainable and safe use and handling of plant protection products.
- Integrated plant protection.
- Risks involved in the use of plant protection products and relevant risk management.
- Use, maintenance and servicing of sprayer equipment.
- Documentation of the plant protection products used.
The training programme shall, where applicable, comply with the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on the Training Programme in Handling and Use of Plant Protection Products (No. 6/2012). There are no limitations on the duration, location or methods. Training providers are encouraged to offer a variety of learning methods, such as educational visits to farms, self-learning and discussion groups.
Extensive and restricted exam for professional users
There are two choices to take the plant protection products exam: extensive and restricted. The extensive plant protection products exam entitles the certificate holder to buy and use all plant protection products approved in Finland. The restricted plant protection products exam in forestry entitles the certificate holder to buy and use certain products used in forestry, e.g. products approved for the prevention of annosus root rot, and glyphosate products approved for use in forests.
All training providers authorised by Tukes are entitled to provide training in and organise both extensive and restricted exams.
As for the extensive exam, it is recommended that the training and exam programme be tailored considering the provider’s own and the relevant target group’s expertise. In integrated plant protection and sprayer equipment training, special attention shall be paid to the target group (see Annex to the Decree, chapters 4 and 5). It is also advisable to pick the exam questions from the question set with consideration to the relevant target group.
The extensive training and exam can be tailored for professional users, including but not limited to the following target groups:
- Open-air gardeners
- Greenhouse gardeners
- Golf course caretakers
- Green space workers
- Tree nursery workers
- Designated persons responsible for plant protection products, employed by a distributor (e.g. retail store).
Exam occasions and delivery of certificates
The exam occasion shall be held in a supervised environment, to ensure the examinee does not have any assistive devices. Arranging the exam online is therefore not acceptable. The purpose of the examination is to test the examinee’s familiarity with the subjects laid down by the Decree. Tukes provides question sets to the examining bodies. The maximum time allowed to take the examination is one hour. Unless otherwise agreed, the examination shall include questions on each subject covered by the Decree. Oral exams may be arranged, if necessary. Competence-based exams are not allowed. Should the examinee fail to pass the exam, there is the opportunity to take a resit exam, either in writing or orally.
The examining body shall issue an exam certificate for those passed the exam, based on a template provided by Tukes. The certificate need not to be signed, and can be delivered to the recipient in PDF format. The certificate is valid for five years.
Registration obligation and keeping of documents
Examining bodies are liable to submit to Tukes, by the end of January each year, information of the persons who have passed the exam. Provided by law, the following details are required:
- Full name
- Personal business ID, or social security number
- Mother tongue
- E-mail address
- Telephone number
- Expiry date of exam certificate.
Training providers and examining bodies shall keep the documents related to training and exam activities for a period of five years. The documents shall be able to be presented to Tukes upon request. Tukes provides the training providers and examining bodies with all the necessary forms and document templates in electronic format.
Fees and charges
Under the Decree of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy on Charges Payable for Performances of the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (1579/2015), Tukes will charge the following fees for the authorisation of a training provider and examining body:
- EUR 400 per decision (application for either training provider or examining body), or
- EUR 500 per decision (application for both training provider and examining body).
The decision on authorisation and the relevant fees are personal and non-transferable.
By law, training providers and examining bodies are entitled to charge training participants and examinees a reasonable fee for the services they provide. Tukes will not charge training providers and examining bodies any fees for examination occasions or exams passed.
Consequences of failure and cancellation of authorisation
In the Plant Protection Products Act, there are regulations on the consequences of failure to observe the Act (chapter 8). Should a training provider or examining body fail to observe the Act, or any provisions issued under it, Tukes may order the party to remedy the shortcomings within a reasonable time limit, and is entitled to reinforce the order with a notice of a conditional fine or enforced compliance.
Tukes may cancel the authorisation of a training provider (section 9) or examining body (section 11), in case the conditions for the authorisation are not fulfilled. Other reasons for cancellation include notable shortcomings not rectified by the party within due time.