Key messages

  • The Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019 commenced on 14 December 2019.
  • These new regulations adopt nationally harmonised minimum training and licensing requirements and include the removal of the Grandfather Clause exemption.
  • Operators previously licensed under the Grandfather Clause and those who treat timber pests are now required to formally demonstrate that they meet the prescribed competency requirements.

National harmonisation

In April 2018 the Agricultural Minister’s Forum endorsed a proposal to harmonise minimum training and licensing requirements. National harmonisation provides consistency for licence holders, particularly those operating across jurisdictional boundaries, and reduces regulatory burden.

Furthermore, the introduction of an additional licence authorisation and associated units of competency for the application of pesticides to control timber pests reflects the complexity and specialist knowledge required for pesticide applications of this nature.

Removal of Grandfather Clause exemption

Under the previous regulations, operators who held a licence on 26 October 2002 were exempt from the pest control licence qualification requirements. In line with efforts to harmonise competency across jurisdictions in Australia, this exemption has been removed from the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019.

Operators previously licensed under the Grandfather Clause will now be required to demonstrate formally that they meet the prescribed competency requirements.

This means that if your licence has been issued based on the Grandfather Clause exemption you may need to provide the Department of Health with proof that you have completed addition units of competency in order to retain your current licence authorisations. This will apply for subsequent renewals following the conclusion of the transitional period after 31 December 2021.

Transitional arrangements

A transitional period from 14 December 2019 until 31 December 2021 will allow operators time and opportunity to undergo a process of recognition of prior learning or undertake further training as necessary.

During the transition period, pest control licences can continue to be held until their expiry date, be issued based on the current licensing requirements, and will be valid for the full licence term (three years for technicians). This also effectively extends the time available for transition on an individual basis.

Units of equivalency

The proposed regulations also provide for the Secretary to, by notice published in the Government Gazette, approve units of competency to be equivalent units of competency for the purposes of the new licensing requirements. This allows for minor changes in the course codes and descriptions that may occur over time and will be implemented by the end of the transitional period.

Licence authorisations and units of competencies

The following table outlines the licence authorisations and associated units of competency.

Licence authorisations (previous) Licence authorisations (current) Units of competency

Pesticides (except fumigants) that have been formulated for the control of any pest, to control any pest except a pest animal
[‘general authorisation’]

Pesticides (excluding fumigants) formulated to control pests (including birds and rodents) other than pest animals and timber pests
[‘general authorisation (excluding timber pests)’]
CPPPMT3005 - Manage 
pests without applying pesticides.
CPPPMT3006 - Manage 
pests by applying pesticides. 
CPPPMT3018 - Maintain equipment and pesticide storage area in pest management vehicles.
Pesticides (excluding fumigants) formulated to control pests (including birds, rodents and timber pests) other than pest animals
[‘general authorisation (including timber pests)’] 
CPPPMT3005 - Manage 
pests without applying pesticides. 
CPPPMT3006 - Manage 
pests by applying pesticides. 
CPPPMT3008 - Inspect for and report on timber pests. 
CPPPMT3010 - Control timber pests.
CPPPMT3018 - Maintain equipment and pesticide storage area in pest management vehicles.
Pesticides— that have been formulated for the control of any pest animal; and to protect an area or place in a building used for commercial purposes or domestic premises or privately owned land adjacent to domestic premises. 
[‘pest animal authorisation’]
Pesticides formulated to control pest animals and to protect–  
an area in a building used for commercial purposes; or  
domestic premises; or  
privately owned land adjacent to domestic premises.  
[‘pest animal authorisation’]
AHCCHM304 - Transport and store chemicals. 
AHCCHM307 - Prepare and apply chemicals to control pest, weeds and diseases. 
AHCPMG309 - Apply pest animal control techniques. 
Pesticides that are in the form of fumigants 
[‘fumigant authorisation’]
Pesticides in the form of fumigants 
[‘fumigant authorisation’]
CPPPMT3011 - Manage organisms by applying fumigants to commodities and environments.