Key messages

  • Trainee licence holders work under the supervision of a person who holds a fully qualified technician licence.
  • Trainee pest control operators must be enrolled in or undertaking training in a prescribed course or units of competency.
  • Trainees must show that they can safely apply a pesticide under indirect supervision at least four times before they are considered competent.
  • The special conditions on a trainee’s licence are different that those of fully qualified technicians.

Trainee pest control licence

To be granted a trainee licence, the applicant must be enrolled in or undertaking training in a prescribed course or units of competency as listed in schedule 3 of the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009 (PHW Regulations) – Courses of Training and Units of Competency. A trainee may only use the authorised pesticides under the supervision of an appropriately qualified pest control operator with a valid technician licence.

Note that trainee licences:

  • expire 12 months after the date on which the licence is granted.
  • may only be issued to a person on a maximum of three occasions unless exceptional circumstances apply.

A list of the prescribed qualifications is included in the department’s Guidelines for pest control operators in Victoria.

Trainee skills declaration forms - pest control

A trainee must only apply pesticides for the control of a particular pest (for example, ants) under direct supervision until such time that they have sufficient knowledge and skills to safely apply pesticides to control that pest under indirect supervision.

Direct supervision means that the trainee must apply the pesticides within direct sight and hearing range of their supervisor at all times.

Indirect supervision means that the trainee must apply the pesticides within indirect sight or hearing range of their supervisor. This may include telephone or two-way radio communication.

A trainee will be considered to have the knowledge and skills to safely control a particular pest under indirect supervision when they have satisfactorily completed a minimum of four pesticide applications to control that pest.

The department will be satisfied that the trainee has successfully completed the four applications upon receipt of a declaration by their supervisor on a Trainee skills declaration form.

The Trainee skills declaration form can be downloaded from this page.

Upon receipt and approval of the Trainee skills declaration form, the department will email the trainee and/or their nominated supervisor to advise of the trainee's new supervisory status.

Conditions of licence – trainee (under supervision)

The pest control licence is subject to a number of general conditions. The department may also impose additional specific conditions on individual licences in some circumstances. Conditions on licence are issued in writing with the licence.

It is an offence to breach a condition of licence.

The following conditions apply to all Victorian trainee pest control licence holders. Trainee refers to a person who has been issued a pest control licence under section 101 (3) of the Act.

General conditions – Section 103 (1) (a), (b), (c) and (d) of the PHW Act

(1) The licence holder must comply with the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009.
(2) The licence holder must only use the pesticides or classes of pesticides specified on the licence under the supervision of a person who holds a fully qualified technician licence as an authorised user of those pesticides or classes of pesticides.
(3) The licence holder must comply with the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992 and the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

Special conditions – Section 103 (2) (c) of the PHW Act

(4) The trainee licence holder must only apply chemicals according to the directions for use and comply with any other relevant safety information stated on the label.
(5) The trainee licence holder must ensure that they have copies of current Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) for the chemicals they use. SDSs can be obtained from chemical suppliers or manufacturers.
(6) The trainee licence holder must ensure that all chemicals are stored safely, securely and legally, in accordance with the Dangerous Goods Act 1985 and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017.
(7) The trainee licence holder is responsible for the maintenance of pest control vehicles and equipment to ensure that they comply with the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (also known as the Australian Dangerous Goods Code) and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017.
(8) The trainee licence holder must report to their supervisor any leaks or spills of chemicals, or incidents of chemicals applied in contravention to the label directions.
(9) The trainee licence holder must report to their supervisor any injury to persons resulting from a chemical spill.
(10) The trainee licence holder will notify the department of any changes to their personal address and phone number or business details, including name of employer and employer contact details, within ten working days.
(11) The trainee licence holder will notify the department if they plan to replace or nominate additional supervisors to allow the department to complete the approval process.

For further information regarding conditions on licences, refer to the Guidelines for pest control operators in Victoria.