Ai Services offers pesticide training

Farmers attending an Ai Services-hosted Pesticides Application training programme
Farmers attending an Ai Services-hosted Pesticides Application training programme

‘Ai Services’ is now delivering ‘Pesticide Application’ training programmes for farmers and growers throughout Northern Ireland.

Having successfully delivered agri-environmental short training courses to over 8,000 farmers in the last five years and farm safety programmes to over 5,000 farmers the company already have an excellent track record in delivering practical training to producers.

As certification is required from 26th November 2015 by anyone who wishes to purchase or use pesticides, herbicides and insecticides, Ai Services has already delivered relevant training courses all through the summer and autumn to ensure farmers are approved for the incoming season.

It is anticipated that there will be a rush by farmers during the quieter winter season to get fully trained to achieve their ‘Certificate of Competence’, which will enable them to purchase chemical sprays and pesticides from Spring 2016 onwards. To facilitate this Ai Services is offering courses in PA1, PA2a, PA6a and Grandfather Rights’ conversion courses at three approved centres across Northern Ireland.

Eamonn Matthews, training manager for Ai Services, commented: “We recognise that farmers are limited in the time that they wish to spend away from their farm businesses.

“This is why we have established three fully approved training centres for farmers across the country.”

Eamonn added that the training centres are located at: Ai Services’ HQ, Ballycraigy, Co Antrim; Clare Glen, Tandragee and Omagh.

“The centres have been selected so as to minimise the travel time incurred by those participating,” he said.

“Our team of instructors and assessors is fully City & Guilds approved and accredited.

“The Pesticide Application, or PA training courses are also City & Guilds’ accredited. As a result, the Certificate of Competence that a farmer receives on successful completion of the course will be valid for life, with no requirement for undertaking the exam again.

“Other training centres are offering training in sprayer operations and pesticide handling but it is worthwhile checking out if these are City & Guilds accredited. In a number of cases, qualifications are being offered, some of which may only last a certain number of years.

Ai Services offers the full range of Safe Application of Pesticide courses, using self-propelled, tractor and quad mounted sprayers, trailed sprayers and weed wipers, as well as knapsack and Grandfather Rights’ conversion courses.

To achieve a Certificate of Competence which is the only way to purchase and use pesticides after November 2015, a farmer will have to attend two days of training with a further short assessment at one of the approved centres.

“Courses are run during the week, with Saturday courses also available,” confirmed Eamonn Matthews.

“Candidates are also provided with their Personal Protective Equipment for the training course and assessment. This is a considerable financial saving for the farmer, with refreshments and lunch provided at no additional charge.”

Full information on course fees are now available from Ai Services. Discounts are available for groups of six persons or more.

For more information, contact Ai Services on 028 9083 3123 or by emailing