Supervision Policy

A new or casual employee of a Commercial Operator may be able to spray agricultural chemicals for the business for up to 4 weeks before obtaining a Certificate of Competency. During this time, the employee must be under the direct supervision of an operator who has a Certificate of Competency. A number of other conditions also apply in this situation. These are detailed in the policy below.

Employees of Commercial Operators working without a Certificate of Competency

Licensed Commercial Operators who employ staff to spray agricultural chemicals must ensure that their employees are holders of a Certificate of Competency issued by the Product Integrity Branch (AgVet Chemicals Program) at the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE).

An exception to this rule can apply if a person has been employed in a spraying capacity for a total of less than four weeks (this includes work from previous periods of employment).

A Commercial Operator may employ a person who is not a holder of a Certificate of Competency to spray agricultural chemical products only if the following conditions apply:

  1. The employee must be under the direct supervision* of a responsible person holding a Certificate of Competency that is valid and appropriate for the spraying work undertaken.
  2. The person employed by the Commercial Operator has been performing work that includes chemical application for a period less than 4 weeks (including work from previous periods of employment).
  3. The employee has received training in the use and maintenance of personal protective equipment appropriate for the types of chemicals to be applied.
  4. The employee must not mix or prepare chemicals.
  5. The employee must not handle or apply any chemical product that is classified as a schedule 7 poison.

*an employee who is under direct supervision must be -
  1. responsible to the supervisor for spraying work undertaken;
  2. within sight and verbal communication of the supervisor of the spraying work; and
  3. under instruction from the supervisor on the nature and extent of the work to be performed and precautions to be observed to minimise risks to employee health and safety, public safety and the environment.

If a Commercial Operator wishes to continue employing a person beyond 4 weeks, an application for a Certificate of Competency must be lodged with the Product Integrity Branch (AgVet Chemicals Program) at DPIPWE prior to the completion of the four-week employment period.

This application must provide evidence that the employee is enrolled in the relevant training course(s)/module(s) required to obtain the appropriate Certificate of Competency.

Once an application is lodged, along with evidence of course enrolment, DPIPWE may issue a provisional Certificate of Competency that will allow the employee to continue to work under supervision for up to 6 months. During this time, the employee will be subject to conditions 1, 3, 4, and 5 stated above.

All training must be completed within this 6-month period. Once successfully completed, and after providing a copy of the employee's certificate of accredited training, a full Certificate of Competency may be issued. The employee would no longer be subject to the conditions of supervision listed above.

It is important to note that this exemption during the first 4 weeks of employment, only applies to an individual person once. If an employee works in a spraying capacity for 4 weeks, stops work for a period of time, but recommences at a later date (including beginning work for a new employer), the employee must have a provisional Certificate of Competency or a full Certificate of Competency before the Commercial Operator can allow the employee to commence spraying.

PDF version of this information

Supervision Policy (71 KB)

Further Information


Chemicals Coordinator

Stuart Bowman
165 Westbury Road,
Prospect, TAS, 7250.
Fax: 03 6343 2833