The knowledge and competence of those who protect, repair and preserve buildings is fundamentally important to the Property Care Association (PCA) and its members. To facilitate that, the Association has built a portfolio of training and externally verified qualifications worth in the region of £500k each year.
Training, qualifications and apprenticeships
Training and qualifications for both surveyors and technicians are further underscored by an apprenticeship programme now in its third year of operation, which has seen apprentices gain a detailed understanding of the mechanisms and processes that lead to decay in timber in buildings.
New initiative for professional use
In July of last year, the Property Care Association began to develop a new initiative triggered by the growing realisation that technicians employed by preservation companies, were using timber protection chemicals labelled for “professional use”, without any form of accreditation.
Definition of a professional user was hazy
The definition of a professional user of post construction timber preservatives has always been a little hazy. In the past, so long as you used the product as part of your job, you can be considered a professional! This relatively relaxed approach to the sale and use of insecticides and fungicides resulted in professional products being sold openly on Amazon and eBay with no controls on the retailer to check the credentials of the purchaser/user.
Legislation for product use needed
European legislation, however, has seen the decline in the number of products registered for use and those that remain available, are being re-classified with their range of uses decreasing. The public’s awareness and fear of the use of these “chemicals” in the environment is ever growing and this, together with a reluctance to sanction their use, is feeding into legislation.
Increasing responsibilities for sale and safe use
With fewer active agents available to formulators and a legislative process reducing the availability of products to both domestic and professional users, manufacturers and their retailers are now becoming aware of their increasing responsibilities for the sale and safe, effective use of their products.
Published guidance to define a ‘professional user’
With the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) publishing guidance that helps to define a professional user, and an ever-greater pressure on the formulators of timber protection chemicals to establish the credentials of the end user, it became apparent that a way to determine this should be made available.
PCA launches workshop and Professional Users of Biocides Register
The PCA therefore launched a workshop and subsequent ‘Professional Users of Biocides’ register for technicians who have been trained and assessed in the safe and effective use of professional-use only chemicals. The workshop is designed to deliver value to four separate stakeholders;
- Deliver instruction to technicians on the safe and effective use of timber protection chemicals used in existing buildings.
- Enable formulators and retailers to check the credentials of those buying their products to ensure robust controls and stewardship.
- To provide evidence to regulators that a competent bank of professional users is available to safely deliver products in accordance with the requirements set out on the product label.
- Assure property owners that the formulations being used in their properties are being used safely and effectively.
Take up among members has been impressive with over 250 people already listed on the register of accredited professionals!
Learn more about the Safe Use of Biocides:
Other Recent News or Related Info
- Biocidal Products Regulation Update
- Hodgson View: Should we Fight to be Heard in the Social Media Cacophony?
- Hodgson View: Is CITB Delivering a Valuable Service?
- BS 8102 – Will the Standards Ever Be Revised?
- Hodgson View: What is the future of the Preservation Industry?