Since the accreditation of the new RSPH/BPCA Level 2 Certificate in Pest Management, centres have been grappling with the problem of how best to tackle and assess the two techniques units that are part of the qualification. For these units centres have to assess their own candidates, but before they can do so their procedures have to be approved by RSPH.

The Pest Control Education and Training Forum organised a meeting for interested RSPH centres at BPCA. The meeting took place last November and was attended by representatives from BPCA, Ecolab, Killgerm, NPTA, Pest Solutions, RSPH, Santia and SX Environmental. David Cross of Santia chaired the proceedings.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a uniform approach to assessment, to ensure that candidates would not be disadvantaged by an over-zealous centre (it was stressed that the qualification is intended for new entrants to the industry rather than staff who had been in the job for a number of years, and so the assessment should reflect this).
Delegates discussed how they could practically assess a large number of candidates without having to use too many assessors (which would be expensive to the centre) or keep candidates hanging around while waiting their turn to be assessed (potentially stressful for the candidates at the end of the queue!). Could scenarios be used to make the assessment as realistic as possible. (Yes). What sort of specimen should be used to assess a candidate’s ability to identify a pest? Could photographs be used? (Yes). What about using pest droppings or examples of damage? (All possible).
Mark Butler of Killgerm was able to pass on his experiences of assessing 20 candidates at Killgerm’s training centre in Ossett (see below) and Richard Burton of RSPH stressed the importance of centres providing evidence of how each candidate is assessed and why the assessor decided the candidate had (hopefully) passed. This is so that RSPH examiners can validate the centres’ assessment decisions.
At the end of the day delegates decided that some form of booklet containing ideas and instructions for assessment would be useful. This will enable centres to adopt a common approach to the practical elements of the Certificate if they wish, but they are free to develop their own procedures. Richard Moseley of BPCA agreed to produce the first draft of the booklet.
First cohorts of candidates pass the Level 2 Certificate in Pest Management
Killgerm have successfully entered two sets of candidates for the Level 2 Certificate in Pest Management. Candidates at Killgerm’s Uxbridge course in September and October’s Ossett course were assessed by their tutors against the requirements of the techniques units of the Certificate. The tasks they were given included identifying pest activity from clues hidden in the surrounding area. The evidence portfolios for the candidates were inspected by an RSPH examiner who agreed with the assessment decisions.


Notes to editors

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) is an independent, multi-disciplinary organisation, dedicated to the promotion and protection of collective human health and well-being. Through advocacy, mediation, empowerment, knowledge and practice we advise on policy development, provide education and training services, encourage scientific research, disseminate information and certify products, training centres and processes.

Around 100,000 students take our qualifications each year in food hygiene, salon hygiene, pest control, health & safety, nutrition, the built environment, health, meat inspection and emergency planning. We provide qualifications which are directly relevant to the workplace and we help people to progress through their chosen career by offering qualifications at different levels. RSPH is also an awarding body recognised by Ofqual. We have a network of over 1500 training centres throughout the UK. We provide a wide range of course material including syllabuses and sample exam papers.

The RSPH is an independent charity formed in October 2008 with the merger of the Royal Society of Health (RSH) and the Royal Institute of Public Health (RIPH). The RSPH has a Royal Charter and Her Majesty The Queen is the Society’s Patron.