There is no argument that a sound regulatory framework encompassing good principles and governance is necessary for the appropriate regulations to be respected. Effective regulation is integral to successful markets, and an essential ingredient of a vibrant, modern economy. Unregulated markets would be chaotic, unfair and unlikely to deliver what people want – safe, reliable products and a clean healthy environment. Regulations, enforced fairly, enable businesses to compete on, and in an equitable environment.
To sustain the ordered structure of good environmental governance, and to ensure the necessary conformance, conformance assurance and enforcement are necessary.
While most regulations are very clear on their intention, the challenges and the short-comings are in most cases the IMPLEMENTATION, MONITORING and ENFORCING of the regulations. There are numerous factors that may contribute to one not being able to implement, monitor or enforce a regulation, however, we can be assured that if none of this is proactively done, or seen to be done, then the respective regulations are not worth the paper they are written on.
Working under guidance and co-operation with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries the PCIPC are working towards the introduction of form of Certificate of Conformance and Reporting (COC) to the sector which can only be issued by a Licensed registered PCO.
The premise of the COC is that conformance is driven bottom up and not the conventional top down approach i.e. self-regulation by the industry and the PCO working in it.
Each COC will be in an electronic format and uniquely numbered, will be issued to the consumer of the premises by the licensed registered PCO.
The respective COC which is linked to a respective licensed PCO, and denotes that application of the agricultural remedies was done under the supervision of the licensed PCO, and was done in accordance with the provisions of the act/regulations and the applicable codes of practice for the use of agricultural remedies. In issuing the COC the licensed PCO is acknowledging on a continuous basis that as a skilled and competent PCO, they will take accountability and responsibility for their work i.e. the application
Post the issuing of the COC, the PCIPC will do a random selection on the COC’s issued and undertake a proactive audit of the work that was done in accordance with the provisions of the act/regulations, and the applicable codes of practice for the use of agricultural remedies. If the audit finds that the licensed PCO has transgressed in one form or another, corrective action will be given to the licensed PCO for them to undertake. If the licensed PCO fails to undertake the corrective action, disciplinary action could be taken against the licensed PCO operator which could lead to the removal of their license.
A PCIPC CoC is a self-certification and declaration by the PCIPC licensed PCO that the work undertaken by them complies with all respective provisions of the act/regulations, and the applicable codes of practice for the use of agricultural remedies.
Subject to the requirements for issuing a PCIPC CoC, a PCIPC CoC must be issued on all PCO undertaken by a Licenced PCO.
Part of the PCIPC purpose is to monitor compliance of a PCO works/application and reporting. Through the CoC process, 5% of all PCO’s work/application is physically audited and if required the PCO is notified of any non-compliance. This physical audit and the associated administration functions bear a cost that is recovered through the associated cost of the PCIPC CoC.
The cost of the CoC has always been kept as low as possible without jeopardising the mandated functions of the PCIPC and that of being a registered professional body.
Licensed PCO have not only met the prescribed requirements of PCIPC registration but have undertaken and passed the required PCIPC assessment. Furthermore, licensed PCO’s have maintained their prescribed 25 CPD credits throughout their registration cycle.
In terms of the PCIPC requirements and a licensed PCO maintaining their PCIPC registration, a licensed PCO must issue a CoC on all pest control work/applications undertaken by them.