Environmental Sciences

Pesticide Certification Program - Overview

Proud Sponsor:
Lakeland College manages Alberta’s commercial pesticide applicator and dispenser certification programs. applicator database login with hand on blue backgroun

The program includes 15 different applicator classes. As well, Lakeland manages:
  • commercial dispenser
  • recertification
  • train the trainer
  • authorized assistant
  • interprovincial certification
You earn certification by passing an exam. Lakeland also oversees the associated training, homestudy courses. Each course is a series of lessons.

Learn more in the brief descriptions below. More information is on specific pages in this section of Lakeland's website.
For more background, check the provincial pesticide management in Alberta website.
Who needs applicator certification?
The Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) controls the sale, use, application, handling, storage, transport and disposal of pesticides in Alberta.
Anyone who wants to purchase, use or apply a pesticide described in Schedule 1 or 2 of the Pesticide Ministerial Regulation must either be a certified applicator or be supervised by a certified applicator.
This means:
  • Pesticide applicator services in Alberta must register with the province.
  • You must have at least one certified commercial pesticide application at your location(s).
  • If you sell registered pesticides, you must have at least one certified commercial pesticide dispenser.
Specifically, pesticide applicator certification is required for anyone applying:
  • Schedule 1 or 2 pesticides other than a commercial agriculturalist
  • Schedule 3 pesticides
  • pesticides in a rental dwelling
  • pesticides in the common indoor and outdoor areas of condominiums
  • pesticides in or on the grounds of a school, hospital, nursing home, or daycare facilities
  • pesticides on public lands
  • a pesticide where the label specifies for use by certified or authorized applicators

  1.  Commercial agriculturalist means a person who is engaged in agricultural production, but doesn't include a person who
    • sells a pesticide or transfers a pesticide for sale,
    • uses or applies a pesticide for hire or the reward, or
    • stores a pesticide to be sold, transferred, used or applied for reward
  2. Check the different schedules of pesticides in the regulations overview
Pesticide applicator classes
These are the main applicator classes:
  • aerial
  • agricultural
  • aquatic vegetation
  • biting fly (mosquito)
  • forestry
  • fumigation
  • greenhouse
  • industrial
  • landscape
  • structural
There are also 5 specialized applicator classes:
  • exterior rodent control
  • interior plantscapes
  • roots in pipes
  • seed protectant
  • fish & aquatic invertebrate control
More detail on each of these classes can be found on the applicator classes and specialized applicator classes pages.
Elements of Training
There are 3 parts to the training:
  1. Home study courses
  2. Optional classroom tutorials
  3. Writing the exam
You purchase the home study courses from Lakeland College.
Classroom tutorials are generally 4 days in length and are offered in colleges around Alberta. The home study courses are the text books.
Exams range in length from an hour and a half to 4 hours. This depends on what applicator class you have studied.
Exams are electronic and can be taken at proctored exam centres in  Vermilion, Olds, Lethbridge, Edmonton and Grande Prairie. Paper exams are available. Currently due to Covid-19 exams are also available in a Virtual setting.
All exams are closed book.
Recertification - renew before it expires
If you don't renew, your service registration is automatically cancelled. Then you must stop all pesticide applicator activities until you have recertified your certificate/s.

You must renew each class of certificate you hold.

You have two options:
  1. Rewrite the exam
  2. Earn continuing education credits.  
More information, including a list of courses approved for credit,  is on the Alberta Environment Pesticide Applicator Recertification Program web page. 
You may check your current certification by logging into our applicator database.
Commercial dispenser certification
Commercial Retail Vendor Requirements - Companies retailing pesticides registered as "Restricted, Industrial, Commercial or Agricultural" (Alberta Schedules 1 & 2) must hold a valid Agrichemical Warehousing Standards Association (AWSA) certificate or a Pesticide Vendor Registration issued by Alberta Environment.
All retail outlets are required to have at least one certified commercial pesticide dispenser. A certificate is issued on successful completion of the certification exam.

Candidates must be 18 years of age to apply for the certification.

Commercial pesticide dispenser certificates are valid for up to 5 years, and then the dispenser must apply for a renewal.   
Train the Trainer & Authorized Assistants
If you want to train an authorized assistant and provide core lesson pesticide applicator tutorial training,  you first must become a pesticide applicator trainer. This requirement is in place to:
  • ensure consistent delivery of "core" pesticide assistant and applicator training
  • provide information directly to trainers (examination statistics, examination blueprints, what areas candidates are not mastering knowledge, exam and text review schedules, etc.)
  • provide trainers with background information to help them deliver training
  • foster an ongoing working relationship between Alberta Environment and trainers to improve the training course. 
Authorized assistants may do the same work as a certified applicator but have to be under the ​certified applicator's direct supervision. An assistant may also apply pesticides listed in section 5(11) of the Environmental Code of Practice for Pesticides.
Farmer pesticide training
If you aren't applying pesticides commercially, there is a Farmer Pesticide Certificate. This certification applies only to work on your farmland. Alberta Agriculture oversees the training program and certification.
However, if you use restricted products, you'll need to take 2 additional modules related to pest control in stored grain and exterior rodent control.
Interprovincial Transfer
Alberta will recognize certain certificates from some other provinces. All Alberta Pesticide Applicator Certificate Reciprocity approvals are done through Lakeland College.

If you have a recognized out-of-province certificate, Lakeland can issue an equivalent Alberta certificate.
However, certification doesn't allow you to provide pesticide application services in the Province of Alberta unless you are employed by an Alberta Registered Pesticide Service.  If you want to have your own application business, you must apply for a service registration.
As well,  if your company is based outside of the boundaries of Alberta and you are a corporation; you must also be registered with the Alberta Corporate Registry.
If you have any questions, please contact:

Lakeland College - Pesticides
5704 College Drive
Vermilion, AB T9X 1K4
1 866 853 8646 or direct in Vermilion at 780 853 8646
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