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British Pest Control Association introduces new industry standards

Posted on: Thursday, February 25th, 2016

There has been a renewed drive to raise standards in the cleaning industry, particularly within the pest control sector.

Two British pest control firms have have become the first in the UK to be accredited with the European Standard for Pest Management Services EN16636.

The benchmark was developed by the pest control industry to ensure that those working within the sector are adequately trained and qualified.

Developed by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), the benchmark aims to ensure that pest controllers stay up-to-date with the latest products, techniques and legislation.

Speaking about the developments, Simon Forrester, chief executive of the BPCA, said: “We know of many pest controllers who are untrained and do not stay up-to-date with the latest products, techniques and legislation – and that’s something which can create big problems.

“This will demonstrate our members are on a level playing field with the best pest management companies in the world and will mean that, by employing members of the BPCA, cleaning professionals can be totally confident of a professional service.”

The new initiative was kickstarted earlier this year by the Confederation of European Pest Management Associations (CEPA).

It was designed to highlight best practice within the industry and define quality. In addition, it means that consumers are able to act in the confidence that staff members with this type of training  are fully qualified to deal with all pest species, use chemicals correctly and work to a high standard.

According to the BCPA, member companies will be at least working towards the standard from January and Forrester is aiming to help everyone pass the audit by the deadline of June 2017. 

Mr Forrester added: “It’s important to recognise that this is not just a box-ticking exercise. Our members will each be independently assessed by Bureau Veritas, a global certification body – we are the only UK organisation that does this. 

“The danger is that internal audits by trade bodies are potentially weakened by pressure to allow companies to pass, which we know happens in other associations. By using third party verification, clients can be sure our audits are legitimate and every BPCA member company is held to the same high standard. Those who don’t meet the criteria at the moment will be offered all the help and support they need to get there. This is a move which sends out a strong message that when people use BPCA members, they can have peace of mind that the job will be done properly.”

Premier Pest Control, based in West Yorkshire, was recently named as the first company in the UK to be assessed according to the new standard, while Ecolab Pest Elimination was awarded certificate number one.

Of course, one way that companies can avoid being overrun by unwanted pests and rodents such as rats or cockroaches, is to ensure that a building is cleaned thoroughly.

If a commercial building is not cleaned to strict industrial standards, then there is a greater likelihood of pests becoming a problem.

While the BCPA initiative will undoubtedly help to improve the standards of pest control in the UK, the best cure is always prevention.

Failure to get a building professionally cleaned on a regular basis can work out to be more costly in the long-run, if pest control and other services are needed as a result.

Not only can this impact a company's bottom line, but it can also have a knock-on effect on productivity if services have to be disrupted as a result.