What's the difference between a GROWSAFE and Approved Handler Certificate?
There's a lot of confusion about the certificates needed to purchase and apply agrichemicals. You may have heard that farmers and growers need only an approved handler certificate- which is not true.
The reality is that while an approved handler certificate covers a farmer or grower to purchase agrichemicals under the HSNO Act, a GROWSAFE® certificate is required to lawfully use the product.
The Resource Management Act is New Zealand's main piece of legislation which sets out how we manage our environment. To help meet functions under the RMA, regional councils prepare regional plans for their region. These plans include requirements over discharging agrichemicals to land, air or water.
These requirements differ by region. But all plans specify that agrichemicals must be applied in accordance with the New Zealand Standard for Management of Agrichemicals, also known as NZS8409. Most plans also specify that users hold a GROWSAFE® certificate. GROWSAFE® training is based on NZS8409.
There are also Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) and sustainability programmes which prescribe requirements around agrichemical training. These differ, but a requirement to provide evidence of training is becoming more common.
Though the Approved Handler and GROWSAFE® certificates are issued through different processes, farmers and growers can conveniently gain both qualifications through a single GROWSAFE® course.
In other words, if they do a GROWSAFE course, they receive an approved handler certificate as well.
A GROWSAFE® Approved Handler certificate expires every five years, and a large number of certificates are currently up for renewal. It's important that when farmers and growers renew their certificate, that they update both. Updating only an approved handler certificate is not enough to meet council requirements.
It's also important for distributors to understand the difference between the two certificates, which once again is.
• A GROWSAFE certificate is required to lawfully spray an agrichemical.
• An Approved Handler Certificate is req~ired to lawfully purchase certain agrichemicals.
• A user should have BOTH certificates.
GROWSAFE® is administered by the New Zealand Agrichemical Education Trust, a not for profit organisation which has a mission is to promote the safe and responsible use of agrichemicals.
Approved Handler certificate renewal
(ATS Supplier) 03 477 5966 or Kirsty.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Approved Handler renewal process is going to be easier and somewhat quicker than when you first sat through the course. There are options available to renew your Approved Handler certificate, renew your Growsafe, renew both Growsafe and Approved Handler certificates or sit your Growsafe and Approved Handler certificates for the first time.
Both the Approved Handler and Growsafe certificates will be current for a further 5 years.
The two web sites listed above both offer an on line renewal process which will take you once registered about 30 minutes to complete. Alternatively for those that do not have broadband there is a hard copy version available from ENVIROCOM that you could request and do at home in your own time.
Approved handler information
Growsafe certificate renewal
Growsafe and Approved Handler renewal