19 May 2015
BSI, the business standards company, has recently published the first European standard on pest management services, BS EN 16636 Pest management services - Requirements and competences, to improve the quality of these services throughout Europe.
In 2008, the World Health Organisation reported that the last sixty years had brought significant changes in ecology, climate and human behaviour that led to the development of urban pests - the presence of such arthropods, rodents, other vertebrates and micro-organisms in proximity to humans represents a significant hazard for public health as pests can introduce and spread pathogens, diseases and possible allergens into human and animal populations. Not only can they have a psychological impact, they can also cause direct and indirect damage to building structures and their contents leading to significant economic losses for commercial businesses, and households.
There are limited requirements and regulations across Europe for the licensing of pest management companies. National standards in this field already exist in Spain, Germany and France, the Confederation of European Pest Management Industry Association (CEPA) has also developed and endorsed the “Roma Protocol,” a set of common operating principles and goals for the industry.
In order to bring the industry’s ‘best practice’ together, CEPA approached the European Standards Organization (CEN) to write a first Europe-wide standard - BS EN 16636:2015. The standard provides the industry with clear, up-to-date requirements recommendations and basic competences on how to ensure the delivery of a high-quality service that minimizes risks to human health and potential negative impacts on the environment.
It details a professional approach to pest management service delivery, including best practice procedures for assessment, recommendation and execution of defined control and prevention. The standard will enable professional management companies to provide common standards of service and training across Europe, allowing the consumer to make an informed choice and compare service providers.
Some of the areas BS EN 16636 includes:
- The professional approach to pest management
- Process flow of professional service
- Competence and requirements• Sub-contracting
- Annex A – Required competencies
- Annex B – Protection of asset/plant and plant product/health protection in humans, pets and livestock
- Annex C (informative) – List of common European pests
- Annex D (informative) – Environmental checklist
BS EN 16636 does not apply to field crop protection or routine cleaning and disinfection associated with regular contract cleaning services.
The standard was developed using a collaborative, consensus-based approach harnessing the expertise of individuals from across the Pest Management industry, government bodies, academia and business. It can be applied by any competent person in the field of Pest Management, who has the skill, knowledge, practical competence and responsibility required to deliver professional pest management services or is a professional service provider.
BS EN 16636, which also forms the basis of a new CEPA certification scheme, will be indispensable to:
- All pest control companies providing a service for domestic and/or commercial premises
- Local authority personnel dealing with pest control
Dan Palmer, Head of Market Development for Manufacturing & Services at BSI said: “This standard is a breakthrough for the pest management industry, because until now there has been no Europe-wide standard and now consumers can make an informed choice when choosing appropriate pest management service providers. This unified guidance will enable all of the industry, both service providers and consumers can rest assured that their questions are answered.”
Benefits of BS EN 16636:
- Gives providers access to management tools
- Gives providers access to internal verification tool
- Gives providers access to indicators of conformity
- Guides consumers through the process to be followed
- Informs consumers of the professional approach to pest management
- Informs consumers of the information they can expect from providers
- Provides consumers with a method to demand information that may not be forthcoming