Growsafe Certificates

General requirements

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, all workers must have the training and supervision they need to operate safely with and around hazardous substances ie to be a competent agrichemical user. If workers don’t have the knowledge and experience they need, they must be supervised by someone who does.

Your training and instruction should cover:

  • information on the hazards of the products you are using (eg labels, SDSs and HazNotes)
  • training on how to manage the risks associated with the products you are using (eg Growsafe course)
  • specific training in your workplace procedures (eg your emergency plan or operating procedures for PPE maintenance)
  • practice in safely using any equipment, machinery and PPE, and a period of practical experience under supervision.
If you change jobs, you will need to receive site-specific induction and supervision in the new workplace.

Training is not a one-off obligation. Your PCBU needs to ensure your knowledge and skills are still current and up-to-date.

More information can be found in WorkSafe’s Quick Guide to Information, training and instruction for workers handling hazardous substances.

Which certificate do I need?

There have been many changes to agrichemical training and certification requirements in recent years, as well as changes to the Growsafe certificates we offer.  We have developed a number of decision trees to help you identify the appropriate certification for your activity and level of responsibility.



A practical course for those working under supervision and first-time agrichemical users who need practical training. 


This course is primarily about the safe use of agrichemicals – learning how to protect people, animals, the environment and to ensure food safety.  This training is for agrichemical users who are working independently (ie with little or no supervision) and who may have responsibility for managing or supervising others.


This certificate is designed for those working in management or planning roles rather than hands on spraying.  It is also suitable for those who use contractors to undertake the majority of their spraying but need to understand the rules and regulations in relation to agrichemical use.  It is at the same level as the Growsafe Standard certificate.


This course builds on the Growsafe Standard certificate and is suited to managers, team leaders and decision makers who are managing large scale, complex or high risk operations.  Growsafe Advanced is currently in development and due for release in 2021.


The Registered Chemical Applicator (RCA) course is for contractors who spray for hire or reward. Most Regional Councils require contractors to hold this certificate or an equivalent.


This certificate is for those who calibrate agrichemical spray equipment for hire or reward.


This certificate is for those working in the rural retail sector and providing advice to customers on safe use of agrichemicals.


These certificates are for those undertaking aerial application of agrichemicals:

  • Groundcrew
  • Pilot Chemical Rating


This certificate is awarded to an organisation, rather than an individual, that has demonstrated quality systems around the use of agrichemicals.  It is mainly applicable to contract sprayers looking for a competitive edge.


The Introductory certificate was available until 31 December 2017.  It was replaced by two certificates:

If you have a Introductory certificate and need to renew it, review the information about the two certificates to determine which certificate best suits your situation.  Or check out this decision tree to help work out what you need.

There are two ways to renew your certificate:
  • Attend a face-to-face course - see our Book a course page for a list of trainers and upcoming Basic and Standard courses in your region.
  • Sit an online assessment – see our Online renewal page for information on renewing online and a link to the Basic and Standard assessments.  Note that you will need a broadband internet connection.


This certificate used to be a prerequisite for the Registered Chemical Applicator (RCA) certificate.  This is no longer the case and people wishing to achieve their RCA can start work directly on their New Zealand Certificate in Agrichemical Application.