Training and Certification

Agrichemical training and certification requirements are set by several different agencies. Growsafe certificates have been designed to meet the training and knowledge requirements of various different organisations including employers, industry bodies, WorkSafe, the Environmental Protection Authority, Ministry for Primary Industries and regional councils. Select your role to see what training and certification is required and recommended or see below for links to each of the Growsafe certificates:

I am an agrichemical
        I am an agrichemical applicator
only using hand-held
non-motorised equipment
I am a contract sprayer
I am a rural retailer


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.


Certified handler is only required if you are using highly toxic agrichemicals  (HSNO class 6.1A or B). It is not a replacement for a Growsafe certificate but an add-on. It is likely that you will still need a Growsafe Standard certificate to meet EPA, regional council or quality assurance scheme requirements.

Note: this is not a Growsafe certificate.  It is issued by compliance certifiers authorised by WorkSafe.


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 2023.


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.


Those undertaking aerial application of agrichemicals by helicopter, fixed wing or drone must meet requirements established by the Civil Aviation Authority.


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: 


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

If you are a grower looking for higher level certification, then the Growsafe Advanced course has replaced the Applied certificate.