Using pesticides – Pesticide training

Training and certification are required in Alberta for anyone applying pesticides, other than commercial agriculturalists (farmers).

Applicator certification

A pesticide applicator certificate is required for:

  • anyone applying Schedule 1 or 2 pesticides, other than a farmer applying pesticides on their own land
  • anyone applying Schedule 3 pesticides:
    • in a rental dwelling
    • in the common indoor and outdoor areas of condominiums
    • in or on the grounds of a school, hospital, nursing home or day care
  • anyone applying a pesticide whose label specifies for use by “certified or authorized applicators”

For further information about the applicator certification program, see:


Applicators and college instructors wanting to train their own staff or students can become pesticide applicator trainers. Anyone wanting to train Authorized Assistants must also be a Pesticide Applicator Trainer.

Training program

A number of specialized programs have been developed. These allow individuals to access commercial class pesticides for use on their own land.

For farmers

The Farmer Pesticide Certificate Program was developed by the Alberta government. It is online, free of charge and is available for farmers needing to purchase or use pesticides on their own land (or land they rent or lease) and where the label requires all users to be certified (for example, stored grain fumigants).

For rural acreage owners

The Rural Acreage Owner Herbicide Program is offered by Lakeland College. It is available online to rural acreage owners who need access to commercial class herbicides to control weeds specified under the Weed Control Act, growing in their pastures or non-crop land.

The program is administered through the acreage owner’s local Agricultural Service Board (ASB) and the Agricultural Fieldmen. The participating ASB must confirm that the owner has an infestation of regulated weeds. Once that is done, the owner will be referred to Lakeland College for training.

Further information is available at:

Rural acreage owners have access to a limited number of commercial class herbicides for use on their turf without need of the certification program. This is specified in the Environmental Code of Practice for Pesticides.

Rodenticide program

The Rural Acreage Owner Rodenticide Program is for acreage owners who need access to commercial class rodenticides. These would be used to control rodents impacting their pastures or structures.

This training program is not currently available but is scheduled to be available through Lakeland College in an online platform in the summer of 2019. Further information is available at:

For industrial users

A limited rodenticide program is available to employees of industrial companies who need access to commercial class rodenticides. This would be to control rodents impacting the company’s property or structures.

The program cannot be used to control rodents in structures that include:

  • sleeping facilities
  • eating areas (lunchrooms, restaurants, cook shacks, facilities for storing feed or food, etc.)

The program is not available for anyone who provides a pesticide application service.

Pesticide dispenser certification

A Commercial Dispenser Certification Program is available through Lakeland College. Anyone involved in retail sales of restricted and commercial class (Schedule 1 and 2) pesticides must be certified. A lawn and garden dispenser certificate is required for retail sellers of domestic class (Schedule 3) pesticides.

For further information, see: Selling and buying pesticides - Dispenser certification

Assistant training

A pesticide applicator can supervise up to 6 assistants but only if they are properly trained. There are two classes of assistants:

  • authorized assistants that have successfully completed an examination
  • non-certified assistants that have been trained by their supervising applicator

The supervising applicator must train and supervise assistants in accordance with the Environmental Code of Practice for Pesticides.

For more information on assistant training, see: