Commercial Operator Licence
A Commercial Operator Licence (COL) is required by people who operate a business that provides ground-based agricultural chemical application services (i.e. all application methods excluding aerial) for a fee or reward in Victoria (except for specific types of pest controllers licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services). Commercial Operator Licences issued by other State and Territory governments are not valid in Victoria.
There are three types of COL endorsements issued by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), each with different training requirements. A licence can have any or all of the endorsements provided the appropriate training has been completed.
In addition, a Copper Chromium Arsenic COL is required by timber treatment plants applying copper chromium arsenic chemicals for fee or reward.
Please see Licensing Copper Chromium Arsenic Use for further details.
COL – Agricultural chemicals (other than vermin destroyers/avicides and fumigants) endorsement
Required by people in the business of applying agricultural chemicals for agricultural or horticultural purposes, including forestry, post-harvest treatment and the control of weeds, insects and diseases.
Training requirement: A recognised course in agvet chemical use (or equivalent) that includes the units AHCCHM303 – Prepare and apply chemicals, and AHCCHM304 – Transport and store chemicals
(e.g. Agvet Chemical Training Course run by AusChem Victoria, ChemCert, various TAFE institutes and private providers).
COL – Vermin destroyers/avicides endorsement
Required by people in the business of vermin control in rural areas (e.g. fox, rabbit or bird control).
AHCCHM303 – Prepare and apply chemicals; AHCCHM304 – Transport and store chemicals; and AHCPMG309 – Apply pest animal control techniques
Alternatively, a course in vermin control or pest animal management that contains the now superseded units: AHCVPT306A, AHCFAU201A, AHCPMG402A and AHCVPT302A.
Any person using products containing 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) or PAPP (4-aminopropiophenone) under a COL must have successfully completed the course 22275VIC – Course in Minimising Risks in the Use of 1080 Pest Animal Bait Products for Vertebrate Pest Control (or previous equivalent 21835VIC).
Visit Information on 1080 and PAPP pest animal bait products for more details.
COL – Fumigants endorsement
Required by people in the business of produce or soil fumigation.
Training requirement: A course in fumigation with methyl bromide or the unit CPPPMT3011 Manage organisms by applying fumigants to commodities and environments (formerly known as CPPPMT3011AConduct Fumigation) from the Asset Maintenance training package (e.g. Melbourne Polytechnic Fumigation Course).
To find out which organisations offer these training courses and where they are run, contact TAFE institutes, AusChem Victoria, private providers or industry organisations.
Domestic and commercial premises pest control: People in the business of pest control (domestic and commercial premises) require a Pest Control Licence, which is issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. For information, contact the Department of Health and Human Services Pest Control Program on 1300 887 090.
Commercial operators are required by regulations to keep specified records of all chemical applications and to keep these records for a minimum of two years.
To qualify for a COL an applicant must:
- Have successfully completed the appropriate training course, and
- Provide information on any previous convictions under any of the following Acts:
- Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992
- Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981
- Dangerous Goods Act 1985
- Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
- Environment Protection Act 1970
- Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.
The COL application fee as at 1 July 2018 is $549.10 and the licence is valid for three years.
Commercial Operator Licence application form – Form #76