Last updated: 19.07.12

Garden care retailers 'may require online training' to stay ahead of regulations

Online learning courses are impacting a wide range of sectors, helping professionals stay up to date with the latest regulations and innovations in their industry.

Garden care product retailers are no exception, with a new e-learning course targeted at these individuals launched by the Crop Protection Association (CPA).

The Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012 have been published today (June 18th) and require companies that sell garden chemicals to have adequately-certified workers on-site when a customer purchases these items.

This is so the specialist can provide information on the effective and safe use of the goods, as well as their proper disposal.

Advice will deal with hazards to personal health and the environment and will have to be in accordance with waste legislation implemented by the European Union, with consideration to low-risk alternate products.

It will apply to retailers in both bricks-and-mortar stores and those working online, although micro-distributors selling non-professional products and with under ten employees could be excluded from the legislation, provided the firm's turnover is under €2 million (£1.57 million).

Parliament intends to begin enforcing this law from November 26th 2015 and the CPA's online training course should give businesses plenty of time to ensure they are compliant with the rules.

CPA Garden Group co-ordinator David Evans welcomed the new regulations and their focus on professional advice and education.

The online training course the organisation will set up should be "easy to use", he stated, arguing it should help businesses meet their obligations under the legislation.

Representatives of DIY retail firms and the garden centre are already working alongside CPA to develop the e-learning course, the specialist added.

Mr Evans said: "These new rules will ensure that retail staff are properly trained to provide basic information to gardeners on the safe and effective use and disposal of garden care chemicals."

"The Crop Protection Association has provided training and development programmes for nearly 25 years to support responsible stewardship in the garden care sector," he added.