BASIS are urging amenity sector businesses and organisations to join their Amenity Assured scheme to ensure they are compliant with government regulations.

Local authorities and contractors working in the amenity sector who are subject to the Official Controls (Plant Protection Products) Regulations 2020 for the use of plant protection products (PPP), can now help to ensure their compliance with these new Regulations by joining the organisation's Amenity Assured scheme.

The OCR Regulations are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and were created so that Defra, the Scottish and Welsh Governments can gain a better insight across the UK into how PPPs are sold, used and stored.

Peter Corbett (pictured above), Amenity Forum Executive Officer, explains who will need to become OCR compliant to use plant protection products in the future.

The HSE has now appointed a team of specialist pesticide enforcement officers (PEO’s), who are employed to ensure compliance with the 2020 Official Controls Regulations.

“Inspections have been taking place to check the compliance of duties under this new law since December 2021," Peter says. “Until now, the focus was on those businesses that store, distribute and sell plant protection products (PPP*), however the next phase also applies to anyone using PPP’s in local authorities and the amenity sector in the remainder of 2023-24.”

This means that those working in the following sectors: schools, parks, sports grounds (including golf courses), public or private property, infrastructure - (such as roads, railways and waterways), and utilities (such as transport and water companies) will need to be compliant. 
Lindsay Smith, auditing and compliance manager at BASIS says why she believes becoming BASIS Amenity Assured can help employees and contractors in the amenity sector in the long run.
“When the official HSE inspections take place, the visiting Pesticide Enforcement Officer (PEO) will expect to discuss the use of PPP’s, either with the local authority itself and/or contractors that they are working with,” she says.
“Membership of the BASIS Amenity Assured Scheme gives amenity contractors offering professional pesticide services and advice to local authorities the best practice knowledge required for the inspections, as well as those using PPP’s in industrial, utility and environmental sectors.
“The scheme has a two-part annual assessment which consists of a self-audit and a BASIS audit. These audits look at all areas that will be covered by the PEO visits for the OCR. This includes pesticide use, documentation, equipment, training, environmental safety and records, to ensure compliance with legislation.
“By joining this voluntary scheme, endorsed by HSE, the Environment Agency and the Amenity Forum, it will ensure people and companies in the amenity sectors are legislation compliant.

“Membership of the BASIS Amenity Assured Scheme is also a way for local authorities and contractors to be recognised under the Amenity Standard, which is seen as the overarching standard for the sector. Becoming recognised under the Amenity Standard means companies are showing their customers and the public they serve that they are dedicated to best practice, high quality standards and performance,” she says.

*All professional plant protection product (PPP) users should have registered by 22 June 2022, however you can still register via the website.

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