Become an Approved Handler through Farmlands

The key focus of agrichemical training is to learn about applying agrichemicals in a safe, responsible and effective way with minimal adverse impact on human, environmental and animal health.

Approved Handler certification qualifies people to handle very hazardous substances safely and to provide guidance and assistance to other people handling the substances.

To become an Approved Handler, you need to apply to a Test Certifier for an Approved Handler Test Certificate. Certificates are valid for 5 years.

To obtain an Approved Handler Test Certificate, you will need to demonstrate your knowledge of the substance(s) your certificate will cover, including:

  1. Hazards of the substance and how to protect people and the environment. This includes the substance classification, regulations about safe handling (including codes of practice) and what to do in an emergency.
  2. Working knowledge of any operating equipment, including the protective clothing and safety equipment required to handle the substance safely.
  3. The controls imposed by the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act and what the law is trying to achieve.

The details of what you need to know are set out in the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Personnel Qualifications) Regulations 2001 on the New Zealand Legislation website.

The Test Certifier will need evidence of your competence. The evidence must describe how your knowledge and skills were assessed and the results of that assessment. This can come from:

  1. Training providers. If you completed a relevant training course, you can provide this as evidence. It must be signed by the trainer issuing the qualification.
  2. Work supervisors. If you were trained at work, a supervisor or manager can provide evidence for you. Make sure they sign it.

You cannot continue to work as an Approved Handler, or purchase hazardous substances that require an Approved Handler, if your test certificate has expired. However, you do not need to attend a course to renew your Agrichemical Approved Handler Test Certificate.
Blair Burtenshaw, superintendent at the Bottle Lake Golf Club in Christchurch, recently renewed his Agrichemical Approved Handler Certificate online. “I needed to renew my certificate, so I did it online and it was easy to do,” Blair says. “For my role it’s really important I keep up to date. I am working alongside the public and need to be using chemicals safely… things such as putting out signage, using the right products and reading labels are really important.

“The consequences of getting it wrong can be really bad. You wouldn’t want to spray the fairways with a non-selective chemical for instance!”

Shareholders can renew their Agrichemical Approved Handler Test Certificate by contacting Farmlands Card Partner Farmsafe. You can renew it online, or they will send you a home pack renewal to your front door. Contact Farmsafe on 0800 545 747 or visit their website

Make sure you update Farmlands with a copy of your new certificate once you have received it.

Information sourced from