The European Standard 16636 for pest control services: a new step toward higher professionalism of the operators in order to protect the consumer’s rights
Abstract: In 2008, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that the last sixty years had brought significant changes in ecology, climate and human behaviour that favoured the development of urban pests. In the meantime, the food industry and the providers of professional pest control services were beginning to feel the need to comply with the EU Regulations that applied and the types of control systems used in the food sector: it was becoming clear that there was a need to unify and further professionalize the European Pest Management Industry. Simultaneously, in 2008 CEPA, the European Confederation of Pest Control National Associations, held in Rome the 1st Convention EUROPEST where “The Roma Protocol” was issued, establishing the basic rules for a Common Training program for Pest Control Operators. In 2009, the CEPA Board decided for the application of a CEN Standard for Pest Control Services and CEN-CENELEC admitted the application as TC/404, sponsored by the Italian ANID (Associazione Nazionale delle Imprese di Disinfestazione). It was clear to all operators that it was necessary to develop a single common essential standard throughout Europe. The objective of the standard should be to show to clients that service providers following this standard offer a quality recognized as being truly professional within all Europe and would ensure that its operators were competent to sell and deliver the service they were offering by meeting specified and validated minimum standards of knowledge, skill and practical competence. European Standard EN 16636 was approved by CEN on 10 January 2015, after more than 5 years of work and meetings with all European Countries. The goal of every pest management activity is the effective and economical reduction or elimination of damage caused by pests. The successful achievement of this goal depends on a partnership approach between the service provider and the client. To achieve this goal, the professional service provider conforms to the principles established by the WHO in respect of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which can include a combination of habitat modification, biological control, physical control, chemical control, environmental impact as well as animal welfare. The key contents of EN 16636 are essentially two: the process of professional service and the competences of the operators.