California Code of Regulations (Title 3. Food and Agriculture)
Division 6. Pesticides and Pest Control Operations

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Division 6. Pesticides and Pest Control Operations
Chapter 3. Pest Control Operations
Subchapter 1. Licensing
Article 5. Agricultural Pest Control Adviser Licenses


6550. Minimum Qualifications.

(a) A person who has never held an agricultural pest control adviser license shall meet one of the following minimum qualifications:

(1) Graduated from college with a bachelor's degree in agricultural sciences, biological sciences, natural sciences, or pest management which includes completing the baccalaureate and/or post-baccalaureate curricula specified in (b); or

(2) Graduated from an accredited doctoral degree program in agricultural sciences, biological sciences, natural sciences, or pest management; or

(3) Completed the required curricula specified in (b) and 24 months of technical experience working:  

(A) for a licensed agricultural pest control adviser;

(B) for a pest management specialist including, but not limited to, a farm adviser, certified commercial applicator, certified private applicator, or licensed pest control dealer;

(C) as a field sweeper, field checker or scout;

(D) as a participant in field or laboratory research activities relating to pest control;

(E) as a participant in agricultural pest control/management activities for a federal, state, or county entity;

(F) as a qualified applicator licensee pursuant to Division 6, Chapter 8, commencing with Food and Agricultural Code section 12201, employed by a licensed pest control business except that no more than 12 months experience solely in the categories specified in subsections 6530(b) and (k) shall be used;

(G) as a licensed structural pest control operator or field representative for a registered structural pest control company except that no more than 12 months experience shall be used; 

(H) as a farm operator involved in agricultural pest control/management activities; or

(I) as an assistant to, or work as, a certified crop adviser accredited by the American Society of Agronomy.

(b) To satisfy the requirements of the college-level curricula specified in (a)(1) and (3), 42 semester or 63 quarter units in the following core-course categories shall be completed with a 2.0 grade-point average or better:

(1) Physical and Biological Sciences – 12 semester or 18 quarter units in this category which includes introduction to inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, plant biology or botany, general ecology, biology, genetics, plant physiology, and zoology.

(2) Crop Health – 9 semester or 13.5 quarter units in this category which includes courses in soils and irrigation, as well as introductory courses in vegetative management or weed science; plant pathology; entomology; plant nutrition or fertility; nematology; and vertebrate management. A current crop adviser certificate accredited by the American Society of Agronomy can count towards 3 semester or 4.5 quarter units.

(A) For course titles such as Senior Project, Internship, Cooperative Work Experience, Independent Study, Dissertation, and Thesis, only a total of 3 semester or 4.5 quarter units will be allowed. The applicant shall include a course or project description, and a justification for the course category and principal area of study within the category to be accepted for credit.

(3) Pest Management Systems and Methods – 6 semester or 9 quarter units in this category, with at least one course emphasizing integrated pest management principles. This category includes applied courses in entomology; plant pathology; vegetation management or weed science; and other pest management disciplines, in addition to biological control and courses related to pesticides, pest control equipment systems, and the use of pesticides. Courses on alternative cropping systems, and sustainable or organic agricultural systems are acceptable.

(A) One year of full-time related work experience listed in section 6550(a)(3)(A-I) may be used to fulfill part of this requirement, provided the work experience is not counted towards the 24 months of technical experience specified in (a)(3) or towards credit for production systems work experience in subsection (b)(4)(A). If approved by the Director, 3 semester or 4.5 quarter units will be granted. Documentation of job duties, employment records, a statement from an employer, or other proof of pest management systems and methods work experience shall be submitted to the Director.

(B) For course titles such as Senior Project, Internship, Cooperative Work Experience, Independent Study, Dissertation, and Thesis, only a total of 3 semester or 4.5 quarter units will be allowed. The applicant shall include a course or project description, and a justification for the course category and principal area of study within the category to be accepted for credit.

(4) Production Systems – 6 semester or 9 quarter units in this category which includes horticulture; viticulture; forestry; agronomy; and crop, vegetable, fruit, or animal sciences; or other production systems.

(A) One year of full-time related work experience listed in section 6550(a)(3)(H) may be used to fulfill part of this requirement provided the work experience is not counted towards the 24 months of technical experience specified in (a)(3) or towards credit for pest management systems and methods work experience in subsection (b)(3)(A). If approved by the Director, 3 semester or 4.5 quarter units will be granted. Documentation of job duties, employment records, a statement from an employer, or other proof of production systems work experience shall be submitted to the Director.

(B) For course titles such Senior Project, Internship, Cooperative Work Experience, Independent Study, Dissertation, Thesis, and Enterprise Project, only a total of 3 semester or 4.5 quarter units will be allowed. The applicant shall include a course or project description, and a justification for the course category and principal area of study within the category to be accepted for credit.

(5) Electives – An additional 9 semester or 13.5 quarter units in any of the categories in  (b)(2-4) above.

(c) The applicant shall submit to the Director the completed Agricultural Pest Control Adviser Core Course and/or Work Experience Requirements for New License Applicants form (PR-PML-085, Rev. 11/07), hereby incorporated by reference, an official transcript verifying the courses completed, and if applicable, documentation for course titles required in subsections (b)(2)(A), (b)(3)(B), or (b)(4)(B), and the degrees granted to the applicant. In addition, an applicant qualifying pursuant to (a)(3) shall submit employment records, a statement from an employer, or other proof of technical experience to the Director.

NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 11456, 12005 and 12024, Food and Agricultural Code.

Reference: Section 12024, Food and Agricultural Code.


6551. Licensing for Public Agencies.

Except as specifically exempted in section 12001 of the Food and Agricultural Code, any person employed by any federal, state, county, or local public agency who provides to that federal, state, county, or local public agency recommendations on any agricultural use must possess a valid agricultural pest control adviser license issued by the Director.

NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 11456 and 12005, Food and Agricultural Code.


Reference: Sections 11501 and 12001, Food and Agricultural Code.


6552. Continued Education Requirements.


NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 407, 12005 and 12024, Food and Agricultural Code.


Reference: Sections 11501 and 12024, Food and Agricultural Code.


6554. Regional Accreditation Committee.


NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 407, 12005 and 12024, Food and Agricultural Code.


Reference: Sections 11501 and 12024, Food and Agricultural Cod.


6556. Recommendations.

In addition to the requirement of Section 12003 of the Food and Agricultural Code, each recommendation shall include:

(a) Total acreage or units to be treated;

(b) Concentration and volume per acre or other units;

(c) Worker reentry interval, if one has been established; preharvest or preslaughter interval; and label restrictions on use or disposition of the treated commodity, by-products or treated area;

(d) Criteria used for determining the need for the recommended treatment; and

(e) Certification that alternatives and mitigation measures that would substantially lessen any significant adverse impact on the environment have been considered and , if feasible, adopted.

In addition, the recommendation shall designate the pest by accepted common name.


NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 11456, 12003 and 12005, Food and Agricultural Code.


Reference: Section 12003, Food and Agricultural Code.


6557. Advisories for Groundwater Protection.


NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 11456, 12976, 13145, 14005, 14006 and 14102, Food and Agricultural Code.


Reference: Sections 11501, 13145 and 14006, Food and Agricultural Code.


6558. Recommendation for Use of Nonfumigants in the San Joaquin Valley Ozone Nonattainment Area.

A licensed pest control adviser shall not recommend a use in violation with the provision in section 6884. If a licensed agricultural pest control adviser recommends the use of a high-volatile organic compound nonfumigant product implementing an exception under section 6884(b), the exception must be identified. A pest control adviser must retain a recommendation for a high-volatile organic compound product for at least two years.

NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 11456, 12976, and 14102, Food and Agricultural Code. Reference: Sections 11501, 12003, and 14102, Food and Agricultural Code.

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