Sheep dip legislation, training and certification

04 August 1999

Sheep dip legislation, training and certification

  • WHERE can I find information about using sheep dip safely and legally?


    In March 1998, the Agriculture Minister at the time, Jack Cunningham, stated:
    “All sheep dip products contain hazardous chemicals. If they are not used properly they can make people ill, harm sheep, and damage the environment …

    … It is already illegal to sell organophosphorus sheep dips to anyone if they do not have a Certificate of Competence and I am actively considering extending these controls to cover all sheep dips.”

    In May 1998, The Medicines (Exemptions for Merchants in Veterinary Drugs) Order 1998 came into force.

    This states that after 30 December 1998, suppliers must not sell any sheep dips to anyone other than the holder of a Certificate of Competence, the employer of a certificate holder or a person acting on behalf of a certificate holder.


    The Certificate of Competence in the Safe Use of Sheep Dips is administered by the National Proficiency Tests Council and comprises three parts as follows:

    Part One – compulsory verbal assessment carried out in the vicinity of a sheep dip with questions on product label, rates of mixing, use of personal protective equipment, health and safety of operators and records.

    Part Two – compulsory written paper questioning job-related knowledge.

    Part Three – optional practical test which tests the candidates ability to use, store and dispose of sheep dips safely.

    To obtain a Certificate of Competence, the candidate must take and pass Parts One and Two.

    If only Part One is taken, the candidate will receive a Letter of Recognition only. Candidates who have taken and passed Parts One and Two are strongly recommended by the Health and Safety Executive to take Part Three. The pass rate as at January 1999 was 98%.

    The cost to the candidate is £30 per part, plus £19 registration fee. Please contact the National Proficiency Tests Council on 01203 696553 for more information.


    Training for taking the Certificate of Competence is available from Lantra training providers or agricultural colleges.


    The Health and Safety Executive has published a free booklet explaining the legislation, risks and practicalities of dipping sheep. The publication code is AS29. Please contact HSE Books on 01787 881165 to order a copy.

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