To help meet the continuing education requirements of your pesticide applicator license or certificate, here are a few recommendations. Continuing education activities occur year-round across the state. In Nueces County alone, last year we offered 41 hours of CEU’s. You may not find affordable, convenient or sufficient numbers of opportunities if you wait until your license or certificate renewal deadline is near, so start early.

Monitor the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) list of approved recertification courses and training contacts. It’s available from the Certification and Training Division by calling 800-835-5832 (800-TELL-TDA). The list, along with links to Internet - accessible continuing education units (CEUs), is also posted on the TDA website at:http://ceusearch.texasagriculture.gov/. Another excellent source of CEU information is your local County Extension Agent with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

So what CEUs do you need to maintain your pesticide license? For Private Applicators: 15 CEUs every five years, including a minimum of 2 in Laws and Regulations, and 2 in Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Up to 10 CEUs may be obtained through TDA approved home study programs, including online courses. For Commercial and Noncommercial Applicators: 5 CEUs annually, including at least 1 CEU each in two of three special topics: Laws & Regulations, IPM, and Drift Minimization. CEUs from TDA-approved home study may be used to re-certify only every other year. No CEU carryover is allowed as CEUs must be acquired prior to renewal. Extra CEU credit obtained in one renewal cycle cannot be forwarded and used in the next renewal cycle.

Retain your Certificates of Completion obtained from participating in CEU courses. Although some commercial trainers may provide duplicate certificates, there is no recourse for lost certificates from the Extension Service. No single source provides cumulative tracking of all the CEU’s that you acquire. It is up to the individual to keep their certificates on file so they can be accessed if you are subject of a TDA audit.

Shortly before your license or certificate expires, you will receive an application for renewal from the Texas Department of Agriculture. Be sure to notify TDA if your address has changed. After you submit the application for renewal, your license or certificate should arrive within a few weeks. Keep your Certificates of Completion for one year following renewal.