How to get a pest control licence

The pest control industry in the UK is booming. Last year, it generated approximately £474 million in revenue and employed almost 7,000 people. Despite recent setbacks relating to coronavirus, pest control in the UK is likely to see significant growth over the next five years as more people become aware of its importance. With hospitals, restaurants, offices and homes all requiring pest control services, there’s never been a better time to get into the industry. If you’re considering taking the plunge and becoming a pest-controller, here’s what you need to know. 



How do I get a pest control licence? 

You don’t need a specific licence to become a pest controller, but the majority of companies won’t take you on without some form of relevant education. 

If you’re just starting out, the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) recommends taking their Foundation Certificate in Pest Management to get an overview of what a pest controller does and why. The course only takes a matter of hours and can be done online. 

A more thorough qualification, and one that most pest control companies will look out for, is the Level 2 Certificate in Pest Management – General Pest Control. Not only does this course provide you with more in-depth knowledge on the behaviour of certain pests, it also includes practical lessons on how to store and use pesticides effectively and safely. 

Although you’ll likely learn a lot on the job, there are many other courses available for you to develop your knowledge and become a better controller. The best ones are those offered by BPCA and the National Pest Technician Association (NPTA). 


Other permits 

Aside from qualifications that will arm you with the knowledge to be an effective pest controller, you may also need a permit from Natural England or Defra to fulfil your duties. These permits are geared more towards the removal of ‘protected’ species in the UK and don’t concern common pests like rats, bed bugs, and cockroaches. 

There are four categories of permits available: 

  • General licence – A licence needed for low-risk work such as catching birds for air-safety purposes, or great-crested newts for research. 
  • Class licence – This is required for work that calls for a specific skill or experience to avoid risks posed to protected species. It includes things like the ability to survey barn owls or release non-native bumblebees for research in a commercial setting. 
  • Individual license – These are required for any activity that affects a protected species not covered by the first two categories of licence. A full list of animals it applies to can be found here
  • Organisational licence – This is what your pest control company will have if it regularly works with protected species. 


An effective, professional pest control company should be able to demonstrate their expertise through the right qualifications and a solid foundation of experience. At Inoculand, all of our dedicated pest control specialists have exactly this – ensuring that all clients, whether they be commercial or residential, receive the best service possible. Get in touch with us to find out how we can solve your pest problems.