Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Changes in Pesticide Testing System

Changes Implemented to Speed Up Pesticide Licensing

When you call a commercial pesticide company to spray your property, that pesticide applicator must be licensed with the state. To obtain license, potential applicators must pass a rigorous testing process to establish that they are capable of handling the hazardous materials in pesticides. For many years the tests were only given at UDAF offices on the computer. There computers were not connected to a network so every test result had to be printed and physically sorted, along with payment information, at the Salt Lake City office before the pesticide applicator could become licensed. This was a long, slow process. Anywhere from two thousand to three thousand tests were administered each year so appointments to take the test filled up quickly. It was difficult to fix problems because there was no longer support for the old testing software. The entire process was outdated.

Knowing that the testing system was obsolete, UDAF partnered with Test.com to provided online testing for the UDAF-Pesticide Program. UDAF was able to upload its application tests directly to the website. Those seeking pesticide applicators licenses can now take the online tests at Utah Applied Technology Colleges and higher education campuses around the state. As a result, more test takers can be accommodated. The test scores can be matched up with payment information online and the licenses can be printed immediately.

Unfortunately, the transition to Test.com has not been as smooth as UDAF officials anticipated because there were issues linking test takers to their payment information. This problem created delays in the printing of applicator licenses. The staff in the Division of Technology Services has been working very hard to fix the problem. They hope to soon have an efficient testing process that will benefit pesticide applicators and UDAF officials alike. Despite the problems associated with the transition to the new testing system, UDAF is confident that once these technical issues have been resolved the new testing process will be superior to the antiquated program.








posted: June 12, 2014