Voluntary Initiative invites bids to operate NRoSO Scheme

The Voluntary Initiative (the VI) is inviting bids from companies interested in operating its National Register of Sprayer Operators (NRoSO) scheme.

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UK agriculture is about to enter a period of rapid change, which will include an increased focus on environmental stewardship. An updated version of the government’s National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides, which aims to increase uptake of sustainable crop protection, is expected to be released later this year. Therefore, the VI has decided that the time is right to test the market, to ensure that the NRoSO scheme is providing the best possible service to its members, their employers and the VI, and that it is delivering value for money.

The NRoSO scheme has operated since 2003 and is open to anybody who holds an appropriate certificate of competence qualification approved by the Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD) for the safe application of pesticides. NRoSO membership is a requirement of many farm assurance schemes and supermarket protocols and scheme membership can also demonstrate that operators meet their legal obligations around the use of professional plant protection products. The NRoSO scheme’s central register is based on recording Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and a target of CPD points must be met to remain a registered member.

The Voluntary Initiative is an industry-led programme, with partners drawn from across the agricultural sector. Its mission is to be the UK’s primary independent delivery mechanism for promoting best practice in the responsible use of professional plant protection products, in order to protect water and the environment, through enhanced adoption of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to sustainable agriculture.

Any companies or organisations interested in bidding to manage and operate the NRoSO scheme should contact Neal Evans at the Voluntary Initiative via neal@voluntaryinitiative.org.uk to receive an invitation to tender. The closing date for receipt of bids is Monday 1 August.