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HOW PEST MANAGERS BENEFIT FROM THE NEW TERMITE CODES

The AEPMA Codes of Practice for Termite Management offer pest managers several ways to set themselves apart from the competition. 

The AEPMA Codes of Best Practice represent our industry and ensure that termite protection for both pre-construction jobs and existing buildings is carried out according to the highest level of technical capability available today.

Best practice is outlined in the following two documents:

  • AEPMA Code of Best Practice for Termite Management
  • AEPMA Code of Best Practice for Termite Management During Construction.

As we discussed in the first part of this article in the previous issue of Professional Pest Manager, the Codes are highly valuable to consumers – but what’s in it for pest managers?

Benefit 1: show your customers that you exceed minimum standards

The minimum standards for termite work are set out in Australian standards AS 3660 Termite Management:

  • AS 3660.1 Part 1 New Building Work (2017)
  • AS 3600.2 Part 2 In and Around Existing Buildings and Structures in guidelines (updated 2017)
  • AS 3600.3 Part 3 Assessment Criteria for Termite Management Systems (2014).

Australian Standards outline the minimum standards acceptable for termite work; by following the AEPMA Codes of Best Practice, pest managers demonstrate to customers that they not only meet the minimum requirements, but choose to exceed them.

Benefit 2: use of latest technology and products

Pest managers who adhere to the Codes demonstrate to their customers that they are using the latest techniques, products, and technologies for managing termites during the construction of a new home or in an existing building or structure. They also agree to follow best practice governing how such systems and technologies should best be commissioned, applied and/or installed.

Agreeing to use the very latest in technology and product innovation gives customers peace of mind that they are working with the right pest manager.

Benefit 3: a ready-made contract

In dealing with consumers, pest managers should ensure that both they, and their client are aware of what contractual obligations they have entered into, either verbally or in writing. It is naturally our suggestion that contracts with the client should always be in writing, so as both parties are clearly aware of what has and has not been agreed to.

The Codes of Practice make it easy for both parties to agree on their contractual obligations. The standard of acceptable work is clearly outlined and a clear dispute resolution is outlined.

Benefit 4: free, quick-access documentation

Pest managers who do not follow the Codes of Practice, may be requested by their customers to produce copies of the appropriate standards to which the work is to be conducted. Accessing the Australian Standard means purchasing the documentation from the Australian Standards website for a fee.

Pest managers who follow the Codes can access the documentation can be quickly – for free – from the AEPMA website, at any time.

Benefit 5: achieving a national standard

As pest managers are licensed in each state and territory, there can be differences in the level of training between pest managers in different states.

Pest managers – and those who install termite management systems – who choose to be bound by these Codes are required to meet specific levels of practical experience and education in termite management practices. These pest managers signal to their customers that they carry out work to the highest, national (not local) standard.

Best practice is detailed for installation of termite management systems – drilling through concrete has its limitations

Benefit 6: a clear dispute resolution process

Signatories to the Codes must agree to be bound by the dispute resolution process set out in the Codes. This serves to protect the pest manager, as in the event of dispute, there is a clear path to resolving the issue. Issues can be escalated to the code compliance manager, and beyond that to a specially appointed committee.

By agreeing to work with a pest control company bound by the Codes of Practice, the consumer agrees to these rules – ensuring a fair outcome for all.

Benefit 7: evidence of your skill

To become a signatory to the Industry Code of Practice for Termite Management During Construction, termite management system installers must:

  • Agree to be bound by the Code
  • Undergo appropriate construction site safety induction training (ASCC 2007)
  • Have qualifications contained in the National Competencies, specifically in CPP30911 – Certificate III in Pest Management, and may be required to have one or several of these competencies, dependent on the type of termite management system installation
  • Hold relevant professional indemnity and public liability insurance.

Both Codes include sections (where relevant) stipulating standards in relation to areas such as planning to build, risk assessment, health and safety, ongoing termite management, site assessment, construction considerations, termite management recording, termite treatment processes, environmental hazards and inspections.

Pest managers must also complete the AEPMA Code of Practice Training Course and undertake other training as stipulated by AEPMA’s Code Training Committee.

For pest managers who meet this criteria, the Codes of Practice are a valuable way to demonstrate their high level of skill and commitment to quality.

Benefit 8: clear roles and responsibilities during new constructions

The Codes also outline roles and responsibilities for other stakeholders in the termite management industry – particularly in relation to new constructions – such as building owners and managements, architects, builders and building contractors. (However, these roles and responsibilities are suggested standards as these stakeholders are not signatories to the Codes.)

People, businesses and organisations who sign up to these Codes of Practice commit to following and complying with the Code’s objectives, best practice requirements and stipulations. They are designed to improve the standards within the industry and protect customers and pest control companies alike. Pest control companies following the Codes, with suitable marketing, should be able to charge a premium for services and/or gain additional business, with customers confident in receiving services to the highest standards.

To become a signatory to the Codes, or for further information, visit the AEPMA website.

Until next time, I wish you all the best and trust all is going well within your businesses.

Vasili Tsoutouras

AEPMA President